Most of my friends know the Spoons Theory: But you don't look sick
that is applied a lot to chronic pain. I think it is good way to get the real life info out to people who don't understand that kind of illness.
I do not have that kind of illness. But way back in collage, I give a passionate, colorful and energetic dissertation on what has become known as "Jars and Marbles" with my friends. At that time, I was applying it mainly to stryckie
's life and never thought it would apply to mine. Post-fire, post-cancer, post-college..... it seems more and more to apply to me. And honestly, I don't really like it.
The theory goes ... Each aspect of your life is a jar and your time is measured in marbles. Jars can be the things you have to do, like your job, or things you want to do, such as hang out with friends. But mainly, it is how you divide up your energy and focus. The metaphorical marbles are the actual hours or minutes in a day or week that you have to put in those jars.
I have learned that right now I can only handle about 5 jars a week. More than that and I am just overwhelmed and a feeling of anxious panic sits inside my stomach. I hate that I am suddenly limited when I used to be able to juggle many jars... the roughness and struggle of my last 6 years has really caught up with me and I just can't push to do that kind of shuffle any more. When something new comes up with its shiny new jar, such as having to take up a second job or dedicate more time to a new friendship, something else's jar needs to move out of the line-up. Sometime I can squeeze a sixth jar in and just slide marbles but usually this is too much for me to handle.
My current jars are: Kids, Partners, Job, Sleep and Pick-up Work.
Out of the 168 hours in the current week my breakdown is:
- Kids: 50 marbles (includes driving them to and from school)
- Partners: 17 marbles
- Job: 40 marbles
- Sleep: 42 marbles
- Pick-up work: 19 marbles
But next week is different since I have a work-gig that will take up 40 marbles instead of this week's 19.... and the following week will have no 2nd job but more time needs to be put on Job.
The thing is the marbles are finite. That is the key. I cannot make more hours in a day... and it just depends on how thin I want to spread them and what I can accomplish or handle in that day or week or month. I can't focus if I have to spread out so thin that I can't see what I am doing. Right now, hang out with friends or social obligations aren't on the list... neither is time for me just to read or see a movie.
Maybe I can add one more jar but where do I take away from?