Work Enpassantly

My grandmother used to use this expression ‘enpassantigheid werken’. ‘Enpassantigheid’ is not a real word. It is a Dutch corruption of the French ‘en passant’ or ‘in passing’. ‘Werken’ means ‘work’. So roughly translated: ‘work enpassantly’. 

She used it when you were going to do something and she thought you could do another thing as well while you were on your way anyway. I have never heard anyone else than her saying this, so whether she heard it somewhere or came up with it herself, I don’t know. (I like to think that it was her who came up with this.)

I had to think of this when I was boiling some water for tea, last night. While I was waiting for the water to start boiling, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I’m getting more and more in the habit of doing things like that. Instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone to pass the time (which isn’t that much fun for me anyway, since I have no social media accounts anymore), I opt for doing something productive in the meantime.

It helps in the sense that it helps my brain with an opportunity to drift when I do something physical, I get a feeling of accomplishment from dealing with a chore, and at the same time our household benefits from less clutter – and with that, less anxiety and more peace of mind when our eyes wander around the house in passing.

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