Wherein I Make the OCD Among You Cry

The other day I backed up the pictures on my phone to my current work computer. Despite many efforts over the years I end up losing a lot of pictures. It’s supposed to be so easy to hang onto digital pictures and yet I am always losing or breaking phones with no backup to the cloud. Or old photo accounts changed format and have no memory of my old accounts. Old accounts that do have memories of me keep sending my passwords to email accounts that I haven’t had in a decade. My best bet has become just keeping whatever device old pictures are on. I have a drawer full of old cell phones that I keep only for this reason (and we could have made a small fortune in Bethel selling our old iPhones). In the same drawer you can find three or four jump drives full of pictures. I have my old and nearly defunct digital camera lying around because it has about 10 baby picture of Rosalind but no cord to allow me to transfer them. I’ve still lost so much data. And I have the sort of brain that doesn’t forget the pictures or videos and I wake up in the middle of the night tormented that I have lost them.

All of that to say, after backing up the current batch of pictures on my phone, I deleted over 900 photos.

Which still leaves me with 1,983 pictures on my phone and another 66 videos. Uhhh? I think maybe that is still too many?

I feel like this is the time to explain that I am a pack rat. Being married to Sergio has intensely curbed my pack rat habits in the physical world. Every time we move we end up culling our belongings down to nearly nothing. All of my pack rat energy still exists though. It didn’t just disappear. It’s like a form of anxiety for me. I might NEED that some time in the future! So my hoarding behavior has transferred to my online life. I can barely use my phone because I am out of storage options for photos.*

This got me to thinking about how I do the same thing with my emails. I just…don’t…delete. I decided to take a look at my gmail inbox. I currently have 1,884 emails. They date back to 2009. I don’t know why. The only reason this number is so low is because gmail started categorizing my emails for me and I can easily go into the promotional tab and delete my junk in one go, which I’ve been doing regularly for over a year now. And also because it counts each thread between Sergio and myself as one email, when in fact each thread contains between 50 and 150 back and forth emails. We don’t text at work because it would look bad. Students love to point out when they see your phone out. They never question my super serious typingoncomputer face though.**

And so this got me thinking I should check my work account. I have only had this account for the last 7 1/2 months, but I never delete a single thing. More often than not this habit serves me well when I need to prove documentation of something, or reprint items, or check a date for a meeting. My hoarding actually works for me here. Guess how many emails I have in this baby account? 1,884! Exactly the same number as my gmail. I felt like that was too big a coincidence not to write this post exhibiting my special brand of crazy. What were the odds I would decide to check it today when the numbers matched?

One thing I have improved upon is making my phone look pretend cleaner. It drives Sergio so crazy to see that red bubble notification symbol pop up all over my phone, sometimes containing multiple notifications for one app. I can’t deal with his nagging. Now, at least, I go in and clean up my notifications or mark items as read. In this way I have gotten both Sergio and OCD strangers to quit commenting on my life. It’s sort of like hiding all your crap under your bed when your mom tells you to clean your room.

* Yes, I am aware that there are many better storage options. We are looking into some solutions and will probably get that taken care of sometime before Rolo goes off to college.

** This may sound like my whole day is devoted to emails, but it mostly takes place in tiny fractions of seconds during passing period or lunch. The emails are short daily life stuff. “What’s for dinner? Did Rolo remember her form? My 8th graders are farting again. Is this day over?” I promise I am doing my job appropriately the other 99% of the day.

P.S: I have two notations and a P.S. Wow! I’m really on fire today. It has just at this moment occurred to me that my email accounts could just have hit a certain set max number and quit counting and it might not be such a coincidence that they hit the same random number. If that’s the case then I don’t really care. My point is even further made by the fact that I gladly live within maxed out accounts.

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