Chapter V – Part 9

$ I feel delighted! It turns out you’ll start learning English by purchasing a new car.

$ Or by cutting down all fruit trees in our garden and planting yews. I love yews so much, they are splendid. Moreover, you’ve got so much unrewarding work with fruit trees: vaccinating, plucking, processing, raking leaves, trimming, fertilizing. If I cut the trees down, my girls would fucking kill me.

$ So, potentially jams are in the quadrant 3: not important / urgent.

$ If I start thinking this way, I can say: cleaning the windows is not important, even not urgent. Nobody has died of dirty windows yet.

$ In fact, why do we clean the windows? In order to implement neatness and tidiness in our environment? And how do I know when untidiness and disorder start? When my hands are dirty after having opened or closed the window?

$ Hahahaha! I have never looked at this from this angle. It sounds weird but I clean the windows when my wife tells me to.

$ Because you want to have your peace and quiet at home?

$ And to avoid a very significant look of my mother-in-law. And to avoid having to explain anything to guests.

$ Do you run an open home?

$ Rather not. Mainly my mother-in-law drops in.

$ Uninvited?

$ Look, she’s family. She’s got the key to our house. My wife is very much attached to her mother: she’s an only child, her mother brought her up on her own. This connection is incomprehensible to me.

$ How much time does it take  to clean all the windows?

$ 17 windows multiplied by about 40 minutes plus cleaning window sills, heaters, taking the curtains down, washing them, hanging them up, washing the places where I have spilled… Good 16 hours, which is a couple of hours a day for a week.

$ 3 times a year.

$ 4-5 times a year.

$ Have you ever counted how much time it takes to do the housekeeping, gardening and taking care of your cars?

$ No, never.

$ Assuming 1 hour a day on average…

$ At least.

$ … it gives 365 hours a year. If a 9 to 5 employee works 8 hours a day, 365 hours are his/her 46 working days. Since we work about 21 days a month…

$ It means, I give for free over 2 months of my life every year, sacrificing myself for Sisyphean labor that is unacknowledged by my family. That’s appalling!

$ What comes to your mind when you think to yourself: what can I do about it?

$ I am not able to change that. I like tidiness. That’s it.

$ That’s a one-year-long perspective we are talking about because one year is what you need to make your English fly high. One year without jams. One year with dirty windows.

$ It’s impossible. Our house would become a pigsty and after a year I would be the one to tidy it up.

$ Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

$ Besides, there are no guarantees that one year is enough.

$ What you say is what you get. There are no guarantees, there has never been any, there won’t be any because it is your life and not a pre-written screenplay. First of all, what I would like you to do is to have a look at your duties from a different point of view. It’s not about a prescribed medication. It’s about finding a solution. Finding it your way. Can you imagine somebody else than you cleaning the windows in your house? You would gain 80 hours that you could spend in your office, learning English.

$ I can’t afford that.

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