Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Divesting for the future

I have been using Gmail for about 8 years.  Google allows current saved emails and archived messages up to 15 gigabytes.  The other day, I noticed that what I had been saving amounted to 7% of that space.  I am conscious of opening ads or relatively trivial messages and then letting them sit in the Inbox.  That 7% was 1 gigabyte but I knew most if not all of what was sitting in my email was not important.

So, yesterday, I deleted a great amount of what I had saved.  I have a friend who makes it a principle to allow no more than 100 emails in the Inbox.  I imagine there are books and experts who can tell me the optimal number.  I think that one month's saved messages might be about right but I have no solid evidence that a month is right.

More than 20 years ago, I accidentally blanked many lessons I had created.  I had been saving them with the idea that I would have them handy and not need to create so many.  When I realized the mistake I made, I was very excited and annoyed. But then, I got to thinking that I am the sort of person who often doesn't follow a lesson plan I have right in front of me.  Most of the lessons, writings, and messages I write today will not apply unchanged in another week, much less longer periods.

I hadn't realized that Google counts the archived messages as part of the allowed 15 gigs.  There is no quick way that I know, to get back into the archives and delete all or most of it.  But, with a little searching, I did find a way so I had the pleasure of deleting 8600 messages at once.  Yes, it is a little bit of a gamble to delete so much at once but my experience is that I won't use it or look at it.  

Lynn is way better at logical and systematic deleting, and tossing out, all sorts of things than I am.  Having a future that has been pared down in the matter of old clothes, old furniture sitting in the basement, is refreshing and rejuvenating.  I realize that the earth is finite and that there really is no "away" as in "thrown away".  One of the satisfying things about electronic records is that they can be thrown away about as well as anything can be. Just as I am trying to divest myself of unwanted body fat, things will go more smoothly in the future if I keep my amount of saved possessions pared down.

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