8 hours ago
Thursday, January 12, 2017
I've reached Inbox 209,375! Squee!
I shocked a friend during her recent visit to our home when I put my iPhone down on the kitchen table and she glanced at it.
"OH MY GOD!" she screeched. "You have over 209,000 unread messages! How do you handle that?"
I had 209,375, to be exact. The obvious answer: I don't handle that. I have many goals in life, but Inbox Zero is not one of them.
If I've learned one thing from raising my kids, it's that perfection is overrated, unattainable and stress-inducing. Even if I did spend a week whittling the junk mail, store announcements and sales, news alerts, blog solicitations, product pitches, school flyers, newsletters and yada yada down to zilch, then what? Twenty more emails would arrive within the hour. I'd have to forever keep up with taking out the email trash. Who needs that pressure? Who has the time? Aren't there 209,375 things I'd rather be doing than going through my inbox? Y-e-s.
For the record, I'm not typically cavalier about getting stuff done. I'm on top of my personal to-dos, office to-dos, the kids' to-dos and our family/household to-dos. Work peoples, fear not, I open all the work emails. Friend peoples, you know I always respond. Mrs. Grace Remond of Burkina Faso who wants to transfer $6.8 million dollars to me, give it up. Ryan Gosling, definitely let me know if I've missed an email from you.
I actually take a strange kind of pride in those unopened emails. They are a sign not of laziness or overwhelmed-ness but a life well lived. During the time I have ignored my email pileup, I have...
• Read some good books
• Played and laughed with my children
• Went to dinner and a movie with my husband
• Let the baby lead me around by one finger as he's learned to walk
• Let the baby roll on our bed and squeal in delight
• Escorted my firefighter wannabe son to the local fire station
• Called my mom
• Connected with friends on Facebook
• Exfoliated! Soft skin is ever so much more fab than an empty inbox.
• Celebrated my family's birthdays
• Prepared my own iced coffee and savored it (love you, Grady's Cold Brew)
• Played piano
• Took trips with my family
• Gone out for sushi with our family
• Ordered in lots of pizza, too
• Went on various Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime binges
• Bought myself flowers
• Had brunch with friends
• Doodled! Mindless scribbling is ever so much more fun than emptying an inbox.
• Took my daughter to see Raiders of the Lost Ark with a live orchestra performing the music
• Wandered around new neighborhoods with my family
• Slathered on awesome coconut body lotion
• Went for walks alone
• Shopped for shoes
• Watched viral videos typically involving babies and/or cats
• Went to parties
• Wandered around YouTube when I've been struck by random song obsessions like Sir Duke
• Took lots of great photos of my children
• Plucked random chin hairs (arguably far more satisfying than an empty inbox)
In other words, I've lived and loved my life instead of trying to not only achieve the impossible but maintain the impossible.
"Reached Inbox Zero" read no tombstone ever, although it could be a good one for the guy who coined the concept.
Since I've been writing this, I've hit 209,411 unopened emails. Wheeeeee! I'm off to celebrate by watching another episode of Westworld.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:38 AM