Are you suffering from Tired-Think? A quiz.

October 21, 2013 | 51 comments

The Tired-Think Quiz

For a friend who has been tired lately. Based on much personal experience.

1. List the five objects nearest to you in five seconds. How many did you refer to as “the thing”?

A. None! I named each item quickly and accurately.
B. 1 – 2
C. 3 – 4
D. I stared at the wall and drooled on myself instead of undertaking this challenge.

2. When you look at your to-do list, how does it make you feel?

A. I think of how great it will be to accomplish all these wonderful things!
B. A little overwhelming, but I’m up for it.
C. It might be time to roll over and die.
D. I ate my to-do list. I thought it was a cracker.

3. Go scan the headlines at your favorite news site. What is your impression of the state of the world?

A. There is both good and bad in the world, but I choose to focus on the good!
B. It’s depressing to see all the bad news, but important to remember that the news outlets focus on the negative.
C. My impression is that there are approximately five people left in the world who are not horrible human beings.
D. Everything is terrible and there is no hope for anyone.

4. Here’s a quick math problem for you: 16 – 9 = ___. How long did it take you to calculate the answer?

A. Less than a second.
B. I had to think about it, but I solved it pretty quickly.
C. Eight seconds. And I got it wrong.
D. What is math?

5. When you speak, how often do you lose your train of thought?

A. Never!
B. Occasionally, but only if discussing something complicated.
C. In the last conversation I had, I lost my train of thought seven times. We were talking about cheese.
D. What was the question again?

6. If you have had an altercation with others today, what was it about?

A. I’ve gotten along with everyone beautifully!
B. They did something serious that crossed a boundary.
C. When they said “good morning, ” I could tell by their tone of voice that they hated me.
D. They were breathing near me.

7. If you made your next cup of coffee and someone asked if they could have it, how would you respond?

A. I’d ask how much cream and sugar they’d like in it.
B. I’d offer to make another cup for them, after I finished mine.
C. I’d slam it like a shot and say, “TOO LATE, SUCKA!”
D. I’d pick them up with one hand and throw them through a wall.

8. If someone offered to take care of everything so that you could get a one-hour nap, what kind of compensation would be willing to give?

A. I don’t need a nap, thanks!
B. If I had a $10 bill in my wallet, I’d probably hand it over.
C. They could have my car.
D. I would threaten to stab them if they didn’t let me go get a nap immediately and worry about the compensation later.

9. How strong are your cravings for junk food?

A. Not strong at all! I choose to eat only healthful foods.
B. If a bag of Doritos were in front of me, I’d have a few.
C. Mmmmrrph. [Can’t respond because I just stuffed two donuts in my mouth.]
D. Can you repeat the question? I was busy fantasizing about jumping into a gigantic bag of sea salt and vinegar chips.

10. If you were to watch a video on Youtube, which subject matter would be most at your level?

A. I’ve always wanted to know more about the second law of thermodynamics. I’d love to see a clip about that!
B. Helpful home improvement segments, as long as they were short.
C. Cats trying to jump on things but missing.
D. Banana dance.

Give yourself 1 point for every A, 2 points for every B, 3 points for every C, and 4 points for every D. (If you’re too tired to do that math, just give yourself 50 points.)

If your total score was over 30, you are likely suffering from Tired-Think. Tired-Think is a severe condition whose symptoms include extreme coffee consumption, only being able to speak in a shouting voice, and perceiving that you have clairvoyant knowledge that everything will be terrible forever and ever and ever.

If you are suffering from Tired-Think, do not think about your problems. Do not make big decisions. Do not seek justice for perceived wrongs. Do not speak too much. Especially do not speak if your goal is to harangue the other person into admitting that your life is utterly hopeless.

Remember, your life is not that bad. The world is not that bad. Just hang in there, and this will pass. Do everything within your power to hook up a nice, long, uninterrupted nap. I promise that when you wake up, everything will seem much, much better.

. . .


  1. Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas

    I’d slam it like a shot and say, “TOO LATE, SUCKA!”

    Haha! This was great and I fully enjoyed it with my remaining brain cells that haven’t yet bit the dust from lack of sleep.

  2. Amy

    I think I could have gone my whole life without watching the Banana Dance! Fun post–especially now that I am not sleep deprived. (My youngest is now 2.)

  3. Cammie

    LOL! I couldn’t stop chuckling over #1 because we’ve had many a conversation here where my husband asks where something is (let’s say his keys) and I say. “Right there. On the thing. Why don’t you see them. They’re on the thing, next to the thing!” while he looks at me like I’m crazy and I honestly can’t think of the word “shelf” or “book”.

  4. Christine

    I would trade in our car for a nap, if I was caught at the wrong moment. Don’t tell my husband lol

  5. Kelly@

    I am really sorry to break this to the tired moms of small children, but there is a group of us called Tired Moms of teens and young adults. We are going through the Big Change at the same time as our pre-teens need a ride everywhere , all the time, and our young adults are going through college, work, and “finding themselves.” So, yeah. Everything is a “thing,” and every kid is, “hey you.” When one of them wants to run u and tell me the latest even that was just added to “our” calendar, I usually just keep my eyes glued to the computer screen, and say, “shhh! about to win this level of Candy Crush!”

  6. Holly

    Oddly appropriate to see this on a Monday morning!

  7. Julie

    I LOVE this. But I giggled my way through it, which probably means that I’m not all that tired at the moment. Though there have been days… there have been lots of those days…

  8. Tosha

    Lol! Thank you for the reminder that being tired colors your vision -“everything in the whole world sucks”.

    I have three boys. The youngest just turned one and his nickname may or may not be demon… I may or may not have started laugh/crying hysterically about how hard my life is in Costco after he screamed at me, threw the three year old’s hot dog on the ground and then tried to tip over the cup of ice cream as well. Despair may or may not be my predominate emotion lately…

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!

  9. Ashley Anderson

    Jen, I just laughed so hard through this whole thing. My twins are 4 and 1/2 months old. Right around 2 and 1/2 months after they were born I reached this level of fatigue that sucked me dry of any happiness. I remember washing my 3 year old one day and yelling across the house like a she hulk to my husband that “NO ONE…AND I MEAN NO ONE…UNDERSTANDS HOW TIRED I AM. NO ONE!!!” After surviving that experience, I’m now convinced sleep deprivation is a legitimate form of torture as well as a social experiment regarding otherwise impossible personality changes made possible by not sleeping more than 2 hours consecutively for weeks on end.

    • Tara S

      It’s all true!!!!

  10. Becky

    I’m sitting here looking at everyone’s comments that have been posted at 7 a.m!!! Anyone that can read through a post and answer these questions clearly does not suffer from tired-think. just reading the questions wore me out (forget the answers), so I think it’s safe to say that I failed the test miserably. 🙂

    • Caroline M.

      My thoughts exactly! At 7 am I was trying to yank myself out of bed to get ready for work. I was too tired to complain; that’s when you know it’s bad.

  11. Lynne

    Oh Jen, you poor, poor girl. Thank you for sharing those photos, although I know that when you have tired-think your personal pride ebbs low so it isn’t necessarily virtue that caused you to let us see you in that condition. I laughed the whole way through. I guess you aren’t too tired to be the wittiest mom in the whole entire United States this morning! The little Joe-clone is adorable. Enjoy the adorable-tired days, for both shall pass. <3

  12. mandamum

    Becky, if they’re checking in because they’ve been up since 4am with someone, they’re probably awake enough to read….

    Me, I’m here at 6am Pacific thanks to pregnancy/stress induced insomnia, which makes me cry on top of my sleep deprivation…. I couldn’t participate in #1 – too much effort, read on….but got the math right out of habit. LOL. College trained me to do math with little sleep.

  13. Lynne

    Little Joe looks utterly bright and fresh, by the way!

  14. Laura Ruiz

    I love it!
    I just gave myself 50 points!

  15. Cristina @ Filling my Prayer Closet

    I should just stop lying to myself. I tried to add up all the points and got the point to letter thing mixed up. I went to do it again and gave up.

    I’m going to slam a shot of coffee right now SUCKAS!

    This was great!


  16. Paige Kellerman

    Now that the baby’s a year old, I’m just starting to move out of Tired Think mode. But that doesn’t mean the twins don’t get me up to take them to the bathroom at 2am, so, yes, I will throw someone through a wall, if they ask for my coffee.

  17. Elizabethe

    Love the pictures. LOVE them.

    When tiredness meets mild agoraphobia and extreme introversion: I’m yelling at my kids who had once again made a scene in a public place “don’t you understand! Your job is to make sure NOBODY SEES YOU! Ever!” I actually said those words.

    Just the thought of meeting somebody’s eyes wears me out. I slink through places trying to communicate mentally “Please stop looking at me! I knows my kids are hitting each other and using the shopping cart as gym equipment, just ignore me and I’ll be able to get out of here alive and go back to my cave where I belong!”

  18. Amelia

    Thank you. You are awesome.

  19. Tammy

    My sleep schedule likely isn’t as brutal as many here but I’m a widow with 3 kids and the other day I had a good but long day at work and later posted on FB that if someone told me that one of my kids cut off someone head with a butter knife, I would suggest they call back the next day.

    I used to work 2 12 hr nightshifts a week in a Neonatal ICU and go 24 hrs plus with no sleep to be a “good mom” to my now adult(ish) kids that was really hard. I hope in ever have to do that ever again.

  20. Kelly

    yes. see also: whenever anyone asks you how you are doing you can only respond “tired!” and go into a story about your baby getting up every 1.5 hours all night long.

    I thought by the fourth kid I would have this sleep thing figured out?

  21. LeAnna

    Hmm, I think you just described my past week. But at least it reminds me that I’m just tired and that is probably why my anxiety problem is spiraling out of control. That, and I actually got to sleep in today thanks to my husband’s insomnia 😉

  22. Amanda

    Thanks for reminding me that I really need some chips…

  23. Margaret in MN

    If I weren’t suffering from tired-think, I would throw my cup of coffee at you for making me watch that banana song. Except I don’t throw my coffee. Ever.

  24. Alison

    C. I’d slam it like a shot and say, “TOO LATE, SUCKA!”

    bahahahaha! yes, definitely that one 🙂

  25. Donella

    I suffered from this condition quite a bit when my son was an infant. Sleeping only an hour at a time is no joke! I didn’t even feel like myself for the first few months until he started sleeping in three hour spurts.

  26. Natalie

    You look tired, but your baby is adorable and he looks so fat and happy!

  27. Caroline M.

    I don’t even have a kid (ducks) and this is right-on. The problem is that I have a job, and I think they want me to be conscious. Drooling is also looked down upon.

  28. Tori

    I’m somewhere between making my husband a cup of coffee (as long as I’m already making my own, ha) and watching videos of cats trying to jump on things but missing. The doritos are in the pantry – too far away.

  29. Kari


    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. You do the most amazing job of communicating that children ARE a wonderful blessing but raising them is exhausting and chaotic and can lead to bouts of insanity.

    I actually wrote a book about life with a houseful of little ones that I think you could relate to. It received a positive review in Catholic Digest back in February. If you are interested [and ever have to time to read for pleasure ;)] I’d love to send you a copy for free.

    Just let me know!

  30. Heather

    Wait. What day is it? Where am I? lol

  31. Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker

    I found it hard to concentrate on this post because of how distracted I was by the nagging thought that maybe 9:53pm isn’t in fact too late to go through the McD’s drive through for a ChocNut Sundae….

  32. Smoochagator

    I LOLed all the way through this. Awesome.

  33. Marcy K.

    You know, you could make quite a bit of money by renting out 10 minute snuggles with that adorable baby! Look at those cheeks! Truly gorgeous.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      That’s what business people call a “win-win” proposition. Definitely starting that! 🙂

  34. lisa a

    banana dance. why?

  35. Amy Caroline

    Phew! 29, just under the radar.

    The Banana Dance was wrong, btw. Wrong, wrong, sick and wrong. 😉

  36. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I just ate a donut for breakfast and then another one for lunch. What were we talking about? I could use a nap.

  37. Jamie

    LMBO!!! I just thoroughly embarrassed myself laughing out loud to this on my lunch break. Ha ha ha ha


  38. Laurie Parks

    This made me cry. I am not pregnant. Tired-think?

  39. Andrea C

    This is so funny and so great that i can’t believe one person wrote it just on a normal day. My husband and i were laughing so hard i could hardly read him the rest because we identified with it so extremely. thank you SO much for a great laugh and timely advice there at the end 🙂

  40. Jennifer G.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You just made me feel a little less crazy. I luv u. Please dont ask my score.

  41. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    …my baby is four….but I still didn’t score very well- anyone have a super-vitamin they would like to recommend?

  42. Carolyn @4Life4Life

    First of all, I’d shoot eye daggers at the person asking to drink my precious coffee-gold.
    And secondly, I knew I was tired-think when I woke up dreaming about donuts. Like DOUGHNUTS woke me up in salivation.

  43. Tara S

    The exact middle of the Tired-Think spectrum is where the answer to every question is to go back up to the four pictures at the top and say: “BEHBEH!”

  44. carrien - she laughs at the days

    I laughed out loud all the way through this while my husband stared at me with raised eyebrows. It’s laughter punctuated by tears because I’m all to close to chornic tired think most days.

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