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Out of Spoons

Hey there!

Long time, no blog, huh?

Truth be told, I’ve been in a little bit of a life slump over the last week and a half or so. I haven’t had the desire to do anything more than go to work, take care of LB, and then read. I have 0 extra energy and I can’t really seem to figure out why.

When I mentioned it to my therapist on Friday, and expressed to her that I was concerned that I might start falling into a depressive cycle, she replied simply with “you’re probably just out of spoons.”

Wait. What? I have plenty of spoons… I keep up with my dishes almost to a fault.

She laughed and then directed me towards the Spoon Theory. I’d heard the term ‘spoonie’ thrown around in a few of my planner groups but never really understood. After doing some digging into it via google, it makes a lot of sense.

If you don’t want to read that whole article that I’ve linked, the long-short of it is that we wake up everyday with a certain amount of “spoons.” Throughout the day, different tasks take our spoons away and once they are gone… that’s it. We need to figure out what will help us get our spoons back… for me it’s mostly reading in the quiet or spending time grazing Jake.

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This journey trying to juggle motherhood, fitness, work, school, etc. can get overwhelming. If you add in finally being open and honest about my mental struggles, you get an entire new journey of self discovery. One that I’ve just embarked on.

I’m incredibly introverted by nature; people seem to suck energy from me… even if I’m surrounded by people that I love and admire, who are helpful, kind, and motivating (and yes, this includes my own child). I just get tired. I thought that the way around this was to go to yoga (hello meditation) or a long run. Turns out those activities take more spoons than they replenish.

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While I absolutely love doing them, I need to learn how to balance everything out. I don’t have to throw myself into multiple classes a week because I think that that is what I’m supposed to do to get myself out of a slump. I can take a class when I have enough spoons to spare one. If I feel like I have to be outside, I don’t have to run. It’s okay to just take the dog for a walk up the hill and sit with my book for a while.

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There is so much pressure to get out and do things all the time. It’s not a healthy life if you don’t run every day. If you don’t work out, or go to yoga, or a fitness class. If you don’t have girls nights or be a wine drinking mom. We need to learn that it’s less healthy to push yourself to go do those things, if they throw all your spoons into the garbage and leave you anxious or exhausted. A really, truly healthy life (I’m learning) starts in your head.

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I need to teach myself that it’s okay to not feel like doing much more than getting the baby to bed, then curling up with a book. It’s okay to tell people that I don’t want to go to yoga this week or out for dinner. My self worth isn’t based on the amount of social interactions I have and pushing myself to have them is doing more harm than good. I need to rewrite my mental narrative and stop feeling guilty for not throwing myself into everything 110%… I can do a little bit of a lot. I can love something and not do it every single day. I can take time for myself to read and be in the quiet, because that’s who I am as a person. If I keep denying myself that, I’m never going to have enough spoons to get through a day and be able to use them to do the things that I enjoy doing!

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It’s certainly not going to be easy, learning to figure it all out, and it’s not going to happen overnight! I’ve lived 29 years of my life in survival mode and thinking that there was something wrong with me for not wanting to go out and do all of the things that my peers wanted to do. I’m sure that I’m not the only one out there either, which is why I’m sharing all of this so openly.. because maybe being so vocal about my struggles to find out who I am will help others figure out who they really are too.

Peace,

Cathleen

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