Game of Spoons

Ever hear of Spoon Theory? It’s a way to explain how much energy you have and how it gets spent during the day, especially if you have some limiting physical or mental condition, first articulated by Christine Miserandino on But You Don’t Look Sick:

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

I say mental condition because it also works well for those of us on the autism spectrum. Miserandino used the analogy as a teaching device complete with actual spoons, but it’s always made me think of the narrative of board games (which can also be teaching devices!) and I get a very distinct visual in my mind’s eye:

A sketch of a board game with a board consisting of numbered blocks representing hours of the day and illustrations of events costing spoons. The text above says: "Start: each player (illustration of a game piece) rolls a die (illustration of a die) to find out how many spoons you get (illustration of spoons) up to six." Text at bottom says: "if you still have spoons at the end of the day, you win!"
by Annelies Kamran

Someday I’ll expand on the concept and actually make a board 🙂

Posted in