I wonder if there’s a technical team anywhere who can help me with my malfunctioning mind. There have been so many times in the past few weeks (oh heck, months) when I think I think I’ve either felt or heard my brain short-circuit. I am struggling to perform routine tasks, formulate simple sentences or even carry a conversation without pausing for a few seconds to find the word that would normally be on the tip of my tongue, but is now actually buried in a messy, dusty cabinet in the inner crevices of my brain. This is quite troublesome considering that a considerable portion of my day job requires me to eloquently communicate with fellow, better-functioning human beings.
Here’s a run down of the my issues that require resolution:
- Boot-up is unbelievably slow. Normally requires several hours and use of hot, brown caffeinated liquid to get most apps to start working, but even then efficiency is questionable.
- Simple calculations / functions cause the display to freeze.
- Grammar and spell-check is faulty.
- Calendar items – notably important appointments and birthdays – disappear/are forgotten. Search of memory brings few or inaccurate results.
- Hardware showing significant signs of wear and tear, namely dark circles under eyes and dry skin. Joints and back support are starting to creak.
- Memory / recall is unreliable.
What’s with the poor performance? I’ve only been around for two-and-a-bit decades (ok, nearly three) but, come on, that’s only one third of the typical product lifespan, right?
Is it because I’m tired? I get to work exhausted and the first question people ask me is if my baby kept me up. I feel so ashamed because the answer is actually, “No. My son was angelic and slept through the night.” Why then, when my sleep is uninterrupted (albeit for fewer hours than what is recommended), am I feeling so zombie-like?
Is it because I’m busy? I have one kid. My siblings and friends have more kids (my mother had five!) and still manage to achieve so much more than I do in the same amount of hours every week. I feel horrible for feeling busy; it’s not like I’m out constantly or have ten million extra-curricular activities keeping me up or out of the house. My husband insists on keeping our social calendar simple (read: empty) so it’s not like we’re social butterflies. In fact, we are absent more often than present for a lot of friends’ celebratory milestones and I’m pretty sure I’ve been blacklisted from many an invite list for being a crap friend. Yet I always feel like I’m running out of time. Both at home and at work.
Is it because I don’t actually feel like I’m switching off… ever? I have really vivid dreams. Action-packed dreams that could fuel a fascinating book (or several C-grade screen-plays) and be awesome material for a psychologist (any takers? I’m open to free therapy sessions). My sub-conscience conjures up fantastic scenes instead of letting me enjoy deep, restful, peaceful sleep. For example, last night’s dream consisted of:
A global apocalypse which rendered all power and wireless network coverage redundant. Several of my family members and work mates were stuck in a large cave, with no access to food. The weather was going berserk outside: snow and storms and that sort of stuff. At one point the storm calmed and I even let my toddler play in the snow. A group of us left the cave to search for food and realised shortly after how crappy it is that we’ve become so reliant on our mobile phones because we’d forgotten to communicate contingency plans should we run into trouble. Eventually we found a small town that had power (i.e. a 24/7 Coles Express) and I had trouble picking a high-energy snack for my family because the only one available had sultanas in it and my husband doesn’t like sultanas. We made it back to the cave and one of the guys from work (my old boss, as a matter of fact) managed to start a fire and we shared one roast chicken between 40 people.
At that point I was awoken by a hurried kiss on my forehead from my husband. I stirred from my bizarre dream and realised it’s a work day, my alarm clock didn’t go off, and I’m already running one hour late. I got ready and sat in the car feeling utterly wretched while my darling, patient husband (who was already late thanks to my sleep-in) drove me to the station… and to add insult to injury I realised only after I’d been dropped off that my wallet was still sitting on my bedside table. The return trip to my wallet added another fifteen minutes to my one hour of lateness. Oops.
Why is my brain so active at night when I’m meant to be asleep, and fabulously useless during the day when I’m supposed to pull off being a stellar mother and half-competent editor/manager? I have embarrassed myself so many times thanks to my dud brain. For example:
- I recently sent an email to one of my Directors using the word “once” instead of “wants”. This is one example of several where I have failed miserably with my spelling/grammar, which is unbelievably humiliating when it is one’s job to spot/correct other people’s poor spelling/grammar.
- I Tweet stupid crap like this:
That random moment when Snoop Dog/Dr Dre’s “The Next Moment” plays in an open plan office… and it’s the ring tone on an IT Manager’s phone
— The Mama Minute (@themamaminute) November 5, 2013
In case you don’t know, that’s not actually the name of the song. It’s called The Next Edition (awesome riff in that song btw). What makes that Tweet even more embarrassing? This:
@Mej114 what’s even more damning is that a white, balding 40+ year old man has it as his ring tone but I can’t even get the song title right
— The Mama Minute (@themamaminute) November 5, 2013
- I forget attachments. Constantly. In emails to important people. At least Gmail is kind and tells me when I’ve mentioned the word “attached” in my email body and asks me if I forgot to attach something. Outlook is not so intuitive… and damn it that’s when it counts!
- I made my own kid face-plant twice yesterday: once when I was pulling off his jacket (I pulled a bit too hard… he wasn’t impressed) and the second time I got him over-excited during a game of hide and seek and he slipped on the carpet and smacked his forehead against the door. Talk about mother of the year.
I don’t think it’s particularly acceptable to keep operating like this, but I’m at a loss as to what to do.
I’d like to send my brain in for repair but I’m not sure where… and I’m pretty sure there’s no warranty and I don’t think I’ll be able to afford a replacement. But if there’s a magical tech wiz out there who knows what to do, please leave your details in the comments below.