How Do I Restore My Spoons, You Ask?
Well, maybe you didn’t ask. However, this post has been burbling around in my head since Sunday’s gospel brunch, so I decided to share my thoughts.
If you’re not familiar with spoon theory and how it relates to chronic illness, check it out here. I’ll be using the analogy throughout this post. The upshot is that a spoon is like a unit of energy. When you live with a chronic illness, like I do with Hashimoto’s disease, it’s hard to know what doing a given thing will do. Sometimes you will be just fine, sometimes you’ll be wiped out completely, or sometimes, unexpectedly, you will get spoons back from the activity.
Friday night, I went out to dinner and a movie with my husband. I had a great time, but I had also had an extremely busy day at work. I was at such a deficit that I had to spend Saturday on the couch and cancel dinner plans with friends. I’d gone beyond my available spoons, so I needed to rest up and restore my energy.
Sunday was the gospel brunch … and I got spoons back because of the live music.
I am not making this up. Live music is something I’ve loved since I was a small child. That love is part of why I was in the music business for a while (reference my book, Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions if you want the good, the bad, and the ugly …). There was a time in my life when I went out to hear bands several times per week, be they local favorites, national, or international acts.
I even make it a point, whenever I travel, to try to hear local performers. That’s how I was blessed to see the late Preston Shannon in the months before his passing, as well as seeing Leroy Jones and the Preservation Hall Jazz Masters in the Hall itself.
You’ve probably noticed that music wends its way through my fiction as well. Not only do we see characters doing period dances, but listening to live performances, playing music either professionally or with family and friends, and more. It’s all because of my love of live performance.
I have found something to like in every genre of music except Chinese opera … which even its fans tell me is something of an acquired taste. I haven’t given up on it (yet).
I have tickets to some outstanding upcoming shows featuring favorite performers, which gives me something to look forward to on many levels — not the least of which is knowing that my energy is restored every time I see a live band perform.
How about you? What kind of activities give you energy in return for what you put out? Please feel free to answer in comments.