7,475 messages. Not that many by some people's standards, but it's still a lot. I should go through and just delete a lot of them, bit that takes time.
Via Daring Fireball, I learned about Merlin Mann's "Inbox Zero" strategy. It's worth a look. The simple act of moving all those messages to the archive was strangely liberating. They're all still there under "All Mail," they all still show up in search, but they are outa sight, outa mind. My inbox is completely empty.
Based on "Inbox Zero," I also turned off my Google Notifier. It checks Gmail every minute, so I was constantly being interrupted by the "ding" when new mail arrived. Now I check mail when I think of it - when I need a mental break from whatever I'm working on usually.
Two small steps toward email not ruling my life. It feels better already.