It’s funny how much we resist the very things we want. We want to get up early and be more productive, but hit snooze every time. We want peace and happiness but over complicate our lives and over commit ourselves to things we don’t enjoy. We want to meet new, interesting people but hesitate having conversations with those who aren’t like us.
I’ve been wanting a clean email box since the beginning of the new year. That’s right, 2017 Melissa wanted to be on top of her email once and for all. That meant folders for each category, an empty inbox, and responding to messages within a respectable 24 hour time frame. It sounds small but it was a real challenge for me.
See, I have four different emails and my oldest one was giving me the headache, while the other three sat looking pretty. Maintaining my email wasn’t difficult. Working through the overwhelm from letting it get out of hand was the actual challenge. I had fallen too far off the cliff. I was over 2000 emails in and there was no way I was going to get it under control without wasting 10 hours of my life. Honestly, spending that much time cleaning email was not something I was willing to commit to.
I had two choices.
1. Get comfortable having thousands of emails in my inbox
2. Sit my butt down and get to work.
Neither decision was better than the other, but either way, I had to be comfortable with my choice instead of carrying it with me daily.
A lot of us try to fool ourselves into saying we’re okay with how things are in our lives. Being overwhelmed has become a new normal. Being too busy to care for your home is just another Saturday. Who are you if you’re not rushing somewhere trying to do something, remember something and say something. On the outside we’re keeping it all together but knowing deep down that if the ball drops, that’s it! It’s a rap. There’s no making it to the other side. So instead we tread lightly, desperately shushing the voice that knows what’s best for us as we try to carry on.
As a cry for help, I ask advice on how to get my email under control from an email genie I know. I admire his ability to simplify such a redundant task. No matter how many emails come in, he's always at zero. I needed to know the secrets, the tips, the tricks, the shortcuts to EMAIL HEAVEN!
We’re always looking for these hacks to get what we want when the answer is always just do the damn work. That’s basically what he told me, and that’s exactly what I did. With Sade playing to keep my mind at ease, a sleeping baby, and pure will, I began to delete and delete some more.
As I write this I’m happy to say my inbox is at zero. You read right, zero baby. It didn’t take me 10 hours, more like 2 (Don't we love to over-exaggerate when we don't want to do something?). It wasn’t as painful as I thought, but I did get sleepy. I actually got a rush once I saw the numbers drop. Texting my friend each time I reached a milestone. 700 left…531…227…22..done. 1 pee break and 2 "Mommy put me back to sleep" calls later, and there I was: sweet satisfaction.
It’s true we need motivation to get started on something that’s overwhelming, and it’s true it will take some effort and time. But that’s it. No blood. No tears. No near-death experiences. The only thing waiting for you is self-satisfaction, and I can’t think of anything sweeter than that.