The Spoon Theory Using Slotted Spoons

I have this utensil drawer that goes through a makeover every so often. When I say makeover I mean once in a while I will throw something out. In this over stuffed drawer of culinary chaos lives a few slotted spoons. Most have slots, but there is one that just has holes for draining instead of slots…you get the idea.

Many people know about the “Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino. It was her way of explaining to her friend how much energy she has in a day by metaphorically comparing energy depletion to spoons. Christine has Lupus and it must be draining. She is the writer of the blog, “But You Don’t Look Sick”. When you get up in the morning you get a limited number of spoons and you don’t really know until you get up in the morning how many spoons will suddenly be yours for your day.

“Normal” people get a bunch of spoons to use up and ones with chronic disease and disability usually have less spoons to use. It varies on the person and on the day. I think that all of us would say there are days when you have given your last spoon and are pretty much cooked, the last straw is pulled, and you say, “I have no (spoons) left to give.” This usually is when you have been pushed mentally and emotionally until you just don’t care anymore for that day.

I am renaming that emotionally and mentally draining spoon metaphor, “The Slotted Spoon Theory”. This will do a few things. This will not take away the good idea that Christine Miserandino has for a comparison of chronic illness energy or diminish it’s significance. I have pains. I have pains that make me get out of the car way too slowly for where I think I should be. I walk with a little hitch as my feet hurt all of the time, my new knee hates me and my hips are starting to call it quits. My teeth are starting to bail yet I don’t have many of the physical limitations that some of my friends are starting to experience. Some of my friends have cancer, RA, heart disease, kidney disease, well…you know.

Some of my friends my age are running marathons and playing team sports on a regular basis. They are doing mud runs, flying behind motor boats, bicycling long tours and still bouncing along on snow machines. What I say to them is “Keep it up! You are doing great! Am I jealous? You bet, but I am not wishing you not to do it. I just wish I could do it or move more easily, because let’s face it I never did any of those things you are doing now when I was young. Just kiss that knee of yours and keep moving as long as you can.”

So, now to the slotted spoons. I get only a certain number of spoons delivered to myself upon waking up. I remind you that I don’t have those other things, but the aches I do have and the emotional baggage I drag around daily has me counting spoons. I have a very low amount of spoons delivered during winter months. The rest of the year I do believe that my spoons are slotted as the energy they do deliver does not even stay in them for very long. I have big slotted spoons too, the kind for serving big food.

My first job in the day takes lots of spoons. Just going to work takes up spoons because I have to psych myself up to begin, but this is nothing new. I have to have a pep talk with myself before most everything. Parties, shopping, dinner, phone calls, driving…I know. A little praying, a little “come on girl, you can do this”. People are pretty surprised that I am like this if I have told them as they think that I am a total extrovert. What I guess I am is an introverted extrovert and it is exhausting. It is like living between two magnets. I enjoy talking to people because I like people and am interested in their stories and lives and when I get to them it is great, but getting to them is the problem. Once I am there it is very good. If I listened to the ideas in my head of all the reasons that I should stay at home I wouldn’t have such lovely experiences. The spoons I get have a little rocket fuel in them to put me into orbit. I can’t make rocket fuel that I can drink so I leave that up to Jesus to leave in my spoons.

To stay in orbit I also try to make more spoons with Diet Dew and carbs. Those make terrible spoons. They sort of glow from the Dew and melt easily as they are mostly made of chocolate. Sleep doesn’t really make that many spoons. It is pretty much a spoon lottery. You get what you get and you don’t get to pick your favorite numbers in this lottery. Sometime I try to make spoons with walking with the dog, but then spend the spoons on aching feet.


That is why I think that my spoons are slotted. The energy drips right out of them. The spoons can’t carry all the anxiety, thoughts and whirling ideas, but I have discovered that one of the best ways to not lose spoons is to write this blog. That seems to help. Seeing my kids and my grandchildren gives me spoons. Talking to my friends gives me spoons.

If you see any spoons laying around give me a call.


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