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A long time ago, or so I remember, my brain used to work and work well. I learned new things quickly without much trouble, and thought myself so awesome for having an agile mind (that I did nothing to earn or deserve). Well, the joke’s on me because that is no longer the case.

It’s not so much that my brain is broken. I’ve surprised myself lately by doing things I didn’t think I was capable of doing such as researching articles and responding to comments in a logical and polite way. Who knew I could be diplomatic and congenial all the while completely disagreeing with people? UNHEARD OF.

I’m talking more specifically about acquiring and applying new skills. It’s possible that I just have a mental block, but mostly, it’s because learning somewhat foreign skills requires time. In particular, larger chunks of uninterrupted time. So, unless it’s after the kids are asleep (and my brain is exhausted), I mostly have to learn in smaller increments. As a result, I barely get through a few new concepts and what do you know? Cookie Monster has discovered Mommy is not around and has gone searching and then has found me. Or Glow Worm wakes up from his nap. Or something. And since a lot of this stuff that I’m learning is technical jargon and stuff I haven’t fully integrated into my brain yet, all the new stuff I had just read (and re-read) goes POOF!

I know. I really should just disappear for half a day at the library or a coffee shop (how cliché), turn off the internet, and dive in. But since it’s mostly a side project and not urgent, I make excuses and tell myself I’d prefer to read or hang out with my friends in my limited spare time. After all, despite Hapa Papa traveling all the time for vacation work, he might also appreciate some downtime for himself. (BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh, who are we kidding? NO TIME FOR YOU, Hapa Papa!)

All this to say that I never thought I would long for large swathes of time to study and learn for my own enjoyment and edification. College is totally wasted on the young.