A life I know better than most. If you’re not doing it, you are missing out. Here’s why.
Fuck reading books.
All I need is my vacuum.
I still remember it like it was yesterday.
All stress inducing and often times overwhelmingly so.
My survival mechanism back then? Vacuum my bedroom.
Cool kid I know.
It was a momentary escape from reality with the hum of the motor blocking everything out.
Those gorgeous lines in the carpet.
The delicious sound of gum wrappers and skittles being sucked out from under the bed.
Vacuuming was my gateway drug for taking on my teenage life.
The first step was to vacuum and revel in that accomplishment. Then ride that wave of momentum to finishing algebra homework, studying for the biology test and finally developing a plan on how I was going to convince someone to be my reluctant prom date.
I often wonder if my parents remember my excessive vacuuming. And if so, were they concerned? We’ve never talked about it.
I do all of the vacuuming in our house. I have done so since I married my wife back in ’96. This isn’t some big and proud declaration like “Holy great husband” or “Aw, look he helps out around the house”. I am useless in most facets of life. I can’t do too much damage with the vacuum.
But I also happen to love it.
I happily lug the Dyson around every Saturday, late morning after devouring a pot of coffee and I absolutely kill it. There could be chaos unfolding around the house and I’m oblivious. I vacuum like a motherfucker.
No spot is ever ignored.
There is no “lite” vacuuming session.
I’m always all in.
Lines in the carpet for days.
But here is the big secret that I’ve never revealed to anyone: It is a joyful and emotional and nostalgic and frustrating endeavor that I cherish. It is rewarding. It is frustrating. It is cathartic. It is meditation. It is yoga.
Vacuuming is no required chore. It provides me with the gamut of emotions and the bonus of physical activity that I require once per week.
Here is how:
Pure joy and satisfaction
Floors get clean. Carpets get pretty lines. The house feels clean. Instant gratification.
I had 2,713 steps on Saturday during my vacuuming session.
I can stand on one leg, bend over and clean under the bookshelf without falling.
I can lay down on my stomach and cover the entire square footage underneath the couch.
I do 2 sets of 8 squats while I vacuum underneath the kitchen table.
I recently improved to a 55 second calf raise count when vacuuming the ceiling.
Every once in a while I find a dog hair … from our dog who passed away two years ago.
I happily run the vacuum over the tiny dent in the hardwood floor from the time my son dropped his cash register. I wish he still played with it. All is forgiven.
I find emoji stickers, emoji erasers, emoji everything each week. I smile, pick it up, put in my pocket and proceed. May she never stop.
Ten years later and I still attempt to vacuum up that bug, check that, exposed nail in the corner of the ceiling in the playroom.
I remember proudly vacuuming up dead bugs underneath the rolled up t-shirt that strategically sat under our obnoxiously loud air conditioner in our first home.
Reminders of my failures
I get a weekly reminder of the moldings along the kitchen floor that I painted badly three years ago.
I get a weekly reminder of the moldings along the hallway floor that I never painted.
I vacuum the left windowsill in the living room and cannot stop myself from looking up to see the two empty holes where I incorrectly measured for the blinds seven years ago.
Reconnecting with the secret underbelly of the house
No one else in the world knows that dust/dog hair/grass clippings congregate in this one random location to the left side of the front door. My little secret.
No matter how hard I try, the vacuum won’t pick up the burnt carpet fiber that we were luckily present for at the time it flung itself out of the fireplace. Blessings counted.
A good vacuum person never reveals how many spiders they locate along the way.
There is always a Christmas tree needle to be found. And they are daggers if stepped on. I’m a hero for locating them and disposing of them.