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The Ying and Yang of Marriage

In many long-term relationships you often hear words like, ‘you complete me’ or ‘I just found my other half’ etc and with TSH and myself, those sayings are very true. I think this is because you see ‘your other half’ do shit that you can’t, so you get super impressed with their skill set and decide to marry them.

For example, TSH can speak Swedish, I make up my own version of Swedish. TSH can make a great cup of tea, I like to drink tea. TSH can fix things about the house, I tend to drop things. TSH is a very good cook, I am very good at ordering in restaurants. No wonder we do so well together.

There is one area, however, where we are exactly the same and it causes us no manner of problems. House. Hold. Management. We generally like to hold off on anything to do with family administration and put it off for as long as we can. We are also both sentimentalists and hoarders. Those two energies combined, means trouble in the south of Stockholm.

As you well know, over a period of about 10 days, I have been unpacking our moving boxes that have been sitting in our basement for nearly one year. I wrote a blog post about procrastination, which I spent more time writing than actually tacking the issue I’d written about.

Busy busy.

I pulled everything out, box by box, then just left it there for about a week. Opened up a box, looked in, then closed it. Cursed. Tripped over/couldn’t sit anywhere. Repeat.

I did finally get my act together and boy, did I find some gold.

Putting things in context (and boxes).

In our defence, our decision to move to Sweden came up fast and the packing part of it was done under time pressure and general stress. I was working long hours but did what I could and TSH was left to pack down our house and ship it across the world, with a 2 and 4-yr-old ‘helping’ all the way.

We had dedicated piles of crap everywhere:

Things to come with us to our Xmas holiday house, but not to Sweden.

Things to come with us to our Xmas holiday house, and with us on the plane to Sweden.

Things back at home, but to come on the plane with us.

Things to be shipped.

Furniture to be sold.

Furniture to go to charity.

Furniture for my brother.

Plus many Xmas festivities and farewells thrown into the mix and 3 little people moving things from one pile to another pile…

Very. Important. Receipts.

The gold I found (which we paid real gold to ship over to Sweden)

  1. A box of receipts from March 2016 which I had once planned on entering into our ‘Family Home Budget’ app, to work out where our non-existant disposable income was going.
  2. A pile of unopened mail from Sweden (circa early 2016) which we paid to have delivered to Sydney. We never opened it, but decided to pay to have it shipped back to Sweden. Towards the end of 2017, it remains unopened but has ‘come home’ so we are happy about that.
  3. A Xmas ‘coupon book of free gifts’ I made for TSH in 2003, when I couldn’t speak Swedish and didn’t have a job*. It included a free lunch at the Thai restaurant where I was an illegal lunch-time dishwasher** and free lessons on how to speak Australian.
  4. Keys to our beloved Holden Commodore, a car we no longer own.

    In a side pocket of a toiletry bag, we found keys to a car we no longer own and which is situated on the other side of the world. We keep just the essentials!

So, as you can tell, the ying/yang, ying/ying ding-a-ling of our marriage is still coming up with gold…

P.S I have been helping put together a Zero Waste event in Stockholm, on Sunday night. Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home fame will be speaking about how to run a household that is efficient and does not cause waste. Both TSH and myself will be sitting in the front row, listening intently, not mentioning any of the above.

*Oh how times have changed.

**True story.

Got more time? Grab a tea and put your feet up…

Buying a house in Sweden, from a couch in Sydney.

Digital house hunting across the globe.

Moving to Sweden with a hoarder.

Joining the body corporate in a country where you only have a small grasp of the language spoken.


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