Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Spoon Theory

I had a pretty frustrating visit at the doctor last week. I’m naturally an optimistic person (my father insisted on it), but when it comes to doctors’ visits, the optimism doesn’t serve me well. Hope rises up in me each time that I go that something will click with the doctor during my visit that will help us find the key to “fixing” my fibromyalgia. Yet I usually end up in tears in the parking lot. I’m constantly in pain and the fact is that I can’t even remember what it’s like NOT to be in pain. I yearn for relief, to understand what’s going on with my body, and to feel strong again.

Every time I see a doctor, they always seem pretty confident and optimistic initially as well, but when my body doesn’t respond to treatment the way it should, you can tell that they get puzzled and frustrated too.

I’m learning to recognize the frustrated look on their faces. It’s not that they aren’t trying to help. It’s that we’re in a bit of uncharted territory. The things that should work, don’t, and one thing seems to negatively impact the other. It feels like my fibromyalgia is a complicated algebra problem with about 6 different variables that all affect each other.

So I’ve decided to adjust my strategy.

I’m going to give up the frustrating, disappointing optimism and embrace reality. Instead of constantly hoping and waiting for the day when we “figure this out”,  I will just accept things the way they are. It’s been almost 10 years since the onset of my fibromyalgia and no matter what, I can’t go back to how things were when I was 30. (I’d really like to take back any of the complaining I used to do and griping about my weight.)

Tonight I found this article on The Spoon Theory from a link on Living on a Dime. It gives a wonderful way of explaining to other people what it’s like to have a chronic illness. As I read it, it helped me to realize that even though I know I have a more limited amount of “spoons” now, I’ve been waiting for years to find all of my old lost spoons.

And sometimes it’s about as realistic to think that I’m going to find those old spoons as it is for me to think I’m going to find every sock we’ve ever lost in the dryer.  (Not likely!) Tonight was very liberating. The boys helped me go through our basket for wayward socks to find mates and this time instead of hanging on to the lone socks, we just threw them away.

Yep, I freed up space in my laundry room and now I’m ready to free up some space in my mind.  I’m going to be thankful for the spoons I have each day, take good care of them, and quit expecting to have as many spoons as I used to.

It may not be the most optimistic attitude, but I think it’s going to help me be more content. Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into a Negative Nelly. I’m just going to keep my focus on what is true (my current limitations) and what is right (God loves me and is with me in all of this).

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

How do you balance your optimism with reality? What are your tips for making it through the hard times?

Understanding Introverts

Most people who know me would classify me as an extrovert. As a general rule, I totally love fun with friends. However since God has a sense of humor and likes to teach us that the world isn’t all about us, He has blessed me with some wonderful introvert friends.

It’s taken me a while to be able to embrace their introvertedness. At first, their need to be alone sometimes felt like rejection and I wondered how I would ever really get to know someone who took so long to open up.

But I’ve learned a lot from my introvert friends. There’s definitely some wisdom in holding your cards a little closer to your chest than I naturally do. And I think their need to be alone has kind of rubbed off on me. I’m finding that I rather enjoy it as well.

I really enjoyed and thought of all of my introvert friends when I read Caring for Your Introvert.

Actually when I think back on it, I think I’ve always had some introvert tendencies, but that I just totally fought them in order to make others comfortable. (Hi, my name is Nancy and I’m a people-pleaser.) So, I’m very thankful for how God graciously placed introverts in my life before I even knew what I was supposed to be learning from them.

That’s my lesson learned on the farm for this season. How about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or a little of both?



Enjoying the Flowers

Remember the other day that I mentioned how much I’ve been enjoying my flowers?

Apparently I’m not the only one.

Meet Baby Cluck. She’s our resident backyard chicken diva.

The Chicken Diva

One of my buddies raised her in her backyard and her oldest son totally babied this chicken. She loves to follow you around the yard, be carried, and tucked into her own personal kennel each night. We’re actually hoping that she’ll eventually decide to join with the rest of our flock, but for now, she seems to prefer hanging out right by our back door with the kittens.

Speaking of which . . .

They like my flowers too.


The Kitten Diva

This is the kitten that will be going to live with the friend who gave us Baby Cluck. I think she looks a little like a diva too. I guess it will be a fair swap.

I just hope that my friend has some flowers for her to enjoy. She’s getting a little spoiled.


30 Days of Kid Crafts

A few weeks ago, Connie asked me if I had thought of doing some art since I’m not having a lot of success with words right now.  I have been thinking about the same thing lately, even though I’m not a real crafty kind of gal.

I haven’t gotten any projects started yet, but I’m thinking that I might try working on a small lap quilt.

Meanwhile though, I’ve been enjoying checking out all of the great craft ideas shared at Skip to My Lou’s Craft Camp. She’s compiled 30 days of 30 fun crafts for kids from 30 bloggers, and they look like a lot of fun.

I really like the string puzzle, string flower pots, glycerine soaps, embroidery (maybe making a quilt is overrated), pillow (I think my 9 year-old would like this one!), yo-yo balloons (ooh, another fun one), and smores on a stick.

OK, I just realized that a few of those are from her craft camp from last year, but wow, I just couldn’t stop myself from clicking through to other entries, and I thought some of you all would enjoy browsing her craft ideas too.

Prepare to be inspired!

(All except for you, Tia. I know how craft-challenged you are. Ha!)

P.S. – If you’re looking for some fun crafts to go along with read-alouds, Crafty Crow has a wonderful selection on her site!