What Day Is It?
I’m unemployed or not in school for the first time since I was 2. That’s when I started Montessori school. Well, there was a mini stint of post-election unemployment after I worked as campaign staffer in 2002. But, this is the first time I’m voluntarily unemployed and not completely freaked out that the lights might get turned off any time soon. (In about 6 months, however, look for a blog called, “Damn, It’s Dark in Here.”) My dad reminded me via text that I’m “self” employed, not “un” employed. But I’ve been too much of a bum during this last month to feel like I can legitimately call myself self-employed.
I’ve been really bummy.
I frequently don’t know what day of the month it is (e.g., today is the 9th). Yet, I always know what day of the week it is (e.g., today is Tuesday) because I have the nerve to still count down to weekend, which I take “off,” like a person who had a hard work week.
Fortunately, I’m not able to be a total bum because, while I don’t know what day of the month it is, I do know when it’s time to get up because these giant, grits and biscuits eating assed crows begin their morning staff meeting every day at 5:45 a.m. in the big oak tree in front of my building. I literally wake up to the sound of the crow. I swear, in the movies, it’s always just one crow. In the tree outside of my window, however, there are at least 40 of them. Collectively, they sound like 15 car alarms going off inside of an empty garage. It’s what I think losing my mind will sound like.
So I’m up. And I try to make the most of it. I read the paper, respond to emails, and g-chat with whomever will listen about how these protein shake drinking assed crows are killing my hopes and dreams.
Then I try to get another couple of hours of sleep in before the maintenance crew resumes work on the railroad they are building through the lobby of my building. Seriously, what the hell could they be constructing down there?
So I’m up for good around 8:30 a.m. And I have the whole day ahead of me. I imagined that with 24 free hours in a day, after about a week, I’d be so bored that I’d have no choice but to be productive.
Not so, my friends.
Who knew that a walk to Whole Foods, hanging out at The Grove or the Original Farmers Market for a couple of hours, washing a few dishes, returning some more emails, and crying while watching Spanglish (again) could occupy an entire day? It can. Sometimes, I even get tired after washing my two plates and a spoon, and I take a nap before returning emails.
Some days, I switch it up and window shop for furniture I’ll never buy, take myself to midday matinée, or go to Griffith Park, park my car under a tree, crack the windows, recline the seat, and listen to Marc Maron’s WTF. (I just like to be near nature, not necessarily one with nature.)
Sometimes, I sit in my big red chair all day. And nap.
And then every 3rd day or so, I have to spend time digging myself out of the pile of empty carry out containers, champagne flutes, and yoga pants strewn about my apartment.
And there goes my week. Actually, there went my last month.
And it was awesome.
I haven’t been a complete bum. I mean, I did just orchestrate a cross-country move. And I’ve only been officially off the clock for a month. And I spent at least 40 hours at a Coffee Bean on Sunset with my web designer negotiating every detail of my site, like how much pink is too much pink...
Clearly, this is my failed attempt to justify what can only truly be characterized as shiftlessness.
Last week, however, I caught myself strolling aimlessly through the intersection of La Brea and 3rd in my yoga pants, with my earphones in, and with my hair looking like it had lost its way, eating white cheddar popcorn straight out of the family sized bag I had just bought at Trader Joes. I caught myself in the reflection of the glass on the side of CVS and said out loud, “Collect yourself.”
It’s time to get it together.
I haven’t officially committed to incorporating social interactions with other humans yet.
But I have at least committed to walking myself once a day. Baby steps.