I bought myself a Dyson V6 Motorhead SV04 Stick Vacuum as a “freedom to do domestic work now” present, waiting for me at the end of my job. It arrived my first day of Funemployment. Honestly, it’s like having the biggest dick in town. It’s the Nimbus 2000 (or 2001…or whatever model Harry Potter ended up with before graduating wizarding school) of vacuums, which means that I have to up my dog’s gangsta game to protect the fort from jealous vacuum-stealing hoes. Since I’m going to be spending a lot of time in these 850 square feet of space, I thought I’d actually invest in making it my haven by dusting and de-furring every nook and cranny.
It took all of half an hour to Dyson my entire apartment.
Two days later. It’s 3:30pm. I’m watching reruns of Season 4 of Sex and the City while eating drunken noodles at my dining-table-turned-desk, drunk off some leftover wine. There’s an adult coloring book on my coffee table—open to a page with a half-colored-in stencil abandoned out of frustration—and a suicidal dog on my immaculately clean floor. Funemployment.
My first free Monday was spent as follows: waking up at 9:30am, making 10oz of black coffee, combing social media, walking the dog, feeding the fish, watching Sex and the City, repotting potted plants [as a last ditch effort to save them from imminent death], dusting my computer, trying to find creative inspiration, finding it for 42 minutes, watching Sex and the City, feeling like I should be drinking while watching this show, drinking while watching this show, walking the dog, fending off calls from my optometrist, journaling, ordering Seamless because Miranda was ordering Chinese at that same moment in the episode, admiring my Dyson, trying and failing at taking artistic photos of my books, contemplating throwing my unruly houseplants (the only ones that are alive) into the pond in Prospect Park because they’re now too big for their pots and I don’t want to encourage their takeover of my home, eating my drunken noodles, planning my suicide.
There were—quite literally—thousands of productive things I could’ve been doing instead of wasting a day wondering what to do with myself. I’m spoiled because I have time. But I don’t have a lot of time. Cue vicious cycle of paralyzing indecision and self-loathing.
My plans coming out of the gate were ambitious. I wanted to exercise (!), pitch stories, read books, watch Empire, learn to touch my toes again, and maybe even give the dog a bath. But I’ve since done none of these things and have instead resuscitated my day-drinking habit and my love for drama where there needn’t be any (hence the self-pity).
The Dyson wasn’t about symbolism (at first): it was about cleaning my apartment of my dog’s fur. But isn’t the entire point of that ridiculous book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up about exorcising your space of shit so you can be productive and inspired by your surroundings (I don’t know, I didn’t read the book)? I did that, with the help of superior engineering and sexy product design. Now what?
Once you’ve set the right conditions to start over again, how do you begin?