Upon Further Inspection

25 Things I've Reduced My Life To, In Addition To WFH In My PJs

Does Malcolm Gladwell even know how many hours I spend staring out the window?

Westend61, AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

Malcolm Gladwell decided to take to his bully pulpit this week to slam working from home, claiming our lives have been “reduced” to sitting in our PJs. This really spoke to me, since, of course, I chose for the COVID pandemic to happen and continue happening, and therefore, WFH is my choice. He’s not wrong, though. WFH means I’ll sometimes go days without talking to another human being, but there are downsides, too. My life has been reduced to any number of things Gladwell doesn’t even know about, such as:

  1. Changing from my bed PJs into my work PJs.
  2. Staying up until 3 a.m. trying to figure out who Zack Bia is.
  3. Counting how often I participate in group chats relative to anyone else, to ensure I’m not over- or under-sharing. Sh*t — I’m way behind in my family text and way ahead in the thread with my college friends where we exclusively share photos of celebrity babies. (I just love Meghan Trainor’s.)
  4. Deleting and re-installing Instagram 16 times a day to try to curb my obsession.
  5. Playing the timeless game of “Is it a dust bunny, or the universe sending me a message?”
  6. Clocking my 10,000 hours of staring out the window.
  7. Listening to my neighbors have sex. I think Tara got on top this time. That’s for the best — she wasn’t really putting in effort before. What has she reduced her life to?
  8. Searching for apartments with thicker walls before concluding I can’t afford to move.
  9. Making a TikTok that I’ll never post because I’m not a teenager and never will be again.
  10. Making my bed. Not for any productivity-related reason, just because my apartment is too small for the comforter to be anywhere other than over the mattress.
  11. Doing one push-up. On my knees. At least, I think it counts as a push-up. No one is around to assess it, and that’s for the best.
  12. Baking my own bread. Just kidding — what is this, spring 2020? Watching a cooking show in which they bake their own bread, while I eat Wonder Bread.
  13. Keeping my apartment clean with a handheld vacuum because I don’t want to invest in a larger one. I need something to do in between meetings anyway. Besides, the slower I go, the less likely I am to accidentally vacuum up a sign from the universe.
  14. Cleaning up coffee grinds. There are always more coffee grinds.
  15. Googling the efficacy of Q-tips.
  16. Culling Postmates for the free delivery deals. Whoa, Panera? OK, Broccoli Cheddar Bowl, your time has come.
  17. Testing whether an ice cube dissolves faster in Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. (I’m something of an amateur scientist.)
  18. Revisiting the TikTok question, after filming the ice cubes dissolving. Maybe I do have something to share with the world.
  19. Considering topics to pitch Malcolm Gladwell on for his next book. Has he considered analyzing why skipping my commute to instead sleep in makes me happier?
  20. Looking into yoga teacher training. I just want to know what’s out there.
  21. Using Zoom time to assess if my co-workers’ apartments are cleaner than mine. Except for Lisa, who still insists on using the beach background.
  22. Using the time I would have spent making small-talk at a watercooler to instead connect with a close friend.
  23. Getting angry on Twitter about Malcolm Gladwell saying I’m not a part of something just because I work from home, even though I work even harder than I did before.
  24. Getting angry on Twitter about Malcolm Gladwell saying remote work means I’ve reduced my life to just a paycheck.
  25. Getting a paycheck, which is literally the point of a job.