Jun 222012

Utrecht, Groningen, Coevorden, Barneveld, Amsterdam, Utrecht.

That has been my trip through the Netherlands so far (why can’t my friends and family all live in the same place? (Oh wait, I like to travel…)). And as I do not actually have a place of my own at the moment, I’ve been sleeping over. Then sometimes my friends have to go to work the next day, while I don’t (yay for being unemployed). As in general I’m a trustworthy guy (haven’t set fire to anything. Yet) they would head off while I had the chance to get an hour more of shut eye. So, after finally getting up, I would be alone to rummage through people’s cupboards to find breakfast stuff, make myself a cup of tea, etc.

And whilst going through other people’s belongings to hunt / gather my breakfast, I would notice the pile of dishes sitting in the sink. Because it’s great to spend an evening in good company. Have a drink, talk about work and South America, catch up on 8 months of gossip. Have dinner. But doing the dishes is definitely not so great if there are other more enjoyable pastimes.

Oh, the horror!

Normally I would have ignored it. I’m always inviting people over and I never allow them to help me with any of the cleaning up after dinner or otherwise. And I really dislike doing the dishes (any cleaning really. It’s going to get dirty again anyway…).

But I have a lot more time on my hands than my (working) friends. And it’s a small but nice way of saying “thank you for a wonderful evening and for letting me stay”.

So I do the dishes.

And guess what?

It’s not so bad!

Because before I always had the feeling “there are so many other things that I would rather be doing”. But now I have the time and the space in my head to not be bothered about it. Yes there are a lot of things that I would also like to be doing. But they can wait for twenty minutes. Or an hour. Or a day. Or longer.

Having only vague goals means no rush. And then making someone else a bit happier (by doing the dishes) is actually a very worthwhile way to spend some of my time.

Improving the world. By doing the dishes.