Next week, I’m going to need twice as many spoons. No, I’m not preparing for an ice cream social, just a crazy week full of too many obligations. If you have a chronic disease, and are familiar with spoon theory, you know what I mean. For the rest of you, spoons represent the energy and effort needed to get through normal everyday things, and just like your kitchen drawer, I wake up to a limited number everyday, that must then be used to dress, cook, eat, and do whatever chores and activities I need for the day. The big kicker? Some days, I wake up to find someone took ½ the spoons! Not cool! This means there will be things that won’t get done. Or, that I will have to borrow against tomorrow’s spoons to get through today, leaving me with less spoons for the next few days as I try to get back on track.
Looking at the schedule for next week, doctors appointments and graduation activities, on top of normal life, I can already tell, there is just no way I have enough spoons for that. So now what? What does one do when they know they are going to be in over their head but needs to take that plunge anyway? Look for floaties? Seems reasonable. Try to charter a boat? Even better. If the issue were water, how easy I cold solve it. Unfortunately, it is not so simple, the issue is energy and a mobile body, both quite limited resources in chronically ill me. So, gathering real floats and boats won’t help me, but some metaphorical ones, well, that just might work.
So, I am making a plan. A plan to conserve spoons and just keep swimming. A plan that includes throwing a few things overboard if I have to, doctors appointments can be rescheduled, graduation is coming, rather I am ready or not. And boy is that going to take a lot of spoons. My baby is graduating. Emotional much? If you know chronic disease, you know stress and other negative emotions, like the deep deep sadness of a baby about to leave the nest, can turn up the fires of chronic disease. So, I am going to be stressed, emotional, and have too much to do, see why I’ve been thinking so much about my spoon supply?
So, first, floaties, I wasn’t kidding, they will help. So what’s a floatie when you have chronic illness? Rest, exercise, nutritious food, and herbs that will reduce pain and inflammation. Being sure they are all included in my plan, will help increase that daily spoon supply. They will help me stay afloat, even if I am technically out of spoons.
Next up, preparation. Because, as a cousin of mine loves to say proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. It’s true, planning ahead for the way too busy times can be a massive help. Anything I can do to get ready for next week, this week, will save energy for the things I can’t do ahead. Laundry, housework, gathering things needed for graduation and the celebration of the amazing grad, grocery shopping, meal planning, all of those things are on the to do list for this week, so I don’t have to find time and energy for them later.
Naturally, with a big to do list and challenging week ahead, I’m going to need help. Learning to delegate, to allow people to help get things done, has been critical in my healing journey. Now that I know I don’t have to do it all to get it all done, I am much better at reaching out and asking for help. And my awesome tribe always comes through. As we gear up to celebrate the accomplishments of one of our own, I am certain to have all the help I could want or need.
Although I know it will definitely be a challenging week, with a little planning, prep, and assistance I am sure I can get through it. If all else fails, I’ve got a boat reserved for the party at the end of the week, you would probably call it a wheelchair, I see a way to stay afloat, even if I’m completely out of spoons.