I’ll take a spoonful of energy, please. How many times have you started your day by taking inventory of your spoons? The spoon theory describes mental and physical energy and helps us understand why we do or don’t do certain things. Basically, a spoon is a unit of energy.
2020 has been a spoon thief since early March. Unknowingly, it slipped in and took many things that we hold dear and sometimes take for granted—most of all, our sanity.
A Thief in the Night
Sleep is the time that we replenish our inventory of spoons. The spoon inventory may not have time to completely rebuild if you are sick, up and down with a small child, or so stressed you cannot shut your brain down.
Let’s assume your body is healthy with zero pain, you slept for a solid 8 hours, and your mind was without stress. You get to start your day with a full complement of 12 spoons.
You are wearing me slick!
In 2020 we found out what it would be like if the entire world was emotionally compromised at the very same time. COVID 19, a worldwide pandemic, seemed to pull out the very best in all of us. Love and support were felt across the globe. Well, for at least 30 days. But, after a few months, the hand holding stopped, the songs of love changed, and the scramble for spoons began.
Social media became the place nightmares are made of. Perfectly healthy, normal people could lose 12 spoons in one hour of social media viewing. People have lost family relationships and life long careers over posts and comments on social media.
Here are a few things that might take spoons.
- Making breakfast and then doing the dishes
- Paying bills (this can take all 12 of my spoons if I have to stop and write checks!)
- Doing laundry
- Making phone calls about bills
- Filing for unemployment
- Filling out paperwork
- Putting gas in the car
- Reading comments on social media
Looking for Spoons
Where do we go to find more spoons? There are a million different places that give away spoons, and it’s different for every individual. The most important tool is to recognize that you need more spoons and running low or running out.
Some places to locate spoons.
- Serving others
- Holding a pet
- Create a positive and comfortable work/ living space
- Plenty of solid sleep
Some spoons lie on the ground, and they need someone to pick them up and hand them to the person who dropped them. We might think the only way to give someone a spoon is to give them one of our own. The truth is, some people take your spoons without asking. You need to identify those people and put a stop to it. Here are a few ways to help people gather their own spoons.
- Make a phone call and listen.
- Gift them a book or something you love
- Tell them you love them.
- Text them
- Send them a handwritten note.
- Make cookies
When you do these things, do it with them in mind and love in your heart. Don’t think about what else you could/ or should be doing. When you add love to the action, it replenishes your spoons instead of taking them away.
Hanging on to Spoons
Sometimes it is much easier not to give up your spoons in the first place. Limit your interactions with people who are takers. Choose your friends from those who are loving, kind, and supportive. Identify the things that cause you to stress and limit how long and when you are in that situation. It seems that the pandemic has caused a chain reaction of events that have been thrown at us like poop to a fan. Many of you are dealing with a lack of funds, bills piling up, kids at home doing school, and paperwork out the wazoo. So, where do you get enough spoons to apply for a job?
Work Takes Spoons
If you have a companion, take turns handling the ugly. Do you know what I am talking about? The bills, the school, the internet that is not working, the broken water heater, or the phone calls. One person takes a day or even an hour where you can use your spoons to apply for a new job, create a new side hustle, or look for spoons for the entire family! If there is a big project at work coming up, prepare for it. You can save spoons for days in advance.
Create a Spoons Savings Account
There are several things I do NOT do every day, even though I desperately want to. I LOVE mowing the grass. I wait until the moment in the day that I know I have to get out of the house, and I need the extra spoons.
Ice cream! I could end every single day with a bowl, but I have to limit that as well. You know what things help you. Plan them out so that you can look forward to them.
Having something to look forward to ads a ton of spoons. In another life, traveling, family get-togethers, conventions, church, and social gatherings dotted our calendars. COVID has stolen that as well. In our house, we have changed our way of thinking. We now plan excitement. Game night, grocery store runs, take out, and even going to the convenience store for gas and soda pop. Amazon deliveries are high on the list. A new book, a new seasoning, or my new favorite, clear plastic organizing containers.
Here’s a small list of happy things to put on your calendar.
- Walks with friends
- New Books/ trips to the library
- New Recipe day for dinner
- Movie night with the family
- Screen Black Out Days
There’s a one-way spoon that is like hitting the jackpot or going bankrupt. Love! Giving or withholding unconditional love is like a roll of the dice. When someone is supposed to love you, and they don’t. It can rob you of all your physical and emotional energy. It isn’t easy to replace these spoons. Some people chase this their entire life.
The one way to help replace those spoons is to love those around you unconditionally. Once you begin to live your life-giving this kind of love, your spoons will multiple, and you will be rich in many ways.
Loading the Dishwasher
My take away from 2020 is STOP STEALING MY SPOONS! I see you! I will not let you take my hope. Friends, get out your calendar and schedule things that give your spoons back. Love those around you and remove the toxic. When all else fails, it’s ok to take the day off. “Stick a fork in me; I am done!”