Well into my work-at-home, "will I ever work again?" day, I decided to pare down my inboxes--not the kind where you actually have things to be handled, but the email ones, which pile up hundreds of messages in the blink of an eye. Either you've read them, and decided that they might be of value, practical or sentimental, in the future, or you haven't read them, because of time constraints or because they were job search related, and you were working at the time. Somehow, you end up with a massive, largely useless, history held in an online storage vault. And so, today, having accomplished a few things of real importance, I took an hour to bring the "massive" down to just "large."
In among the solicitations for sales and coupons and discounts (easily
trashable) were several years worth of job postings. Clearly, days of "I
might look back at that one" had turned into months of saved
"recommended jobs" notices. As I went back in time, I was reminded of my days at home, applying here, there, and everywhere to jobs I know
now probably didn't even exist. I was reminded of all the postings I
forwarded to friends, so that they too could feel they were doing
something in the battle to find work. I was reminded of just how long it
has been since my workplace of twenty-some odd years went away. Time
may go quickly, and the day-to-day may often eclipse the big picture.
But an inbox full of undeleted emails spells it out in black and white.
When I was finished, a great deal of this "history" was gone. My inbox is
not empty--I don't live that way in my email any more than I do in my apartment--but it is far less cluttered than before. I took a brief trip
down memory lane, the job-hunter edition, and I feel just a little bit
wiser, and a whole lot lighter, than before.
What have I learned from clearing the inbox? There's nothing wrong with being reminded of where you've been, as long
as you don't let where you've been crowd out where you're going.