Category Archives: Married life

An easy life

‘You are living an easy life, aren’t you? You ain’t doing nothing!’

the old man said. I pass his house every day when I walk or run* with my dogs. When he and his dog are out in his front yard, I stop and talk, so my dogs get this beautiful rare chance to hang out with another dog that, albeit a bit cranky, doesn’t behave like an erratic maniac like many other dogs around here.

 
Most of what the old man says is difficult to hear, because his voice is like a soft, mumbling creek of linked words strayed with Aussie idioms, and garden noises in the surroundings zap out some of them too. However, I usually manage to pick up enough key words here and there to estimate what we’re talking about, and make friendly expressions and statements (one syllable is sufficient) every now and again to prove my participation in the conversation.

I like him, and I like listening to him.  He is a bit like my grand mother (R.I.P), and I enjoy seeing his joy about having someone to talk to, while my dogs have a great time relaxing in the grass and pestering their ‘friend’.

The above quote is one of the sentences that I did hear in full, and I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. Slightly insulted, I told him that I work as a research interviewer with variable hours, I ain’t ‘ain’t doing nothing’. ‘OK’, he said, and maybe something along the lines of ‘that sounds like a great job’.
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In the Zone

Would you like to come and see a movie? … or are you in the Zone?

said my husband. He came home from a long overseas trip this week, and it is fantastic to have him back. During the past month I almost forgot how fun and entertaining and interesting life can be with someone close to tease and tell ridiculous jokes and share far out pocket philosophies with on a daily basis.

However: when he asked about the movie I was deeply focussed on writing, and searched vigourously for a socially valid excuse I could use to hold on to my laptop. That’s when he added the ‘… or are you in the Zone?’ bit. Yes! I’m in the Zone! I can’t let go now … Thanks for understanding!

 

yellow sign with alien. Text: The Zone. Work in progress. Do not disturb!

 
‘The zone’ is then the newest word added to our household’s everyday vocabulary. The vocabulary contains fixed metaphors we use all the time to quickly point to key everyday states of mind (most are movie quotes). The Zone is an intuitive hit because that’s where we are most of the time, so it makes sense to check.

The Zone has laws, and the foremost is: don’t interrupt. It is not possible to leave the Zone in a rush. The Zone has its own time zone, and is painful and costly to shift the attention outwards when in the Zone. The Zone is a private Heaven that can not be visited by outsiders, but productions from the Zone can be exported to the real world.

The Zone isn’t necessarily incompatible with relationship, although it may be incompatible with some relationships. It is perfectly possible to be near each other and deeply immersed into separate mind bubbles of attention. Even though the interests are miles apart, and even though being in the Zone is in itself incompatible with socialising; respecting each others’ being in the Zone is the sweetest kind of love I know. It is a statement that says: ‘I see you and I know who you are. I see your strong sides and understand your needs.’
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