A Few More Spoons

Today feels a bit better than yesterday, which saw me make a grand total of 97 steps according to my phone. I’m still trying to get rid of head fog, but I’ve done the washing up, cooked lunch, hoovered the living room, and engaged with a few people online, at least in passing. I’ve even attempted, and will continue to attempt, to write. I’m currently editing through more short stories, aiming to bring them to around the 5000 word mark each as a starter. It feels like an iterative approach for these is helping, because I’ve actually completed the whole structure of them and can now flesh out and fill in gaps and leaps to even the pace.

So, today feels like I have a few more spoons.

One conversation I had yesterday pulled together a unified theory of cutlery that I’m sure some of you will have encountered as I’m pretty sure its not actually anything brand new. Spoon theory is about the parcelling out of personal energy to perform individual tasks across a day. These tasks can include social interactions, self care, household maintenance, and work. Fork theory is about the same thing, but is exclusively for helping other people – explaining how sometimes we have no problem at all helping other people with things while feeling unable to manage ourselves. Then there is Knife theory, which are spoons borrowed against the day to come to deal with emergencies, but which then lead you to eventually running out of energy and needing more time the next day to recover back to a normal (for you) operating level.

By that set of measurements, yesterday’s near collapse and today’s quietness is connected to low spoons and low knives, with a few forks rattling around from where I’ve been helping other people as well.

In the same breath, I can now confirm that within the DDC we are now referring to being unable to get out of bed as being trapped by mimics. Just roll with it…

Spoons Management

Yesterday wasn’t a fantastic day – one of being low in energy and mood, and it wasn’t helped by diabetes starting my day with an upset stomach that led to copious vomiting mid-morning. Still, at least when that was done I wasn’t as bloated and queasy and merely had a headache, lethargy, and a general feeling of worthlessness – so a reasonable trade-off I guess.

Part of the low energy and dip in self-esteem came from the enforced distancing and general ill health between us all. A big part of my love language is physical touch with those I’m close with – not necessarily intimately, but just the brush of hands or quick hugs or joking pokes in the ribs that cross the gaps between us and at least in my head remind and reassure of acceptance and comfort. So with Lady M having a bad fibromyalgia day and physical distance from myr s, it was a bad day to be having my brain throw a tantrum on that front.

Then there was just the part where I was physically tired as well as emotionally exhausted. I’ve been doing a lot between preparation for the D&D game, cleaning the house/decluttering, and generally being a supportive and positive person for everyone – and I just needed to collapse for a bit. Being typically introverted however, I’m generally not fantastic at communicating this coherently, which can lead to a bit of a spiral of my own making.

But that was yesterday – and today the sun is out, and we’ve spoken at appropriate distances with neighbours. They’ve all asked how we are doing now from when we’ve posted on local facebook groups about going into isolation. There’s been the affirmation that our experiences are not so different, and that generally people are choosing the positive view of how to deal with these weird times.

I have the game tonight, so I’me doing some minor tweaks and preparation for that, and I’ve started recording some odds and ends for a channel on our discord, telling stories. I’ve even written an experimental new beginning for the book and recorded that:

I think what I may start doing as I transcribe more of my short stories is also do recordings of them too as an ongoing process – partly to get practice in, but also to offer another form of accessibility to people who can’t read easily for whatever reason. It’s another creative form, and one that I hope people enjoy.

Change of Plans

I’ve woken up this morning with, in the words of Mre B, no spoons. 

This is a reference to the imagery of one’s mental reserves being a drawer full of spoons, and as you interact with people or perform tasks you hand those spoons out. When you are out of spoons, you need to rest and recharge.

A geekier version of that theory, now doing the rounds, is based on the magic system in Dungeons and Dragons, and talks of spell slots instead. The idea can be thought of as a straight substitution, or expanded, because in Dungeons & Dragons spell slots can be different levels denoting different complexities.

All this sounds lovely, and does appeal to the geek in me, but it’s far too much effort for daily life – and especially when in a position of having low energy or lacking the capacity to deal with people and situations.

So I’m sticking with spoons, and the lack of them, in my drawer.

Today, this has manifested in our choosing not to drive an eight hour round trip to discuss something relating to our plans for a renewal of vows in five year’s time. 

Instead we’ve slept in and stayed under the covers with the intention of doing very little this morning. The people we were going to meet will call us back about midday and so we can meet that plan with less spoon expenditure, and possibly even some fresh ones back in the drawer 

It’s also why this morning’s story was not a continuation of the steampunk extravaganza. More bits of that will come, but I needed a break for a moment. 

The whole thing will get edited and compiled into a longer piece once the fragments are on the table – and hopefully will help demonstrate some of my writing process for longer pieces.
Right, back to my cuppa and book – currently reading The Copper Promise by Jen Williams, and enjoying it immensely.