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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Expanding Spoons

The original Spoon Theory was created by Christine Miserandino to explain living with Lupus to her friends.  Since then, many people have picked up the metaphor and applied it not only to diseases, but to various disabilities as well.  I know many people in the Autism communities who use the metaphor as an expression.  I myself have attempted to merge Spoon Theory with my own metaphors of Batteries, and use the expressions in my regular life, with spoons being used more frequently than batteries 

Lately, I have found myself and my friends being creative with the metaphor. For example, "my spoons are too big for that", "my spoons are too small" and "I don't have the right type of spoon for that".

As my friends and I have discovered, people can have different size spoons and spoons that do different things.  Take a look around a kitchen.  There are measuring spoons, teaspoons, tablespoons, serving spoons, soup spoons, stirring spoons, salad spoons (okay, those are tongs, but they look rather like spoons to me).  There are spoons designed for certain tasks and certain uses, and there are general, all-purpose spoons. 

In the world of spoons, there is a great diversity that can be used to expand the use of Spoon Theory from being a metaphor to being an expression, a key wording to expain why someone is withdrawing or leaving ("I need to get more spoons") or as a short form for why someone cannot currently do something that they might have been able to do before ("I don't have that spoon right now"). 

Spoons are the tools, abilities to access and take our energy (batteries, as I've previously called it) to do things.  Sometimes I've had spoons that are totally not right for the task I'm supposed to do.  Sometimes I have spoons that can't access the energy I know I still have to do something.  Sometimes my spoons are too small for a job.  Sometimes they're too big.  Sometimes I can use what I've got to do things, even if it's not the right spoon, and sometimes I just can't.

My friends say that their spoons are too big if it's tough.  As in, it takes more energy-brain power-ability to do something.   If it's a small spoon job, then it's a pretty easy task, maybe one that can be done without thinking too hard about it.  We joke about each of us having different spoons as our "regular" spoons, some of us using teaspoons, while others use ladles. 

Sometimes I have too many spoons, sometimes I have too many and have left overs at the end of the day.  I wake up each morning never too many spoons I have, because sometimes I don't actually know, like they're hidden and only revealed to me throughout the day.  So I ration spoons carefully, because it might be one of those days where I'm in danger of coming up short in the end.  Because if there's anything that I've learned, it's that I can never totally forget that it costs me to be a part of the world, and that I always could use a few more spoons.

1 comment:

  1. Would rather people not go through the ad-site that link directs them to, and go straight to the about.com article instead. The article is from July 2011, following a request for autistic teens and adults to "share their stories".

    The direct link is here: http://autism.about.com/b/2011/07/31/introducing-ruth-an-adult-on-the-autism-spectrum.htm


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