It’s been a busy couple of weeks. So much so that I haven’t had time or I’ve forgotten to write. But I’m back now! And today I want to talk about spoons.
Yes you read that correctly. Spoons are important. The Spoon Theory is a pretty common one in the circles of illness and disability. You can read the original here, but I will do my best to explain it for you.
The Spoon Theory works like this: you have a limited amount of spoons each day (the original example was 12, but I believe it varies from person to person). Every activity costs you some amount of spoons. Getting out of bed may cost you one spoon. Driving to work might be three spoons and so on. You do not get to refresh your spoons before the day is over. You might run out of spoons by 2 pm. You might have fewer spoons the next day.
Now that you know about it, it makes sense to tell you that two weeks ago, I was completely out of spoons. I just had no energy and thoughts left to write any kind of coherent blog post. And last week, my spoons were being occupied for other things, and therefore I couldn’t use them to write my blog.
The Spoon Theory has helped so much in my own life. Before I discovered it, I would try to force myself to get things done. It usually left me frustrated, empty, and angry because I was doing too much to myself. Instead of feeling good about completing a task, I would feel more exhausted and drained.
But now that I know about the theory, it has helped me so much. I can recognize when I’m out of spoons– or at least low on spoons– instead of pushing myself farther. And while some people may see that as an excuse, you don’t have to get everything done in one day. For me, laundry is a 4 spoon task: one spoon to wash, one spoon to dry, and 2 spoons to fold and put away. So sometimes that means that laundry waits until I have the spoons for it.
In addition, work has been extra demanding on my spoons lately. It’s no secret that I work in a district that has its fair share of problems, and it’s taking a toll on all of the staff members. Life has also just been busy, and that also adds to my stress and limits the amount of spoons I have each day. I’ve lived in my house for about a month, and I just yesterday got around to fixing a shelf on a shelving unit and putting up my movies. This was a task that took me a max of 15 minutes. But I just haven’t had the spoons for it.
Spoons help things (at least for me) make sense. I can understand my limits and know that not everything has to be done every day. No one is a superhero. And I’ve also taken small steps to help things get easier. Keeping my closet color-coordinated shows me exactly where the hangers should be (I should only have ones missing from the colors of shirts I wore), and makes laundry a little less painful, sometimes even eliminating a spoon entirely (making it a 3-spoon task). I also do my best to keep my room clean by using a singular spoon to put small things away as opposed to using a lot of spoons to clean the whole thing all at once. Even simple things like that help a ton with the amount of spoons I have in a day.
I hope with this post especially, you might realize something about yourself that you didn’t know before. Maybe the Spoon Theory will help you just like it helps me. I’m only authorized to tell my own story, but I want to do what I can to make the world a better place regardless. So especially as we enter the holiday season, be mindful of yourself and the amount of spoons you have. Overextending yourself and drawing more spoons than you have only exhausts you further. Take care of yourself and understand your spoon limits.