Yes, it became very obvious very quickly that I had aimed a little high.
I persevered, though, and I'm now about 75% of the way through the book, and although I have probably only understood around 50% of what I've read, I'm enjoying it. Why? Because it makes any problems or worries I might have seem completely, utterly and entirely insignificant.
Take, for example, the big bang. It happened around ten or twenty thousand million years ago. Just think about that for a minute. Actually stop, read the words, think about them and try to get your head around them.
Ten or twenty thousand million years ago.
If you're anything like me you'll be struggling even to comprehend a number so humongously huge. It's just so astronomically big that it's difficult to understand. 'A Brief History of Time' is full of that: numbers and speeds and distances so ridiculously big that they're guaranteed to make your tiny little blip of an existence seem like just that: a tiny little blip.
Now, I'm not saying that your tiny little blip of an existence is pointless (that'd be pretty rude). No, I can guarantee you that you mean more than the world to at least one other person on this planet (and I can't think of anything less pointless than that), but what I am trying to say is that sometimes it's good to think about those stupidly big numbers and speeds and distances. In comparison, any concerns or problems seem kind of piddly.
Good old Douglas Adams said it best in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.
'Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.'