I promised we’d talk a bit about spoon theory this week—you can read about the original version on Christine Miserandino’s blog. She’s an award-winning writer, speaker and blogger who developed “spoon theory” at a diner when a good friend asked her what it’s like to live with Lupus.
Christine grabbed a bunch of spoons to illustrate that living with a chronic disease means that you have a limited amount of energy each day—in her original illustration this was represented by 12 spoons—and you have to make tough decisions about how to use it. Make breakfast, 1 spoon gone. Go to class across campus, that’s 3 spoons, grade 10 math tests, another spoon gone. Pretty soon you’re out of spoons.
I imagine you can see how this idea is connected to what I talked to you about last week—about the unreasonable demands we make on ourselves, which is like giving away spoons we don’t have to give. Christine Miserandino says that sometimes even someone with Lupus can “borrow” a spoon from the future. So it stands to reason that relatively healthy people can probably live with “spoon debt” for a while, maybe even years, but no one has an infinite amount of spoons.
Christine’s spoon theory pretty much has the spoons for the day arriving as you sleep, so you wake up with a certain number each morning (not a bad reminder of the importance of sleep!). But I was introduced to spoon theory through life coach Martha Beck’s October newsletter and she added a new idea to the concept—the idea that some activities can actually GIVE us spoons.
So if you want to give more than what you actually have to those kids you care so much about, or to your roommate, or to the Black Lives Matter movement, you would do well to figure out which activities might help you to multiply your spoons.
What the heck does that mean?