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.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.