The title is somewhat misleading. You know I didn’t time travel in a physical sense. Would you believe I did mentally and emotionally? The weirdest thing happened the other day. I’m calling it unplanned procrastination. Not so weird, huh? On Wednesday, I sat down to write in the afternoon. Out of the blue, I had the urge to go through one of my email folders.
I have more email folders than any normal person needs. The one I’m mentioning today holds personal-to-me “stuff.” This covers, for example, saved reminders I email myself on occasion, among so many other email subjects. My list of “folders” holds a treasure trove of information from: Amazon news, to holiday gifts and shipping, to Writing Research with subfolders from Writing tools to Writing Weather Research, and beyond.
Also, through the years, I’ve saved some messages from readers who have contacted me through my website to tell me they love my books. Their words make me so happy! Even the ones who tell me to write faster. LOL.
A Mom Thing
To give you an idea of what else I found: Directions from my oldest son on how to make changes to the Excel sheets he makes for my business. Hey, I don’t know how to work Excel formulas. To avoid having to ask him over and over, I tuck his emails away under this “stuff” folder. Another example: In 2018, I searched for a poem I had written for him back when he graduated high school. A long time ago. I couldn’t find it. He had the original copy and emailed it to me. Now, it’s there with the other stuff and easy to find. There’s so much more, though.
I like using this folder for anything important or special I want to find again.
Anyway, I had over seven hundred—ten to a page—messages all the way back to 2009. Fourteen years of saved messages.
See? Time Traveling.
Some messages were nonsense, so I deleted them. Deletion became my primary goal for going through this folder. See how easy it is to convince ourselves to procrastinate? Am I the only one who does things like this?
As I continued through the pages and years, I read special emails from my forever best friend. We’ve time traveled back to 2017 now. Including the email where one of her twin daughters told me she had passed away. This wasn’t an unexpected email. Another message came with funeral arrangements. These messages are far from happy.
It’s a given… When we go back to memories of our previous years, we all have sad times intermingled with happy times. I save her daughter’s messages so I can remember the date of her death. Is it morbid if I want to remember?
Then in the same folder, I found emails from back in the years 2013 and 2009. Email from my long-lost buddy who I’ve known longer than anyone who isn’t a relative. While strolling through the pages of years, I came across one of the first five-star reviews for Howdy, Ma’am from a beautiful Italian woman who loved the series and checked all the Italian language in the three books in the Bull Rider Series. Who could ask for more? Today, she’s a writer turned photographer.
Toward the end of 2016, my son’s fiancée, now my awesome daughter-in-law, sent me photos of her modeling her wedding dress and wanted my opinion on what shoes to wear. To connect this to their wedding, in 2017 in this folder, I came across my California son’s travel itinerary to come to his brother’s official wedding reception, which took place months after the wedding. (Only parents were invited to their small wedding.) Around this same timeframe, I found email messages from our vet who helped get our dog through some rough times.
Continuing, I came across correspondence with cover models who have given me permission to use their photos, and from models who sold images to me directly. One came from a cover model who asked her photographer if I could use her photo in promotional material for the book where she’s on the cover. The photographer sent me the photo with rights to use it, and to do whatever I wanted with it!
Other emails are from the stock photo company Period Images. One message included our discussion for an exclusive photo shoot with one of their models, Jason Charchan (a Michigander too) for a book cover and promotion. Jason promoted my book with him on the cover when it came out. Now and then, when his post pops up in his Facebook Memories, he’ll post it again. Thanks, Jason! Here are two of the many poses from the shoot. With so many, I had a difficult time choosing the one for the cover. Photo manipulation in the second image is my own:
In 2015, I saved an email from another author who gave me lifetime permission to use any of his quotes in my books. In 2014, I received permission from a song writer and singer to use a song title to one of his songs in one of my books. A younger me would never ask such a thing.
Many more business-related emails remain in there for reference from formatters to cover artists, to editors I’ve hired and fired. They have their own folders too for more pertinent info related to them.
How many can say they saved a Promotional Direct Message on Twitter from former President Barack Obama? Please. No political comments. Please!
Clicking Back to the Heart
Once in this folder, I knew I’d keep going and deleting until I got to the end of the “folder,” but I forgot what I had saved so many years ago. Then, I came to the final two pages: 2010 and 2009. I found a couple messages and a lot of photos sent to me from my husband. I hadn’t seen the photos in years. In fact, I forgot them. They were sent less than a year and a half before he passed away. I must have transferred them to this account from an old email provider and stuck them in there. In the old account, I had saved many, many of our emails because after all…we met through email.
All in all, I deleted over three hundred saved messages that were either outdated for me, or something I wouldn’t want others to see, like in the case of… Ah, nope. Leave it to your imagination. 😉
During my journey through new and old email messages, I discovered one can travel through time.
Go ahead. Start your own journey. Thanks for reading!
Maybe you’d like to read this post for more bittersweet memories.
Featured Image: Photo by Sharad Kachhi on Pexels.com
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