Discussing topical issues for women in cross-cultural and inter-continental relationships

(dis)connectedness story 1


Remember my recent post regarding my personal ethics when dealing with the differing expectations of my husband & I?

Well, today I had an epiphany.  I love epiphanies.  I like saying the word, it’s a bit like ‘lackadaisical’.  It rolls elegantly off the tongue and sounds mature and intelligent.  Well, my epiphany was this.  My husband has been away for four weeks now and I, especially for the past two weeks have been running around town like a chook without a head, except my head has remained on, and I’ve gotten through it all by doing what we women do. Multi-tasking as efficiently as possible through compartmentalisation, re-evaluation, checking-on-the-list-and-ticking-it-off-as-you-go-isation.  I have been run off my feet sorting and fixing and, whilst I have achieved it all, I am bloody exhausted and it ain’t over yet!

So it got me wondering.  Why am I not like this when my husband is around?  We share the load of housework and family duties but it is more than that.  He is a person who overthinks far more than me, I am insecure but I am an emotional creature who reacts according to her gut.  My husband thinks, sits down outside under the tree and thinks, lays on the couch with closed eyes and thinks, sits staring at the computer screen and thinks.  Day in, day out.  He is a Ghanaian man, an African man, raised in a large town, large family but with very traditional ways.  When you want to think you sit outside by the wall of the house, under the trees, and watch the children, ducks, pigs, chooks, dogs and goats around your feet.  The sun traverses across the sky and you contemplate as it does without ticking the seconds by.  You may take a decision in a week or so and may act on it in another few weeks or months, and then again you may not or you may recieve some advice from someone to do something different and so your contemplation must begin again. Hmmm….

When my husband is home I tend to relax and let him do the thinking.  Just his presence forces me to slow down my reactions and to think carefully about how I might word my thoughts or act upon them.  It means things take a lot longer, and I do think we could improve on that, but that is my Australian-self, that is the woman who grew up in a big city and went to a High School full of intelligent girls destined to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, high level white collar workers and mothers in their late 30’s.  My Ghanaian-self totally approves of the ‘under the tree’ style of thinking.  I aspire to it but find it so hard to do in Australia.

That’s what surprised me today.  What I find natural in Ghana I cannot do in Australia and what I do in Australia I cannot rush about and do in Ghana.  In Ghana I let things go and I don’t get upset if things don’t happen or go to plan.  I shrug and say ‘oh well, it’s all good.’  I can do it to a certain extent in Australia when my husband is home but when he is not old habits die hard.  I am that woman you see running from place to place to ensure all t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted and all lists are completely crossed off.

I’d like my two selves to talk more and find an equilibrium thats a little more consistent no matter where I am.

I’ll let you know how I go with this.


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