I am mildly addicted to sweeping.
Not only is it a great way to feign busyness when your main manager is wandering around the room as you work like the good, dutiful productive employee you are, but it’s just a zen activity.
Back and forth, the satisfying sound of the bristles brushing against faux brick that will never be truly clean, ushering piles of forgotten morsels into a black rectangular abyss that is slightly broken in such a way that you have to hold the handle up at times to keep the entire thing from falling over.
You can rage-sweep. [3/10, do not recommend, especially with a crusty old horse hair broom that sheds incessantly, leaving you with more mess of broken off bristle shards on the tile than you started with.]
You can sad-sweep. [also 3/10, do not recommend, because you’re just looking down the whole time alone with your thoughts and your neck starts to hurt and your back starts to hurt and just echoes the pre-existing mental pain]
You can philoso-sweep. [9/10, highly recommend, as you let your thoughts of the day and previous days culminate into a single space, almost innately forcing you to find the patterns, the connections, the mistakes, the triumphs, ponder the meaning of life, ponder a life of meaning, etc. A lovely one-sided conversation with your brain pilot.]
Alas, just a couple of the reasons I don’t completely hate going to a wage job 10 hours out of the week. I sweep. I clean. I wash dishes. While doing so my mind is free to wander as my hands carry out the physical labor. I’m not constantly distracted, I am not consistently stimulated by a glowing brick in front of my face. So often I feel like my attention is shattered, the pieces scattered amongst various tasks that may or may not be deserving of the ever decreasing [it seems] attention I have to spend throughout the day.
I also remember one of my goals for this year was to increase my time set aside for mindfulness and reflection and meditation– and this is the perfect opportunity, it seems like.
So I sweep, and let the numbing progress of my hands stay rooted to reality as my mind travels elsewhere, on vacation from the 158 hours of constant compression and diluted attention.