This past weekend I spent a few hours filing approximately 1300 emails that were just sitting in my inbox, driving me insane. A cluttered inbox equals a cluttered mind, and I’ve been all cluttery since about April.

Many of the 1300 emails were LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER-related, of course, in ALL! THE! CATEGORIES! My extensive collection of not-really-used-since-April email file folders includes a LTYM folder as well as sub-folders for the Chicago show, the national team, and all twelve of the new cities I’m working with this season.

And that’s just LTYM; don’t get me started on all of the other folders. It’s quite a system. When I use it, that is.

My very favorite folder is the one I call “Keepers”, and every now and then I spend some time visiting it. Some of my favorite emails in there came from Jim, back in 2002.

Back then, the company Jim worked for went out of business and I begged my employer, a health club, if I could increase to forty hours (plus the water aerobics classes I was teaching), so that I could help stretch our family budget a little further while we lived on Jim’s severance. I agreed, at my boss’ request, to continue working full-time once Jim found another job (it only took him a couple of months, shew!) and thus began my least satisfying, most frustrating, and darkest career era ever ever ever, which lasted for two years. I liked my job when it was part-time but the perfect storm was going on at work (re-orgs and other drama) when I increased my hours and I was miserable. I used to cry every night and hated to leave the house in the morning.

One day, Jim started sending me funny poems to make me smile. He never liked poetry (reading OR writing) in school but because he is the best and most thoughtful husband ever, he went ahead and tried it. I have fourteen poems in that “Keepers” folder. FOURTEEN!

All fourteen are—though not literary works of art—awesome and funny and sweet, and they are special to me because they were written by the man I love and they helped bring my sunshine back.

That said, I can only share this one because all of the others have, cough cough, an element or two that isn’t for public consumption.

We’ll be having pizza for dinner
That sounds like a winner

How long do you think you’ll be at the pool?
You know I don’t want to look like a fool

By letting the pizza get cold
Hopefully before we grow old

I’m glad you are having a quiet day
Aren’t you glad you’re not working on eBay?

I hope D is feeling better
But, look on the bright side, at least he’s not a bed wetter!

It was a super sucky time back then. I was never as consistently unhappy at work before that and haven’t been as consistently unhappy at work since. I count my lucky stars every day that I am living this life with a guy who is not only there for all of the good stuff but makes extra efforts to lift me up when I’m down (and I try to return the favor when I can). For better or worse: absolutely. I’m definitely keeping him.

Melisa and Jim at the beach