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spoon theory  RSS feed

 
steward
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A good book could be "free spoons". And throughout the book could be all sorts of things that people can do to give other people spoons, but the person giving a spoon doesn't lose any spoons.

So if I tell you a joke or say something funny, you probably gain a spoon and I don't lose a spoon.

And if it is REALLY funny, you might gain three spoons, and I gain a spoon too.

Speaking of funny things ... this is horribly innapropriate, but I think it is actually quite topical. This is something that popped into my head when I was a young fella, but I never voiced it. And I've never heard of it discussed. And I have forgotten about it, but now it just popped back into my head.

I thought that if some guy is in a hospital, then the best therapy might be that a woman pops into the room and flashes a boob. Whatever it is that is making that guy sick - it might even be the cure. I suspect that if I were 17 and that happened to me I would probably gain a hundred spoons that day and another couple hundred spoons as I relived the moment in my head for the next several weeks. While this path is riddled with comedy, in all seriousness, I suspect that if a study were done, I think it might turn out to be incredibly powerful (especially for 17 year old boys). Although the flip side is that I think millions of 17 year old boys would feign illness to get "boob therapy".

If you will permit me to take a crazy thought down an even crazier path to further meet my humor needs: We would have to shut down internet porn so that "boob therapy" won't lose its efficacy. Women will have to not show their cleavage for the same reason. We would need to shift to an uber puritan society so the mighty healing power of the exposed breast can be optimized.

.... Sorry - here we were having a perfectly reasonable and serious conversation in a forum called "meaningless drivel" and I went off on a tangent.
 
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speaking of funny, the Holy Grail (which I can quote in it's entirety) provides many a spoon. I think laughter in general is a spoon generator. When I'm objective I can see the funny in things much more easily, even if I've had a shitty day.

I think the boob brigade should be youngish, once you get to be 40 (and had three kids - I am referring to myself) the old grey mare h'aint what she used to be....

 
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Spoons and boob therapy. I actually see how they are quite related; how easy it is to give others something (a kind word of support, a ride in a car to a stranger walking on the side of the road as rain begins to fall...or flash of a boob) that can often costs us nothing and yet does so much. What fascinates me is how that contrasts with how hard it is to generate that same positive moment for ourselves on our own. I suppose this falls into the circle of life theme. A can only do so much for A, but if A spends just a little effort helping B who helps C who helps D who helps A, it works so well for everyone and often feels like a million spoons when the circle is made.
 
pollinator
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I've been watching the development of this conversation for a while, and I'm really enjoying it, so I want to contribute to it as well!

The past two years and this summer has been rather hectic and stressful- taking AP classes, kicking butt in them, acing the exams, and getting ready for University. In short, I applied to twelve colleges to fish for the best opportunities and deals, took 11 AP exams in the course of two short years in high school, went on acne meds for six or seven months (one of their side effects was depression which had affected me more than I thought while I was on them), and over the past two or three months I have been getting my sleep cycle together from all the late nights that AP classes caused. And also over the past two or three months I have been trying to find ways to rebuild that deep reserve of "spoons" I had freshman and junior year. Then, I've also been working on laying out a general plan of action, in my head, for the future so that I have a general idea of what I want to do and how I might go about accomplishing these goals.

About one and a half-ish months ago, I got a part-time job at a grocery store- not the most intellectually challenging or well-paying job-- but a job nonetheless. I have come to find that I am starting to regain that same attitude and behaviors of mine from before that created a deep reserve of spoons within me and also dished out spoons to everyone around me. I have been receiving compliments from customers on how much they enjoy my cheerfulness and how it brightens their days! I have also been receiving compliments from my supervisors and managers that they really really appreciate the liveliness and sunshine that I bring into their store! As a result of pretending to be happy, at first, I have made other people happy which in turn makes me truly happy! (that's partly where the spoons come from- the time I spent as an actor before being a techie- I learned to be pull stuff out of thin air)

I am also doing things that I used to do before: being ironic, making odd noises, and just being open to anything and everything. I'm not entirely distracting, and I do turn the sunshine down when social situations dictate- as to avoid seeming highly uncivilized. Life is partly improvised and partly scripted, and with the improv part, the rule of "always reply, never deny, and justify!" is working out pretty well for me now!

*I forgot to mention how extremely helpful it is to take the time to care for yourself. That helped a lot with working on rebuilding my spoons!

**Also: Paul, your ideas are not that crazy! Other people share similar concepts. I have, as of late, been reading the Mr.MoneyMustache Blog, and his article on Outrageous Optimism is really similar to what I did freshmen and sophomore year of high school and started doing again lately at my job and at home which is making feel more comfortable and excited about the future!
 
pollinator
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I get that a boob flash would give many 17 yr old males many spoons...I'm just not so sure about the spoon levels of the women doing the boob flash....although, shutting down porn and raising necklines wouldn't be a bad outcome. Then, I guess providing the boobflash might be seen as a positive thing to do. Of course, I could just be taking it all far too seriously...LOL.

I find laughter a great way to increase spoons. America's Funniest Home Videos comes on TV here in NZ at 5pm and sometimes, (especially if it's been a spoon depleting day), I turn it on just for a good hardout laugh. I cover my eyes for the ones where people get hurt though. Really don't like those ones.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

I thought that if some guy is in a hospital, then the best therapy might be that a woman pops into the room and flashes a boob. Whatever it is that is making that guy sick - it might even be the cure. I suspect that if I were 17 and that happened to me I would probably gain a hundred spoons that day and another couple hundred spoons as I relived the moment in my head for the next several weeks. While this path is riddled with comedy, in all seriousness, I suspect that if a study were done, I think it might turn out to be incredibly powerful (especially for 17 year old boys). Although the flip side is that I think millions of 17 year old boys would feign illness to get "boob therapy".



Paul: Your comment made me think of my father's favorite song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEx9qDw2flY

Laughter definitely increases spoons. Being grateful increases spoons even more. Giving randomly or paying it forward as some call it, be able to smile, hugs (for some people), kisses from our loved ones, holding hands, eating healthy, going for a walk in a green spot and just enjoying the view, giving my ego a good talking to, cooking for some one else, teaching a child something new, petting an animal, and looking at the stars all increase my spoons. I've found this is a personal thing for everyone. In my religion, each of us has a jinn that is supposed to be our guardian. Each jinn likes certain things and I've found that giving my jinn a bit of what she wants increases my spoons a lot. Don't ignore the inner voice-- give it a way to express itself positively and watch your energy increase. Have a spoon filled day!
 
pioneer
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Thanks for sharing that, Amber. I've embedded it below.

 
Betty Lamb
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how many spoons do accidental boob flashes provide?
 
paul wheaton
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Betty Lamb wrote:how many spoons do accidental boob flashes provide?





I remember a day a long time ago .... maybe ten years ago. I was having a really terrible day. It was so bad, I left my home and went to see a friend. She was having a garage sale. She was really cool about hearing my problems. We had never dated, nor were we ever anything more than just friends. I hung out for about an hour. I was still feeling a lot of pain and was really frustrated. And then the wind caught her shirt and there was a nipple! It instantly washed away all of my pain. I didn't say anything to her about it. And I was really surprised that it did so much good for me. In fact, I felt a few flavors of weird: what sort of weirdo am I to have such pain washed away my seeing a nipple for less than a second?

To answer your question: I would guess about 60 to 100 spoons. Maybe another 100 to 160 remembering it later. But that's just me - and I might be a weirdo.

Here is a question to you: assuming you are a straight female, how many spoons would you get from something like that? And how many spoons would you get from an intentional flash?

My guess is that while it would probably be much less, it would still be quite a few. Maybe 5 and 20. Not from "hubba hubba" stuff, but more from the fun of it. And I think that if a woman does this, isn't she showing a sort of trust in you?


 
Betty Lamb
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If I saw a boob on a man? I would be horrified and probably loose all my reserve spoons, men just aren't supposed to have boobs. BUT a nice strong manly bicep all bulging and lifting a chainsaw, now... yeah lots of spoons - there were 4 lumberjacks over here yesterday chopping down a big (dead) tree and trimming other massive trees and it was like a 1000 spoon day. I like MANLY men doing heavey lifting - not in a gym - but up in a bucket hefting a massive chainsaw... you know, I have like 300 spoons just thinking about it. I passed on a few hundred spoons to my husband too.

Funny story, I have been the one to unconsciously flash major boob. I was in costco, (I'm hot - according to my husband and those times I stopped traffic) anyhoo, my infant son grabbed my shirt and yanked it off my boob while in the cart, I did not know this. I only realized I was al fresco when I see some guy walking towards me and his face was all like "yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaah" looking at my boob, I look down and there she is. For me, not really spoons, for him I'm guessing a lot like 200 - 800judging by his expression.

 
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Paul Great! oh hell yeah it helps. Love math. Love clarity. Sorry we had to stay home with the heat during the PDC, and that was -100 spoons missing your invite.

Family and friends on any given day (or situation) could be ++ spoons or -- spoons because we love them and want to help. The cheer-leading/inspiring among us can sometimes get the deer in the headlights look - spoon response. Insecurities on the part of others often road kills me as I lay out all the awesome ideas (they've asked me for) but can't see the vision. oh well

current number 200 spoons and growing. On this property w/Will doing Pc it stays around +70 spoons per day. Of course on some whacked days in Ritzville it could go negative but rebounds quickly.

Recent best times? Learning there is a thing such as Pc, mind blowing, 5000 + spoons. Implementing it even better.

Worst times? Ahhhh, 2010 - 2013 when the monster ate my lunch. Bankruptcy, loss of all my rentals and future investments. Bummer 10,000 - spoons. Crushing.

Stuff happens. Learning from it; massive reading, discussions, insights; society, energy, economics, history, anthropology, physics, systems, application. Black Belt. Another +2000 spoons.

Up hill climb for sure right now, so thanks for posting this. Hugely helpful.

I always try to send ++ spoons to Jocelyn & Cassie because it's obvious to me they work their asses off. Emails or airwaves I'm sending the positive your way.

cheers,
sheila
 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:So, if the average person has 50 spoons per day, I wish to speculate that in September of 2012, I think I had a superhero quantity of 700 spoons per day, plus I had 20,000 spoons in reserve. Sometime this spring, my reserve was gone and I had 11 spoons a day. I think I now get about 27 spoons a day and I have about 40 spoons in reserve. With a bit of care, I think in two months I will have 40 spoons a day and 200 in reserve.



Here it is two months later. And one of the things I looked into was how most guys have too much iron and that makes you feel perpetually exhausted. I have now donated blood twice and I think it has made a MASSIVE difference.

I think I am now functioning at about 200 spoons a day with about 800 in reserve. I'm getting lots of stuff done. I am feeling a lot like the old me. I'm not all the way back, but I feel like some of my superpowers are back.


 
Betty Lamb
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paul wheaton wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:So, if the average person has 50 spoons per day, I wish to speculate that in September of 2012, I think I had a superhero quantity of 700 spoons per day, plus I had 20,000 spoons in reserve. Sometime this spring, my reserve was gone and I had 11 spoons a day. I think I now get about 27 spoons a day and I have about 40 spoons in reserve. With a bit of care, I think in two months I will have 40 spoons a day and 200 in reserve.



Here it is two months later. And one of the things I looked into was how most guys have too much iron and that makes you feel perpetually exhausted. I have now donated blood twice and I think it has made a MASSIVE difference.

I think I am now functioning at about 200 spoons a day with about 800 in reserve. I'm getting lots of stuff done. I am feeling a lot like the old me. I'm not all the way back, but I feel like some of my superpowers are back.




Seriously? I always thought you could have too little iron not too much, I have been STRUGGLING with exhaustion, I need a nap every day around 10 am and I still feel like crap after. I call them involuntary coma's because I can not keep my eyes open and them when I sleep I am completely unconscious, the house could burn down and I wouldn't know it. I looked up the symptoms of too much iron and I have a lot of them, irregular heart beat, joint pain, chronic fatigue a couple more... all you did was give blood? You are probably one of the few people who actually understand the sheer amount of work it takes to run - well start up and then run a permie farm, I've been wanting to cut down on livestock so that I have less to do because I feel like I'm neglecting them (I'm not neglecting them but I FEEL like I am). I could just do so much better... I'm going to look into this too much iron thing and see how I do.

Love ya!
 
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this is awsome! some people make you lose spoons by being around them! i need more spoony people in my life
 
paul wheaton
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I always thought you could have too little iron not too much



all you did was give blood?



When you go to give blood, they will test your iron level. If your iron level is low, they won't let you donate.

But, yes, all I did was give blood.

Women tend to not have this problem because they are already losing blood once a month. And some women lose so much blood, that they are perpetually anemic. But it turns out that it is pretty normal for guys to accumulate too much iron and then all sorts of things start to get weird. Maybe the natural order is that older gentlemen need to have more sword fights.

 
Sue Rine
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Never heard of the too much iron thing...who knew! Glad to hear you're firing on all cylinders again.
 
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I had really high iron levels at one point (not sure now, maybe I still do). I was tested as I was matched for donating bone marrow with someone. Anyway, in the bone marrow extraction they took the equivalent of about 3.5 pints of blood in one go, which would put most people into the anaemia category but it just took me down to the low end of the "normal" range.

I was wiped out by the op for about a week, but after that felt pretty good for ages. Was it the blood, or was it all the spoons I got from doing the donation? The doctor called me up the day after I was released from hospital to check on me. I'd been for a couple of miles walk down to the pub for a pint and back... apparently I wasn't supposed to be out of bed for two more days, and she was amazed I hadn't needed an ambulance.
 
paul wheaton
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Normally, I don't care for non-profits as I have mentioned before. But when it comes to nonprofits, freecycles of missoula seems to be what nonprofits were originally designed for. They operate on a pittance of something like $600 per month. And yet a bunch of volunteers show up EVERY DAY to convert a mountain of broken bicycles into a free bicycle for anybody that wants one. So, you have "reuse" (of "reduce, reuse, recycle" fame), lovely people, an awesome bicycle town (missoula) and simple, beautiful idea. There is nobody hidden behind of a 501c3 getting rich on fundraisers.

And then their fundraiser is stuck for eight months.

And then .... cassie and I put some effort in to let the permies.com community know. And look at all that! Oodles of people putting funds into the pile complete with awesome notes. Look at all of those fun notes with donations on the site: https://www.gofundme.com/70sws0

It is fucking awesome being me.

It is fucking awesome to have JetPackers. It is fucking awesome to be able to bring awesome people to support an awesome cause.

I am not even doing this. I am merely a catalyst. I cannot express how happy this makes me. With so much ick in the world - this is utterly amazing. All I did was help connect awesome with awesome and made the world a much better place. And I am particularly grooving on the little notes with the donations.

I bring this up in the spoon thread because I feel like I am getting 500 spoons from this. I am having a hard time gripping the "why" but I think it is, in large part, such an open generosity.

 
Michael Cox
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I have run for a very long time at a serious spoons deficit. My job is all consuming in terms of hours and effort and, although we get good holidays, there is zero recharge time during the school term. For example this year I have worked out that I have two whole days between Sept 2015 and July 2016, aside from the school holidays, when I am not working. Yes that includes every Saturday and every Sunday bar the two Saturdays mentioned.

I think I probably started this job 10 years ago with zero spoons - I'd had a pretty tough time at Uni, and didn't come out of it on great form.

I spent most of the next ten years running a serious spoon deficit in term time and slowly recovering through the school holidays. I was so low on spoons that even normal holiday time didn't recharge me as much as it should have done. Most of the time I've been down in the serious negative spoon territory.

More recently, however, things have been getting better and I have been reflecting a bit on why:

Growing Up
I've decided I'm finally an adult (aged 34!), not because I am mature and responsible, but because I've realised my body clock has shifted. I'm no longer student able to stay up late, work until 3am and then catch up on sleep in a massive weekend crash. My body just doesn't work that way any more. I'm realising this about 4 years after the fact, and am only now really getting to grips with it.

Peak productive time is now 10am to 3pm, instead of 11pm to 3am! And if I schedule my work into that time I get about 5 times as much done, for the same spoon cost as doing it at another time of day. More over if I try and work in the late evenings I get 1/3rd as much done as if I had done it at another time outside of peak productivity hours. Realising this, and adjusting my work accordingly, has made a MASSIVE difference. It probably now costs me 20 spoons (out of 50) per day to stay on top of my marking and lesson prep, instead of about 60 spoon...simply by rescheduling! It isn't always possible to work then as life gets in the way. But I now know to aim for that time.

Systems
Now I'm not running at a permanent spoon deficit I've got more spoons to invest in systems that make life easier. For example if I spend 45 minutes preparing a worksheet for a class to take home for homework I have found that I probably save about 45 minutes in marking time later, simply because they all come in on the worksheet with the same layout. I'm not hunting for answers throughout exercise books, and I can tell if pupils have or have not done it really easily. I also no longer have to carry heavy books around. A pile of marking amounts to a 1cm thick stack of printer paper, compared to a pile of exercise books that cold easily be 1ft thick (multiply that by 3 sets worth, all to carry home and mark overnight!). I think these systems are spoon neutral in that the prep time is balanced by savings in marking time BUT the quality of what comes out at the end is also improved. 2 years ago, pre-adult body clock I could not have managed the system I am maintaining now.

Down time
I have recognised that I am unproductive in the evenings, so I don't even try to do school work then. I save that time for computer games, reading, forums, relaxing baths etc... I probably gain 5 to 10 spoons per night now, where it used to cost me 40 spoons per night trying to work at unproductive times.


Anyway, my take home message is pay attention to your body - figure out when in the day you are productive and leverage that time. If you get more done for fewer spoons cost it can make a huge impact to your overall spoon balance. For once at school I am simply feeling tired, and not totally bankrupt of spoons. I'm also more on top of my work commitments than ever before and getting more out of my students.
 
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great topic ... i start to like this "spoonology" ...

i few weeks ago i began writing an article (in german) which focusses on how to deal with multiple, needy people pulling at one. and how to find out the real priorities and your real calling.

a few days ago i stumbled upon this post by a somewhat famous author/teacher/preacher. i think Paul might somewhat relate to that even though the post is faith based. when one is seen as some kind of teacher, inspiration, source of wisdom etc. then people WILL start pulling on one. Kris even mentioned people following him to the toilet to talk to him over the bathroom stall ... trying to imagine that situation happening might result in some spoon-gain

http://krisvallotton.com/why-you-must-manage-your-life/
 
paul wheaton
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I wrote a lot more about the donating blood thing here.


Earlier in this thread I wrote:

I think I am now functioning at about 200 spoons a day with about 800 in reserve. I'm getting lots of stuff done. I am feeling a lot like the old me. I'm not all the way back, but I feel like some of my superpowers are back.



I think I am doing better still.

At the beginning of this thread, I said that I was down to 11 spoons per day last spring. Back then I would try to work about 50 hours per week and I got, maybe, 15 hours of work actually done.

When I started this thread I said I was at 27 spoons per day.

I said earlier that before buying this property I think I may have had 700 spoons per day. I would work more than 100 hours per week.

I'm going to guess that I am currently at about 350 spoons per day. I think I work about 70 hours per week. I'm still healing up a bit, but I am also getting a lot more done.

I donated blood again and I think that that bumped me up another 25% or so.


- - -

I have to say that I like "spoon theory" very much. For myself, before spoon theory, I would just try to roughly guage how much I would get done in a day and try to optimize that. Now I seem to have a tool where I can make much better estimates - so it helps me to optimize my optimizing. Further still, I have more vocabulary when talking to others.

Most of all - I have a strong sense of it being tactile. I feel I can guage spoons coming and going. And I can differentiate between getting more spoons for one day vs. raising my daily spoon count so I'll have more spoons in future days too.


- - -

Okay, now I wish to share some thoughts on how somebody reading this might be able to improve their daily spoon count. After all, I was once at 700 spoons per day and a normal person has 50. And, if you all are as bonkers about permaculture as I am, then it seems wise to get us all up to 700 spoons per day.


1) Eat less dairy. Raw dairy could be an exception. When I was about 21, I figured out that dairy was dragging me down. I will still eat dairy once in a while, but I know that it comes at a high price in productivity. If I go without dairy for several days, my productivity goes up by a factor of five. Imagine the super powers that come from getting five times more stuff done each day!

2) Stress. Everything everywhere seems to be tied to stress. This is a no brainer. All stress takes spoons. But a lot of stress will take from your daily spoon count too. I feel like by knowing about spoon theory, I can shut stuff off and just say "no". I'm not perfect at it, but I am better. The link from tobias is good:

If you set boundaries to manage your soul, many won’t like it. They will accuse you of being arrogant, uncaring, not spiritual, unloving, etc. They will tell you about the life of Jesus, who never turned away anyone – of course, He didn’t begin His public ministry until he was 30 and died at 33. He also had no wife or children to take care of – no soccer games to go to, no sleepless nights up caring for a crying babies, etc.

If you have a public platform, most people think you are obligated to carry out their will – pray for them at their convenience, take pictures until all you can see lights, hear every detail of their story while 40 other people wait in line behind them, follow you out to your car or talk to you over the bathroom stall. You are expected to answer every post, email, phone call, text, etc.



3) Get your B12 tested. This was my productivity problem from 2008. My doctor said "this is the lowest I have ever seen." It took several years, but it was a big help.

4) When I was 18 or 19, I would drink 3 pots of coffee a day. I have had a few years of zero coffee - those were unproductive years. I now allow myself one cup a day.

5) The blood donation stuff. I think it might also empty out other heavy metals. And heavy metals can eat your spoons.

6) drink lots of water.

7) floss. I don't know why, but if I am flossing, I get more done each day.

eat zero grain. This will generally improve my productivity by 20% to 25%.


So, there you have it. One guy's advice. It is probable that this is of no help to anybody, but in the hopes that somebody reading it can find some value - there it is.

And now it is your turn: has this spoon stuff helped you? What is your recipe for building your daily spoon count?


 
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I am by no means a master of spoons, but I have been blessed with a reletively solid 'baseline' for maintaining health and balance.A few things I have picked up.

At my house we have a basic meal of rice and veggies that we eat a certain number of days a week to stay feeling good. If there's ever a question, we just go with this. Nothing extreme with diet. How many minutes are wasted trying to decide what to eat? Just have a go to that's mild and healthy.

To keep or gain spoons I need alone time no matter my emotions.

Music: improvising is an important discipline exercise and meditation done for the spirit, not to produce anything tangible. It has been a daily practice for years now, and while it does take energy and focus to accomplish, the effort spent returns later when creativity and new mental patterns open up. To me it is like a bodily function. This could be many activities for others, as long as it takes deep focus, gives feedback, and inspires them.
For me this improves memory, ability to understand math, language, etc. I would possibly not even have a congruent life experience without this process.

I've found flossing is needed as well, I attribute its effectiveness to air being able to travel between the teeth, they need to breathe.

Another big one is stretching the muscles particularly the back and knees. Nightly lay on your back and let the bones separate out. If there are any injuries or wear than doing this will allow for healing. A big combo for me is standing on my head and the blood runs out of the legs and the back bones all scrunch together. Immediately I turn over and sit on my heels with the shins flat on the ground keeping the back totally straight, from there i lay on my back. It is fantastic for staying loose and in touch with your body. But takes practice to do safely.

spoon theory is helpful in quantifying inputs and outputs that range from subtle to imaginary. But in the end they effect everything about a person and what they can do
 
pollinator
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I avoid losing spoons by avoiding going to town. Town sucks spoons away like crazy.

 
Betty Lamb
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And now it is your turn: has this spoon stuff helped you? What is your recipe for building your daily spoon count?




The spoon stuff has totally helped me. I had been dragging and not completing things, so having another person talk about their experiences helps me to clarify where the stresses are coming in and it also gives me ideas to try that I hadn't thought of before.

I find that laughter is very important to keeping my spoon count (which is why the meaningless drivel section is my favourite on permies) I watch Black Adder and Fawlty Towers and stuff like that. Also if I have a partner to work with who is as interested in the work as I am, that adds hundreds of spoons. I avoid the spoon suckers who hate helping and do it under duress, because then it's no fun at all and why bother?

So: fun=spoons=I get more done=prettier yard=more spoons.

Another thing I have found is cultivating an objective mindset, this has helped ALOT, don't take things personally, don't judge people, avoid being resentful when I have been hurt, all of that is really dealing with stress, which in my life has been the biggest spoon sucker. On the physical side avoiding grains and sugars and night shades is what it takes for me to not be in pain physically, which is important because there is so much physical work involved. And lastly keeping an eye out for all things humorous, when I'm being objective it's much easier for me to see the funny in just about everything.

tally ho!

 
paul wheaton
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So I have just finished 7 days full of pain. I think I fluctuated between pain levels 3 and 8 may be touching this high is 8.5 at some point. I've tried to think about still in theory along the way, but most of the time there's just too much pain.

I had a really hard time getting to sleep. So my brain function is very slight right now.

As things get better, I hope, I will try to think more about spoon theory and how it applies.

I have found that audio books playing while I'm trying to sleep have been a big help. They tend to distract me from the pain. Especially really funny audio books. I've now listen to two different Christopher Moore books twice each. Sacrebleu. And lamb. There's also been another comedy book that I listen to that's been a big help.

One thing I didn't expect is that true however many spoons I might have the beginning of the day I lose more than half of them each time I need to poop. But I think that's because I feel most of the pain in my right arm and my right shoulder and I'm very right handed. & I need my right hand to do my paperwork. I tried doing my paperwork with my left hand and I just don't seem to be able to have the mental concentration to be able to work it out.

I suppose I should wait and write this until later to get the point across clearly. But instead I'm cheating and using my point my phone voice recognition stuff. Which makes for a really terrible writing style, but gets the general point through. But I don't think I can even turn on a computer right now. But I can spend about 15 minutes a day attempting to interact with my phone.

I hope this helps provide a little comedy and maybe a little help for folks that are suffering from chronic pain.
 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn has reminded me that the other book that I listen to twice was by David Sedaris something about owls and diabetes.

I think a book other than a really funny book probably isn't going to be is healing.
 
Betty Lamb
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why are you in pain? what did you do to your arm and shoulder? Inflammation? injury? looking up those books, spanks)
 
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Betty Lamb wrote:why are you in pain? what did you do to your arm and shoulder? Inflammation? injury? looking up those books, spanks)



Paul has cervical radiculopathy, find the story here
 
pollinator
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I won't go into why I feel like this (a t-shirt that reads "No more spoons: only knives left") at the moment, but I think many of us will be able to relate to it:

http://gargantua.storenvy.com/products/15392463-no-more-spoons-ladies

($5.00 from each purchase of No More Spoons shirts goes towards Lupus Ontario, out of respect and recognition of the original intent of spoon theory.)
 
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Cool stuff, Paul & Burra.  Awesome perspective. 

I'm renovating our kitchen and dining room and just cut a window between the two rooms (literally).  I'm sitting here feeling spoons just pouring through (figuratively).  I've been thinking about Permaculture design process a lot lately - and how it can be applied to living spaces, not just farms.  Sometimes making your living space more effective and natural is actually a great way to increase your daily spoons.  Permaculture Zone Analysis, Random Assembly, Sector Analysis and Highest Use are really useful tools for innovative designs that make you feel great.

[my winter project]


Burra always fills spoons for me every time we communicate.  And Paul, your website is the most awesome resource out there.  Detractors need to realize that Permaculture isn't just herb spirals and swales.  It's also community. This site puts Permaculture community at our fingertips.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Thank you!
 
pollinator
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This is fascinating.  I never heard of spoons before today, even though I am disabled and have 2 special needs kids.  How come I was never clued in?

I have been running chronically low on spoons for some time now, and my daily allotment seems to be getting lower each month.  It was recently suggested to me that it may be because I don't have a gall-bladder, I am not absorbing all the fat-soluable vitamins, and am becoming increasingly deficient.

I need to think about this... and how to improve on my spoon collection.  Thanks so much for putting this out there!
 
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I like the spoon imagery.  It's very homey and reminds me of the game 'spoons'.

One of the things I've noticed in myself and others around me is that most adults don't spend much time in the "NOW". 

If we aren't paying attention, we often miss the spoons offered by this moment we're in.  I have to keep reminding myself to quit thinking about what I'm going to do, or what I did and just experience the "MOMENT".  I'm usually up and out by about 5:20 in the morning.  My wife gets up a little later.  A couple of weeks ago she woke up early for some reason and rolled out of bed ahead of me.  When I got up I walked into the kitchen and found a big breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns and excellent toast (a major I Love You in my book).  I didn't get a chance to eat lunch that day at work, but it was ok, on the strength of that breakfast I was burning steady till I got home about 5:30 in the evening.  More importantly, I'm still running strong on the 'spoon refill' that act gave me.  The good moments won't last forever, and are sometimes scarce.  This is why we need to treasure them up as they come, replay them in our minds and save them for when life goes hard. 

A Sunshine Journal is a big help for some for recognizing and capturing these moments for later use, even if you can do it only intermittently.

A moment doesn't last very long, and I've found that I can take all kinds of pain, etc. for a moment. The real hardship comes when I project my current pain into the future and think something like "I can't stand this for the rest of the day" or maybe "this has been going on forever".  Stress does have a cumulative effect on the body, but I find most of it my stress can be released if I can force myself to relax and visualize the pain/problem flowing into me and then out of me like a stream without any stoppage or eddying.  I also try hard to avoid projecting my current discomfort into the future or past, using whatever mental tricks I need to.  That way I'm only dealing with the immediate NOW.  I try to put my mind on something else, either something positive or a way to fix the problem if it is fixable (if it can't be fixed I try to distract myself by either happy thought or needful work).  My mom has had cancer for a couple of decades now and she says she hurts all the time, until she comes to visit us and then she doesn't feel any pain for the entire visit (several days).  My theory is that by herself (just her and my dad at home, and he is often busy with some project) she focuses on the steady but low level pain in the absence of some other distraction and it gets bigger, but when around kids and grandkids, she is distracted and focuses on the now and forgets all about the pain and it disappears.

Everyone has their tricks to deal with stress or pain, and mine (focus on the good moments, treasure them up and replay them as needed, keeping from projecting the bad into the future, distract myself if it's one of those things that must just be endured) is probably pretty common and maybe not very brilliant, but I've found it works well for me.
 
Mick Fisch
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It was recently suggested to me that it may be because I don't have a gall-bladder, I am not absorbing all the fat-soluable vitamins, and am becoming increasingly deficient. 



Maureen,

My dad can't absorb B12 due to a problem with his gut (I guess it's only absorbed in one place in your gut and his is doesn't work).  When the problem was discovered over 20 years ago, the doctors said he hadn't been getting any B12 for at least 10 years and his levels were so low the next step was coma and death.  It made him go insane for a while (we had to have him committed for his own safety, took a few years for the family reprecussions to settle out from that) until they could identify the problem and get his levels up. 

Now my dad takes B12 shots he gives himself (or my mom gives him) and he's fine, maybe better than before.  He gets the shots by the gross.  If you can't absorb the vitamins at all, you need to look at shots.  If you can absorb, but inefficiently I guess you can just oversupply yourself with so much in your diet that you eventually get what you need.

Funny side note.  My mom got shingles pretty bad at one point and was hurting from it.  The doctor said there was nothing he could do, it would go away eventually (months, maybe a few years).  My dad got on the internet and saw that B12 was reputed to fix shingles.  Since he had the shots there at home, he gave her a shot and within a day the shingles cleared up and went away.

Your story brings something to mind.  My son-in-law is really sick (long term, can barely walk across a room).  It came on him a few years after he had his gall bladder removed.  I wonder if there is a connection?
 
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Have you ever had antimatter spoons?

Emotional overdraft.  Those days where you THINK you’ve been pushed to your limit, you’re breaking apart, things are way, way more than you can handle and all of a sudden, the other spoon drops.  Your friend tells you she has cancer.  Your partner (maybe the one you lost all your spoons to?) gets in an accident, or your neighbour has a house fire.  But somehow, in that moment, when you have exceeded 0 spoons and reached antimatter spoon territory, you realize that even being out of spoons… you still can give them.  Powerful antimatter spoons.

For sure being low on spoons is no good for you.  You’re using your chopsticks to take out the teabag, and drinking your cereal at this point.  You’d borrow a spoon, if anyone else had one to give.

But the resiliency of the place where the spoons are supposed to be lets us lend a spoon even when we’re plum out.

Where are the teaspoons?  Where’s that sundae spoon from the back of the drawer?  For the love of Pete, does anyone have a spork?!

So you take a spoon from the sunrise
And one from the birdsong
And one from your dumb dog
And one from the stranger that you bought bulk seed from, who smiled
And one because it didn’t frost on your seedlings last night

Spoons come from gratitude, and people who don’t have that will have a hard time getting any spoons at all.

Never underestimate the power of antimatter spoons, though.
 
Mick Fisch
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Norma,

There's a story about two twins, one and incurable optimist, the other an incurable pessimists.  The parents decided that this wasn't healthy and went to a psychologist and were advised to get the pessimist everything a kid could want for their upcoming birthday.  For the optimist, nothing but neathly wrapped box of horse manure (maybe to make the disappointment more crushing).  Well, when the day came the pessimist sat there and griped about the color or model of his gifts and was dissatisfied.  The optimist was running all over the property with a grin on his face, looking behind bushes, etc.  When they asked him what he was doing he smiled and said.  "You can't fool me.  With all this manure, there must be a pony!"

When my wife and I run into something really bad we use the story.  As the discouragement starts to build in the air and shoulders start to slump, one of us will comment.  "There must be a pony in here .... somewhere".  It cuts the stress and frees us deal.

When I run into antimatter spoons it's time to unpack the secret weapon of the desperate, graveyard humor!  Humor is the only thing we can rely on (other than a bone deep faith, if you have that) when the world just explodes on you.  The function of humor is situations like this is to rearrange our view of reality so that we can accept and deal with what is otherwise way too bad for us to accept and deal with.  When I was young and stupid I worked some occasionally dangerous jobs and sometimes my play wasn't much safer.  There were many times when a group of us found ourselves in situations that would have sent a safety inspector screaming into the night (just situations that suddenly degenerated and we realized there was a pretty good chance someone (or all of us) could end up badly hurt or dead but we were far enough in that the only way we could see out was forward).  Someone would make some stupid remark like "Well, I'm not going to do this again" or "When I get home I'm going to kill my recruiter" and we laughed.  It reduced the stress and let us deal with the problem at hand.  Kind of like the line in an old movie "Men, this is a suicide mission, but on the bright side, if we make it back alive, every man jack of us is looking at a promotion!!!".

I was reading that archaeologists translating norse graffiti all over europe (outside the norse areas) have found an amazing amount of graveyard humor, which makes sense to me.  Violent invasion of another country is the kind of thing that can and does get a guy killed.  The invaders had to deal with the stress and uncertainty of knowing death or maiming were fairly likely.  (I know they were the aggressors, but I suspect they saw it as their best hope out of a bad situation.  Most homesteaders went west because they were having a rough time where they were and hoped for a better situation by moving west).

Death is REAL enough that even grave yard humor can have trouble shrinking it to manageable size.  For that, in my opinion, you really need faith in something afterwards.  When confronted, you will find out how much you REALLY believe.

I got a kick out of the boob flash discussion at the front of  the thread.  A little kindness, playfullness, affection, just showing you are liked is a huge spoon provider.  Being naked monkeys, it helps even more if the spoon comes from a member of the opposite sex, and even more if said member is attractive.  The boob flash may be overkill.  Much less would still provide lots of spoons. 

I worked in an office once where it was all married male engineers and supervisors and female secretaries (mostly older and married).  We got a new secretary who was an instant hit.  She was reasonably attractive and in her mid thirties, but the big thing was she was friendly and pleasant to talk to.  Often there would be three or four engineers gathered around her desk, chatting.  After a bit a supervisor would come up and tell us this looked bad and we needed to get back to work.  When you looked back a few minutes later,the supervisor would be standing by her desk, talking to her.  I don't think I ever saw any real flirting from either the guys or her (although my wife has noted I'm not really good at identifying flirting).  One of my friends made an observation I think is true.  "She really knows guys!  We aren't after sex, (although we probably wouldn't refuse it, thank you very much, may I have another, Ma'am?) we are generally really happy just being around a gal who is seems to like us and is nice to us.  It may be stupid, but that's how we are, stupid naked monkeys can't fight our programming.

The comment on the increased effect if you don't see much female skin is very real.  I was stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska for a few years (Coast Guard in the mid 70's).  I don't drink, so I stayed out of the bars.  The single guy/gal ratio was terrible (for the guys).  Lots of loggers and fishermen coming into the area, not many women.  Because of the weather you really didn't see the female figure much at all (bulky woolen clothes, several layers, hoods worn outside due to the near constant rain).  After a couple of years I was transferred to Southern Cal and my first day there I went with another guy to Newport Beach in August to fix some equipment and saw way more skin than I had seen for a while.  I embarrased myself, staring and tripping as we carried test equipment through the crowd on the beach and out onto the breakwater to fix our transmitter out on the end of it.  Girls were laughing at me but I couldn't help it!  After being there a little while I acclimatized and a gal in bikini was not that big of a deal.  I really understand how someone coming from a muslim country would just go into shock when they see skimpily clad women.  (On the other hand, I couldn't help staring, but I kept my mouth shut and my hands to myself, so I don't have much sympathy for aggressive behavior).
 
Norma Guy
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"There must be a pony around here somewhere!"

Mick, I think I'm going to use that one from now on!
 
Tobias Ber
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hey... juts coming back from donating blood. havent done for 6-7 years.

the experience in germany is far more pleasant than what paul writes about. here the red cross will come to most villages or town-quarters every 2-3 months. so when you re allowed to donate blood again, they ll come back.

you get a card with your data, so processing is a lot easier. you get blood iron, temperature and blood pressure tested every time. every time you talk to a doctor there prior to donating blood. he ll sort out issues and decide on the spot if you re allowed to donate. if they find bad stuff in your blood later, they ll contact your normal doctor/physician.

you get decent free food afterwards.


atm i think that the theory of iron in your blood reducing your spoon-levels can t be true/complete/spot-on. hb levels for males need to be between 13,5 and (if i remember correctly) 17 gramm/100ml to be allowed to donate. this is a somewhat tight margin. i assume that the body will work hard to keep your blood iron in that range. so i assume that the body will store iron elsewhere or extract it elsewhere from the body. too high iron might be a bad thing if it is stored in the body in a way that is not healthy. but i don t think that excess iron will be stored in the blood.

i havent donated blood in 6-7 years and my blood iron was a bit lower than middle but ok. not too high. so i expect that the body will store excess iron somewhere. stored in a way that has negative side effects (low spoons) if these buffers run over.


but i feel deeply relaxed and slightly high. blood donations are a good thing, if these are ok for your body.

they even handed out a leaflet on what to eat to restore your iron levels.
you know, you re a permie when you read a leaflet like this and wonder where the stinging nettles are. at least they stated dandelions.
 
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This video helped explain, among other things, how being "in the zone" doesn't cost spoons, but being interrupted does.



Wishing I could send spoons to a couple people right now.

 
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