No Zoning Out for Me

Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in “the zone”?


This is not something I experience very often, if ever.  I suppose the closest I come is when I’m reading a really good book that has me eager to turn the page. Or maybe when I’m sleeping so soundly that I’m not dreaming.  Takes me a while to come up through that fog if that’s where I am when the alarm goes off. 

Honestly, I’ve never understood people who say they were unaware of someone calling their name because they were so focused on what they were doing.  I don’t get how that works.  If I’m reading and someone starts talking, it’s going to interrupt my concentration, no matter how much I don’t want it to.

My Dearly Beloved is a TV talker. He feels compelled to make comment all through a program, and even the commercials. Yada yada. Irritates the fire out of me.  But if he’s absorbed in a task or he’s reading something, he will NOT hear me, no matter what. I could drop an anvil on his head and he’d brush it away like he would a fly or a mosquito.

I will never, ever understand it.

When I taught high school English and history, I would on rare ocassions show a video that had to do with the topic at hand. There were students whose mouths were connected by wifi to the remote control. The minute the video started, they started. Endless sotto voce comments, sometimes funny and sometimes stupid, but always disruptive.

One time, without turning off the video, I went and stood in front of the screen and started lecturing on the unit we were doing. Told them they’d better take notes, there would be a quiz. Just kept talking.

It drove them nuts. “Mrs. K, we can’t hear you! Are we supposed to be hearing  you or the video?  What are you doing?”

“Same thing you’re doing, duckies. Irritating, isn’t it?”

I taught a Bible study class of mature women.  There was one who simply couldn’t be quiet. She kept a running whisper-fest going, and others in the class were not pleased with her. I decided to let it go, see what would happen. She eventually stopped coming. I have no idea whether or not anyone spoke to her about her rudeness or if she just got tired of not having the floor.

I don’t like it when people whisper to me when I’m trying to listen to the preacher or teacher. I can’t split my brain into that many parts. I try not to be guilty of doing that, although I’m sure I have done it.

So whatever being “in the zone” is like, I don’t think I’ve been there.  I’m too easily distracted from the task at hand. No matter how hard I try, I can’t block out the world around me.

Maybe that comes from being a mom. Maybe it’s just not my gift.


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