Yesterday evening I gave myself 40 minutes to get to the Excel training course, and nearly panicked when I ran into traffic even worse than what I’d been expecting. Luckily, it turned out to only be that backed up for about 3 intersections, and then thinned considerably, so that I ended up making the trip in just over 20 minutes.
It appeared there was a good chance that at age 38 I was the youngest person taking the course – and I was also one of the only ones that was pretty much a complete newbie to Excel. It was still specialized knowledge the last time I worked in an office, something people proudly placed on their resume to set themselves apart. Now it’s an expected skill.
By the end of the evening (our easiest and shortest night, wrapping up in just 2 hours instead of 3) I’d realized there was a really good and unexpected benefit to taking the training course instead of teaching myself through tutorials – being around the other students.
You see, I’ve noticed my cognitive functions slipping due to the chronic sleep deprivation and constant stress, and it’s been worrying me. What if I’d slipped so far it was noticeable and impacted my ability to perform a job?
It turns out – and this is going to sound egotistical but it is what it is – when I’m not at my peak I’m still pretty damn smart and still a very quick learner. I generally completed instructions so quickly that several times I was helping explain the instructions again for the person sitting next to me that was moving at a much slower pace.
After I returned home, I was talking to A and H about how comforting I’d found it to get a demonstration that my cognitive abilities should be good enough, still – and found myself quietly angry at the thought of what I could have been accomplishing over the last 16 years if I hadn’t been spending all my time sleep deprived and handling childcare and domestic chores.
Conservative Christianity doesn’t give a fuck about wasting a woman’s mind and potential.
To close on a positive note, Excel itself seems really interesting and useful and I can see why it’s pretty much ubiquitous in business these days. I’m looking forward to learning more, and also of having hours of time blocked out where I can be out of the house and actually doing something useful that furthers my goals.