Spooning

For people with chronic illnesses, or just limited energy levels, the Spoon Theory makes a lot of sense and helps us explain to those we love why some days we just can’t even.

Briefly the way Spoon Theory works is that you have a finite number of spoons each day, paying a spoon or two as you go for each activity. Some days may end with you needing more spoons than you have on the table, causing you to to borrow from tomorrow’s stash. So then tomorrow you start the day with fewer spoons, again paying as you go. Some days you may find you have only enough spoons to get out of bed and eat.

My goal has been to manage my spoons well so I don’t find myself in a deficit. Some days it can’t be helped, but the idea has been to spend, or not spend, my spoons as well as I can.

I have a hunch, though, that it isn’t beneficial for me to conserve spoons for tomorrow anymore. I suspect that when I go to bed with leftover spoons I don’t sleep well, which gives me too much time awake in the dark. Hello, anxiety.

For the past three weeks I’ve been experimenting with spending all my spoons every day. I am walking between 4 to 6 miles each day, as quickly as I can. I’m pushing myself, draining every last bit of energy each day. No spoons left behind.

It is my goal to drop into bed exhausted and sleep like a farmer. Assuming farmers sleep well. I am trusting that the new day will arrive with enough new spoons for me to do what needs to be done that day. “Give us this day our daily spoons…”

And guess what! Sometimes I have enough energy and sometimes I don’t!

But usually I do.

The worst that has happened so far is a low energy day (think tired from the bones out) and have to cancel my plans for the day. Or muddle through in a thick fog. It’s not the end of the world, and I know by the next day I’m likely to be up and running and using up spoons like a soup kitchen.

I’m sleeping great. I’m gaining muscle and overall feeling much better about all kinds of junk. Who doesn’t have junk? I have junk. And those fatigue days? Fewer and fewer, my friends.

Spoon Theory makes sense, and is a very good explanation to how our energy works. But I believe that for me, right now, conservation is not good – it leaves too much energy left for worry and fretting. The best use of my energy is to use up my energy, each and every day.

We’ll see! I reserve the right to be wrong. I’ll let you know.

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