I spent the morning switching e-mail programs. again. which is fine--it actually is kind of cathartic to have a clean in-box, however falsely that was achieved. our institutional servers have been updated to a new version of whatever the evil empire is putting out these days and as a result we couldn't send mail through the SSL encryption, we needed the TSS one or something, and so Apple's Mail, otherwise loverly, wouldn't do what I wanted it to do any longer (for clarity, or to confuse this more, or to defend Mail, I should say that I could have stayed with Mail, but I wanted all my e-mail to be POP, not some exchange server evilness. hence the mail program switch)
I've settled on Gyaz mail, which I like for several reasons. one, it's written by a guy out there somewhere, not a big company. two, it rocks. three, I've used it before and liked it a lot. four, it's from japan. could not be cooler.
so I downloaded it and it found my old gyazmail archive. this is fine--I could delete it all, but I just put it into a folder marked 'archive'. but the thing is, as I was flipping through the old e-mails deciding whether to just delete the lot, I realised that this isn't the archive of my e-mails. this is my life. especially the sent-mail folders. wow. no wonder I've gone insane the last several springs.
the cheery e-mail to friends informing them of our (latest) change of address and that it's likely my employer won't approve my leave of absence, leading me to resign....
the e-mail to a colleague about (yet another) image permission we have to track down for our now-published book.
the e-mail to a job prospect accepting a conference interview
the e-mails to another job prospect deciding when to come to campus
the e-mail to family arranging meeting times when we were in Denver last
the e-mail about our storage unit getting burgled
the endless cfps, job postings, etc. etc.
the endless purchases from on-line retailers (because when one lives in the middle of nowhere...)
what struck me was how little one needs a diary any more--it's all here in our e-mail archives. at least some of it. perhaps I live too much via e-mail. I have been accused of mixing up my iLife and my iWork, for sure.
in the end I kept the messages--when will I need them? never, most likely. but it is a record of sorts--something to turn back to in more chaotic/less chaotic days and see where I was then and where I've come to now. and maybe, as I do now, sigh with relief that my in-box is empty, I'm not applying for jobs, I soon will have a home and my stuff and my dog, and I'm back on my Japanese mail program. happy to be here. irasshaimase!