Where Is My Mind?? On End Of Term Brain Fog

I feel like I’ve done a lot of stupid things lately. You know, how we all have days when our brain just isn’t functioning properly? You go upstairs to get something, then come back down empty handed? You tell people the same thing more than once? You go the shop to buy something and come out with something else entirely? This is all annoying stuff, but what it if gets worse? What if you forget people’s birthdays or special events? What if you make arrangements and then totally forget about them? You start to feel like you are losing your mind.

Last Saturday I had an event to go to. It was a bit of a weird one that came about due to a conversation via Twitter months ago. Another author tagged me in a Tweet from Waterstones asking if there were any YA authors in the Bournemouth area. I replied yes, someone took my email address, and that was that for a while. It later transpired that they wanted someone local to interview two YA authors (proper ones, with actual books in actual Waterstones.) I thought why the hell not? It will be an experience. These past few years I’ve been saying yes to a lot of stuff I once would have said no to, and the results have been quite fun. So I looked up the authors, did my research, purchased some books and put some questions together.

I sorted out childcare and turned up on Saturday afternoon fully prepared and intrigued. Only to be told it was the wrong day.

I wanted the floor to open up and pull me in.

I felt my face catch on fire, mumbled something about it being fine for me to come again tomorrow and hurried out of the shop.

I felt so pissed off with myself after that. I had been utterly convinced it was Saturday. But they were quite right. I checked all the emails later that night. 16th July. Sunday. How could I possibly have got it so wrong? Why on earth was I so convinced the 16th was a Saturday? Why did I not double check? What the hell is wrong with me?

headinhands

I really didn’t want to go back the next day, but I did. I didn’t see the shop girl I had blushed in front of the day before, so I decided to play it cool and pretend it never happened. The lady who organised the event introduced me to the authors, we all had a drink in the cafe and then I interviewed them while the organiser filmed us. Scary stuff, and totally new to me, but I did it. Plus, I’d developed a heavy cold overnight and was feeling terrible. I don’t think I want to watch it when it ends up on Twitter. But I did it.

That mistake was embarrassing, but there have been loads of instances like this lately and I think I have a good old fashioned case of ‘end of term brain fog’. I see the other mums in the morning on the school run, and I know from the brief snatches of conversation we get between shoving kids into school, that we are all running on empty, and counting the minutes down to the summer holiday.

Of course, entertaining kids for six weeks and juggling commitments brings its own anxieties, but at least there is less structure, less of a time scale to keep to. We can do stuff or we can laze about. We can book some busy days and we can have stay at home days. We don’t have to get up early or make lunch boxes or iron the school clothes. We can all take our time and just breathe…

Brain fog is horrible. Forgetting stuff and getting in a muddle is really frustrating, especially when you are trying so damn hard to look like you’ve got your shit together! All the mums I know work bloody hard. They all have jobs, many of them self-employed so they can work it around the kids, and they all do the bulk of the housework as well. They spend their days shaking kids out of bed, shovelling breakfast into them, dealing with fussiness and dragging feet, checking the time, finding the car keys, getting stuck in traffic, and all the time your mind is already on all the other things you’ve got to do that day…so much so that on some days you actually can’t wait for the day to be over.

These last few months have been pretty full on. I’ve been preparing The Tree Of Rebels for release (11th August!!!) and I was working for many weeks on a workshop I ran on living the Indie Life. (I ran this the weekend before last and managed NOT to screw anything up!!) I am also in the process of turning my Chasing Driftwood Writing Groupย into a Community Interest Company. This is taking up a lot of my time. And then have have been all the things I’ve said yes to…

Maybe I need a few months of slowing down…

Perhaps my brain is trying to tell me something. I’ve had so many ‘oh my god, what is wrong with me’ moments lately, I’ve genuinely started to worry if I’ve got some sort of early dementia.

Hopefully not. For now, I will blame it on that frazzled end-of-school-year feeling and look forward to a lovely six weeks with my kids!

Over to you! Do you suffer from brain fog? Is it worse at certain times of the year? Have you done anything really embarrassing lately? Do let me know and feel free to comment and share!

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10 thoughts on “Where Is My Mind?? On End Of Term Brain Fog

  1. This is how much I understand where you’re coming from. I read this last week (end of term week, post prom, mid end of year performance, general work chaos, virus) and thought ‘I must reply to that’ and then couldn’t find the time or energy. The most embarrassing thing I’ve done recently is sit on the edge of chair to have a discussion with new line manager, only to discover the hard way that the chair had wheels and didn’t want to be sat on, whereas the floor…

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  2. I know exactly what you mean. I don’t have kids but still suffer from brain fog. When Ive been teaching singing I’ve forgotten what scale I’m playing on the keyboard before now and I missed a main protagonist from the book I’m writing because I forgot about him. I realised in the end that he should be in that chapter, so had to re write it to put him in there!

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    1. Oh no Debbie! That sounds about right! Maybe it’s a writers thing too, you know. All those stories and characters in our heads constantly, there can’t be much room left for anything else?? ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. I know exactly how you feel, your brain just feels like squidgy toffee and doesn’t want to work properly, you need a holiday. I used to teach secondary school and by the end of term I could barely work out how to tie my own shoes. These days it’s slightly different with an early menopause and more recently an underactive thyroid the holidays don’t recharge me. With inspiration from my mother-in-law, I took to writing things down more and started bullet journaling. There are so many different things to juggle all the time it means that my mind was freed up from all the mundane tasks that need to be remembered and I can think a little clearer again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Hi Amanda, thank you for reading and commenting! Yes, squidgy toffee just about sums it up! I’ve been pretty daft the last few days too, so maybe it’s a permanent thing, or some kind of reaction to having too many stories in my brain! I’ve heard of bullet journaling but not looked into it. I write a weekly to do list to keep me on track, is it similar to doing that? Glad to hear it has helped you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. So familiar! And not even any kids to blame it on… I have lists everywhere, and a diary permanently open on my desk, so that I hopefully don’t forget anything. My recurring problem at the moment is actually that I have a friend who tries to only speak to me in French, and I therefore almost constantly get the wrong day or time for things.

    And yesterday she did it in English, and I still didn’t call her when I should have, because I got mixed up in my own language. Sigh.

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    1. I have a diary open on my desk too! I have my weekly to do list there and just tick off as I go along, as if I don’t write it down, it just won’t happen! I keep doing weird things too, like buying things I don’t need because I think I need them. Did the shopping yesterday and as i put it away realised I had three containers of mushrooms in the fridge! I keep doing with this potatoes too! Also keep forgetting to turn the oven off, which is slightly more worrying! Maybe this is a writers thing?? Too much going on in our brains to cope??

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      1. I think that must be it! We’ve got both the real world and our story world’s to deal with – you can’t expect us to remember EVERYTHING. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        (And I’m home alone for a while, but have somehow ended up with two punnets of tomatoes and two lots of lettuce, three jars of capers and no capsicum. Even though I have a shopping list…)

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