Cutlery

row of spoons
Photo © Nicki Mannix CC BY 2.0

There’s a wonderful metaphor that I’ve seen in use on the net for at least a couple of years now. I’ve been meaning to blog about it, but haven’t. Why haven’t I? Well, the answer is in some ways an illustration of the metaphor.

The Spoon Theory (by Christine Miserandino) explains what it is like to live with sickness or disability: spoons are a metaphor for energy. If you don’t have enough, there are things you can’t do. For those with a chronic illness or disability, spoons are in short supply—much, much shorter than a relatively healthy person would expect. (The article is excellent and shows very clearly how and why the assumptions of those not living with chronic illness or disability tend to be unrealistic, go read it.)

I am very lucky—I do not have chronic illness or disability. I have a lot of spoons to work with. But I am aging, which means that the body isn’t up to what it used to be—I’m losing spoons from my supply. That means I have to choose which items on my very long list of Things To Do get completed, and it’s never as many as I would like. Something (usually an optional activity, like blog posts) always gets left out.

I repeat, I’m very lucky. I am healthy and have the energy to do a LOT. But it can be frustrating, knowing that when I was younger I was able to do more (especially because mentally I still feel like I’m in my mid thirties, this seems SO unfair), and that my abilities will become more and more constrained.

Some days it seems like I just have the spoons when I used to have a whole cutlery drawer.

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4 thoughts on “Cutlery

  1. Thank you so much for blogging this. I have passed it along to another friend who has the same issues, it explains it beautifully. GG

    1. You’re welcome! When you know the metaphor it makes it so easy to understand when someone says, “I don’t have the spoons for ____ today.”

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