Still Procrastinating, and making progress: AT in a technical crisis

My writer’s block is still with me. I have written down notes and titles for 12 or more topics, but just can’t seem to find the inspiration to sit and get the writing done.


In the meantime, necessity is the mother of invention. I somehow managed to delete every email in my inbox on my desktop computer. 14,000+ to be exact. I only keep the last week’s worth of messages on my web-based server. 11 years deleted.

Spoiler alert: every email IS backed up and I have successfully retrieved them. And now, after going through every email and deciding what I need to keep, I only have 862 emails in my inbox.

Read on if you want to see how AT helped me walk step by step through the problem solving process.

I have an external hard drive, so I know all the emails are there. But I can’t see the folder where they live.

In my attempt to restore from the back-up software, I get error messages, and manage to delete every email from the sent box on my desktop.

This is heading in the wrong direction.

I haven’t panicked, but I am feeling a level of frustration that makes me want to destroy something, because the restore process isn’t working like it might, and I can’t see the hidden files.

I allow myself to feel the extreme frustration and rage while I let another part of my brain work on the problem. I text a friend who is a Mac specialist, then figure out how to make the hidden files visible. That takes an hour or so.

As it turns out, I am unable to import all the missing emails into the mail program while they are on the external hard drive. I can see them on my finder, but the mail program won’t let me view the hidden files.

So, I first have to copy them from the external hard drive onto my computer. I will spare you the boring details of how the back up files are nested inside each other and the dates are not consecutive.

I figured out a system for going through each folder of backed up emails quickly and keeping only what I needed - anywhere from 0 to 17 at the most.

I still have to restore my whole sent email box, but I am looking forward to having that virtual clutter gone as well.

Where is the Alexander Technique in all of this? My capacity to re-regulate my stress level and get productive is a direct result of all those years of stopping, calming my nervous system and releasing tension from my neck.

Who knows, if I still can’t get past my writer’s block, I may start cleaning out drawers and closets.