Challenge me…

Recently I’ve been concerned that my brain may actually be slowing down and that the lack of sleep may be seriously affecting my memory, problem solving skills and ability to think intelligently. In other words; I’m all fuzzy. We all know the short term effects of sleep deprivation; changes in mood and behaviour etc. What about those long term effects? Can sleep deprivation have a permanent effect on your brain? Surely not, as then every single parent out there would suffer from this “fuzziness” for the rest of their lives….Without delving in to- no doubt- numerous studies, for my own sanity I’ve told myself that no, sleep deprivation has no serious long term consequences, and that when my daughter can sleep through the night in her own room, my brain will return to normal (whatever that was…) and maybe I won’t feel so “fuzzy” all the time. (However I have heard from many mothers that the tiredness never really goes away…)

It’s not just the lack of sleep; it’s the absence of being intellectually challenged on a daily basis. This may sound rather naff but for around 15 years straight I was in school, then at university, and I’m now home nearly every day looking after the little one and my brain just isn’t being tested the way it used to be.( We can agree I’m being tested in other ways..) I’m just hoping this absence doesn’t “alter neural pathways” or have a huge impact on brain chemistry… I’m still nursing my daughter and have been assured that this “brain fuzziness” is normal due to the oxytocin.

So, just to check the “old grey matter” -quote cousin Steve- still works alright, and to keep it ticking over; I’ve decided that I’m going to try (try being the key word) and take my Maths A level next year. I did my A Levels (Textiles, Biology and Psychology) in 2011 and had it not been for a certain discouraging teacher, would have done Maths too. Thankfully, I have a retired maths teacher right under my roof. My Dad taught Maths for over 34 years so he’s got a little experience; I can only assume he’s up to the job. We’ve got one year and a lot to get through. We squeeze sessions in when my mum gets home from work and can look after the little one. (She’s a saint). Sometimes I wonder why I’m bothering. I’ve got my A Levels, I’ve got a place at university, why bother doing more? Well; doors. More qualifications= more doors to open.

If you could go back to school or college and do different subjects what would you study?  I’d love to study French, Spanish, History and English Literature. I do love languages. Isn’t Maths the only universal language?


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