February 21, 2010 - 9:47 PM
I heard this great story about spoons in class the other day and was hoping to send you all a link to the website so you could read it for yourself but the website is under construction and the story isn't accessible right now. I'll do by best to sum up the gist of the message but you should definitely check back for the full story.
Sometimes we struggle with things in life that are or aren't visible to others. This can look like sicknesses, disabilities, life struggles, or just stuff. We only have so much energy to put out towards the demands of a normal day. Some of us have a sufficient supply of energy and others of us have to plan our time and budget our energy even if that means not getting everything done we need or would like to. Sometimes this means missing out on activities we'd really like to do. This can be a hard truth but the truth remains that we only have so many spoons. . .
Spoons represent our energy and resources at the beginning of a day. Say you have 12 spoons to spend on a normal day. Getting up and getting ready for the day might take away a spoon. Getting your kids up for school and out the door might take another. It's only 8:00 am and you are already down two spoons. Plan your day wisely. Once your spoons are gone, they are gone. You cannot get more unless you take spoons from the next day, at which case you will start out the next day behind. If you want to have some fun in the evening, you'll have to pass on getting groceries. If you get groceries then you won't get to socialize. You have to decide and spend your spoons as best as you can.
Others may not understand. They may judge how you spend your spoons without truly understanding. So explain your situation to them. Hand them a bouquet of spoons and begin to take them away as you explain your situation. They might understand a little bit better. Maybe you do have an invisible illness or disadvantage in one way or another. Maybe life has you in a place where you only have 10 spoons when you would normally have 14. Maybe you feel like you need 20 spoons (all you students out there!) but you only have 12. We are no strangers to the difficult situations our limited number of spoons places us in. Starting out the day with an awareness of our spoons and our demands helps us balance our lives in the healthiest way possible given our unique situations.
I know for me thinking of my life in terms of spoons opens me up to give myself grace to not have to be so productive all of the time. I can only do what I can do and that's ok. It is better to only do what our spoons allow rather than taking out of tomorrow's, the next day's, week's, month's, or year's spoons. I really can get some of these things done tomorrow. This has been a good lesson for me regarding my life but also when looking at the lives of others and having compassion on them. They have their spoons to manage the same way I do. We all deserve a little grace.
This is spoon theory in a nut shell. Please check it out for yourself!