Spoon Theory

Today is Monday, but I’m not feeling very motivated. Here in Nashville, it’s rainy & windy, and despite the sun’s best efforts to shine through the rain, it feels gloomy to me. I just want to curl up under my blankets and watch Murder, She Wrote all day. But it’s the 4th of July, and I’ve already missed our friend’s annual lunchtime potluck.. I don’t really want to miss out on tonight’s family get together, too. Even us mega-introverts need human interaction sometimes! So I’ll peel myself out of bed and drive over as soon as this blog post is published.

In the chronic illness community, there’s this metaphor called the spoon theory, in which the author compares energy levels to spoons.. Each activity, even small ones like showering or making the bed, takes a certain amount of spoons. People with chronic illnesses have fewer spoons than people without chronic illness, and the amount of spoons we have to spend are different from day to day. I’m not really doing it justice; you can read more about it here. My point is that this idea really resonates with me and my experience. It can be frustrating to be full of energy one day, and the next it’s all I can do to complete the daily routine I’ve set in place for myself.

This week wasn’t necessarily an all-bad week, health-wise, but the spoon theory has been on my mind. Sometimes (like today), I have to make the choice to skip one thing, so I have a better chance of having the energy for another.

ANYWAY, enough rambling.

Last week’s goals:

1. Go outside every day: A
I’m getting good use out of our hammock! But it’s so hot that I’m not staying outside for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. I’m not tryna get sun damage over here.. just some fresh air & vitamin D.

2. Supplements: A-
Good news: I found a powder replacement for the pill that kept getting stuck sideways in my throat, YAY! I’ve been swallowing the rest of my pills without a problem, and drinking my magnesium drink with lunch. I did forget to take them yesterday, though.

3. Daily Chores: C
I have been lazy about the dishes. (I’m always lazy about the dishes, if unchecked)

4. Yoga Every Day: A-
I skipped two days, but those were at the beginning of the week. I feel like I’m getting back into the groove now!

This week’s goals:

1. Stay on track
I’d like to keep working on establishing my daily routine: supplements, healing foods, going outside, yoga, staying on top of chores. My energy is better than it was a week ago, but I’m still not back to “normal.” So these things still use up a good amount of my spoons.

2. Blog improvements
I still haven’t written a new About page. There are a couple other items on my blog improvement to-do list, and I’d like to cross those off this week.

3. #blimeycowphotoaday
Hosting this challenge and participating in it takes a not-insignificant amount of time for me each day. I don’t want to get burnt out and let things slide later, so this goal is just as much a motivator to do it as it is meant to remind me not to get too wrapped up in it.

6 thoughts on “Spoon Theory

  1. Just wanted to say thank you for this. As someone with long term health problems, the spoon theory that you shared was actually a very helpful way of articulating what life is like. I’ve never heard of it before so thank you for sharing. Incidentally, I made it to the beach for a short walk the other day and one of the cool things I found was a single spoon (weird right?!) so having read this now, I think I shall keep it to remind me always to keep a spare 🙂


  2. Yes, I know the spoon theory. It’s a good one. While I don’t have a chronic illness that is formally diagnosed, sometimes I find my supply of spoons is short due to chronic sleep issues or neck problems, or headaches. Sometimes, I just have to step back and realize I am not super mom and I can’t do it all.

    By the way, my daughter Sarah is really pumped about seeing you all in August!


  3. Thanks for sharing this, Kelli 🙂 I’d never heard of the Spoon Theory until now, and as someone who deals with social anxiety disorder, I think it can definitely apply to mental illness as well. I know I get frustrated that working a part time job often completely demolishes my energy levels, and I sometimes worry about how I’ll do when I’ll need to work full time. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Great job on your goals for last week!


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