"There simply is no moment, where the husband would say like ’hey, now we need to change the sheets!’. Thus, he does not necessarily know what is the change cycle with them“, Roosa says.
Like it or not, Roosa, neither did I know that there is a cycle for these things. In my naivety, I’ve changed the sheets when they appear dirty. Sometimes it happens once a month, if I’m not home, sometimes every two days, if I spill coffee on them (or any other fluids for that matter).
Equality has oddly crept into the Finnish relationships. Oddly, because it has turned the family unit into the only inefficient unit in the society of good tax-payers. In work life, lean methods are employed to make the process seamless, and kaizen has been the guiding principle for continuous improvements. Work becomes efficient.
But for some reason, at home everything needs to be done inefficiently. It is not enough that I can cast a dinner in less than 20 minutes, also my partner needs to achieve the operational excellence in this task (maybe I’m on a sick leave). I fucking hate vacuum cleaning, but no, for equality’s sake, I need to learn it. My partner needs to start deadlifting only because she needs to change the summer tires soon, and I’m afraid she’ll strain her back. Eventually, our already busy schedules are filled with frantic chores. Worst of all, this happens just before the parliamentary elections when I was supposed to spend my night getting acquainted with the candidates.
But not to worry, there is an excel file for dividing household tasks. Similarly, there is an excel file for allocating sexual intercourses throughout the week. This is convenient because the file is available on OneDrive, where all stakeholders can effortlessly check their task lists and prepare in advance for the meetings (Tuesdays between the PLD with my boss and fixing the bicycle, we are having sex. Bring a cat suit!). So, I excuse you if you are thinking about fixing a bike while making love to me. You’re just being lean!
Slow down a little bit Roosa! You don’t have to lean everything. Life is not a process. A day is not successful if you’ve managed to meet the daily quotas from the moment you open your eyes until you’ve again closed them with the mind still racing with the unresolved tickets.
Life is about living it. If you don’t sit down once in a while and listen to yourself, somebody will fill that pretty head of yours with tasks, duties, and endless self-administration. By the time you finish your cleaning cycle a new one begins. Where is the time for starting that dance class you talked about? You were supposed to be fluent in French two years ago. What’s the matter? Take a good look at that other half of yours lying on the couch and reading a book. He is reading because you don’t offer him space for reflections, only mindless automation.
Try this trick. Ask him to hang the laundry with you. Don't make it a lecture. Instead, simply do it with him and use the opportunity to talk about things of interest for him. Make it a positive experience that offers a change to do something together. If the chores at home need to be ineffiecient then at least enjoy them together.
Some years ago they started ranting about the psychological benefits of ’slow cooking'. For an untrained eye, this might seem an inefficient method of cooking. In reality, I am told, it is a revolutionary method of cooking a real with friends instead of just microwaving a dinner. As usual, such a banality as cooking a dinner had to be productized as 'slow cooking'. We are being sold back the fundamental ideas of being human. So, lets just call it 'cooking'. And hanging laundry is just hanging laundry. Not a 'Laundry Day', where all the incidents shadowing the partnership are resolved.
But there is no need to wait until somebody comes up with a way to sell your life back to you. Just slow down a bit and think about what you want and how much it would cost in reality. I know, it is difficult at first, because work used to serve as your identity. Just give it some time. Start with a book. Maybe with Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is a short book about Jonathan, who struggles with similar identity issues and peer pressure. You’ll pick it up on the way. But I urge you to take back your life. Maybe you would even find some time to fulfill your democratic duties diligently while at it.