Post 7: The Spoon Metaphor

I am out of spoons. I’m running low on spoons. We don’t have enough spoons to make it to that event…

Not very many people have heard of the spoon metaphor. It is commonly used by people with physical or mental disabilities to describe how much energy they have to complete tasks. Some tasks are more difficult than others.

I have seen a meme going around which substitutes “spell slots” for spoons as a reference to games such as D&D. I prefer that metaphor, but it is more complicated to explain quickly when people are already confused by my use of a random-seeming metaphor.

Everyone who uses the metaphor has their own perspective on what spoons mean for them. Personally, I enjoy using it with a fair amount of sass and comedy. Rather than saying “I used spoons to…” I prefer “So, I threw some spoons at…” which probably confuses people more, but it brings me joy.

I also like flexing my broken record skills by joking about real spoons (since they are my utensil of choice and often run out too soon).

Here’s a list of examples of things that cost me a significant amount of spoons:

  • Cleaning … literally anything
  • Personal care such as
    • showering
    • getting dressed
    • shaving
    • putting on makeup
  • Exercise
  • Work
  • School
  • Driving
  • Cooking
  • Socializing with strangers


Here’s a list of things that may cost no spoons, or very few spoons, or even help me regain spoons:

  • Petting a cat
  • Watching some kind of entertainment
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Using social media
  • Having friends over
  • Eating food
  • Drinking tea
  • Drinking water
  • Drinking hot cocoa
  • Drinking beer
  • Drinking wine
  • Drinking a milkshake
  • Drinking root beer
  • Drinki-

Guys, I think I have a drinking problem. Too many drinks. It is why I frequently have 2 to 3 drinks on my desk at any given time. I also have so many mugs that I have a media cabinet dedicated to them. And 3 sets of wine glasses. And several silly plastic cups and goblets. And a hanging shoe organizer full of loose-leaf tea. And an entire refrigerator dedicated to beverages.

I think I am having a break-through!!

I need to think this over with some tea!!!

… an entire pot of loose leaf cherry almond tea later …


Anyway, point being, spoons are a fun way to explain why you are unable to do a thing either mentally or physically without going into detail and reminding yourself of your specific unfortunate circumstances or throwing  way too much info at an unsuspecting recipient.

I am going to use this metaphor a lot to explain things, both on my Twitter and in my blog posts. So, I figure it would be good to do a post about it. And, if you are entirely new to the spoon metaphor, welcome to the exciting new spoony world!

Tweet me @PandoraCray!

One thought on “Post 7: The Spoon Metaphor

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