150 Days of Winter… a 100 Day Project
I slept in late. Still tired. I stayed with my dreams and slumbered into the afternoon. It was good to sleep long, deep and uninterrupted. It was delicious. I don’t sleep like that anymore, so maybe I swam in the depths of sleep longer than I should’ve.
I got up and the sun abruptly set. It nose dived for the west. I couldn’t find a drop of energy in me to use for a short walk in the dark. Drained. I stared out at the deepest night beyond the window, 6:30 pm. My reflection glowered at me. Wasn’t it just few minutes before I was watching a silly Rough Grouse hanging upside down on a slender sapling branch, his ungainly body bobbing? Time passes funny in December, the dark month. Too fast and the nights are too long.
I have to remind myself (yet again) I don’t have to do this project perfectly, I need only do it and be gentle with myself on days I have less. Today was one of those days. I am not injured or sick. I am simply a woman in a low tide of energy, waiting for the moon to pull me back to high tide.
To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Yes. This is the lesson I need to teach myself. I do not have to show up 100% perfectly every day. I don’t know why my wiring demands “all or nothing.” What matters is I am showing up when two months ago I wasn’t. I kept losing the days as I fell into the flow of creativity, neglecting myself.
(I should’ve had this conversation with myself twenty years ago.)
What matters is I get up tomorrow and do better than I did today. Make my walk the priority for the day.
I wonder what it is like to be another person with the capacity for more tasks in a day. The spoon theory helped me understand why my capacity for tasks is limited. When I was 20 I thought of it as protecting my energy. I didn’t know I wasn’t making it up. I didn’t know I was using up so many resources on making it through a work day that when I tried to add exercise and social activities on top I found myself crashing. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, which was: I was living under crushing social anxiety and mild to moderate depression.
The theory outlines that individuals with chronic illnesses and pain [and mental health disorders] have a limited amount of physical and mental energy to get through each day. Spoons represent a person’s energy and capacity to complete tasks. As a person with chronic illness or pain, you have a limited number of daily spoons. Each task takes a certain amount of spoons. Showering and fixing a meal may use one spoon each. Grocery shopping and working take several more of the spoons. Taking care of your kids or cleaning may use another round of spoons.
Be gentle with yourself. You may not be starting your days with a full drawer of spoons. Sometimes I feel like I own exactly three spoons, I’m trying to get more through habit▪️