Ode to the Dishwasher

In our apartment, I love our dishwasher. This may be difficult to believe, but growing up, my family never used the dishwasher. In our home, we washed everything by hand.

After we moved in together, living life with Bagel the first year was a bonafide project. In the beginning, we sectioned off duties such that she was responsible for anything related to the kitchen (cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping). And I was responsible for paying the bills. But after a few months, that plan quickly imploded. She deeply resented having to do all of the domestic chores and wished to work as a career-woman instead. And on my end, frankly, I would be positively thrilled to be a “house husband.”

Ultimately, the solution we devised is that she handles all of the cooking (which she genuinely enjoys). And I do all of the cleaning (loading and unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming; each of us does our own laundry). Over time I’ve actually really come to appreciate this division of labor because I love listening to podcasts! I own a pair of nice wireless, noise-cancelling headphones so dishwasher/vacuum time is when I listen to all of my podcasts. With Tim Ferriss, Shane Parrish, NPR, and Paul Ford in my ear, I get my daily podcast dose in (at 1.25x speed, which is key) while making Bagel happy. Win-win, all around! Since I no longer have long commutes any more, my podcast-listening had heavily declined.

What I realize now is that in the past, I heavily relied on interstitial spaces to complete “micro-tasks.” When I was on the subway platform waiting for the metro to arrive, that’s when I’d dash off a quick reply to a text message or email. When I was riding public transit or commuting, that’s when I’d listen to Sam Harris or Ezra Klein.

Now all that has disappeared, figuring out a life routine that still gives me “dedicated inertial time” has become paramount. Otherwise, I fall off the wagon replying to text messages!