The Spoon Theory

As the holidays approach and the busiest season of the year for my business, I need to be reminded of this theory.  I’m one of those who run at 200% on good days and then collapse into exhaustion.  There are a lot of us who do this BUT for those with chronic diseases it takes on a whole new meaning.

I push on the weekends for events and home parties with a goal of taking is slow during the week.  Okay, so it doesn’t happen often.  The aches generally turn into not sleeping, exhaustion, tingling in my arms and legs along with the ever changing mood swings.   Then when scrolling through some things, I came across this post I did about a year ago and thought…”this is definitely a good one to reblog”..

The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino was used to describe her battle with Lupus to a friend.  It is a great way to explain those silent diseases. You know, the ones where we don’t look sick.

My days go 50/50.  Some are great while there are days when I struggle.  I walk a little slower.   But don’t most people creeping towards 60.  Breathing issues come with weight gain but really I didn’t have this much trouble when I was almost 300 pounds.  Yes I was!  Memory issues – we all have them, right? Senior moments have progressed to not remembering key events in my life.  The unexplained mood swings and actually having to talk yourself into getting up in the morning because you just don’t have the energy to move.

There is frustration when people make comparisons to our struggles seeming like it is no big deal.  Our struggles are real.  Isolated symptoms are manageable but when they are all put together it is a nightmare.  The difference in being sick and being healthy is having to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

So what is the spoon theory?  Start with a handful of spoons (say 12)…

If you are healthy, you have a never-ending supply of “spoons”.  But when a silent disease forces you to plan your day, you need to budget those “spoons” throughout the day. So you start with 12 spoons.  You always have to be conscious of how many you have, and don’t drop them because you can’t forget you have _________ (fill in the blank with your hidden diagnosis).

Now, list all your tasks for the day, including the simplest one – the ones you don’t even realize take any effort to do.  Each task will cost you a spoon. Yes, each and every one of them.

Crack open your eyes and take a mental assessment of your body.  Getting out of bed is an effort because you didn’t sleep well (1 spoon).  Get a shower (1 spoon). Wash your hair (1 spoon). Get dressed (another spoon). You are already down 4 spoons and you haven’t even made it to the kitchen. Two more spoons to make breakfast and clean up.  You are down to 6 spoons and you haven’t gone to work.

Commuting to work (1 spoon).  Sitting too long, one of the toughest things for me (another spoon),  Lunchtime – skipping could cost you a spoon.  Three more gone and half a day of work left. More long hours sitting or a hectic day at the office will cost you another spoon.

Commute home (1 spoon).  We are now down to 1 spoon.  Dinner to prepare, laundry, prep for the next day at work or maybe you were supposed to meet friends for a movie.  You may not be able to do it all.  OR, if you do it all, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

So, what happens when the spoons are gone?  We are done – unable to push any further and it is time to rest or crash.  Regardless of what your silent disease is, we live with the looming thought tomorrow may be a better day BUT it could be worse.

The hardest thing for me is slowing down.  I want to do it all. I want my old life.  I hate missing out on things. I get frustrated,  I need to think about the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one thing.  I miss the freedom of just doing. . I miss never having to count “spoons”.

I share this not for sympathy but so others can understand the challenges of those with a silent disease.  I see this as a blessing just as I saw my addiction as a blessing. I am forced to think about everything I do. I am forced to be in the moment and not waste time or energy.

Do you know someone who is struggling with a silent disease?  Take a moment and give them a hug to let them know you NOW get it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken-tortilla-soup-recipe.jpg

This YUMMy recipe is from MoscatoMom. This delicious and filling Chicken Tortilla Soup is ready in just 30 minutes but tastes like it has been cooking all day! Perfect for cold nights this winter!

Prep Time:  5 mins     Cook Time:  20 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 cup carrot matchsticks
1 small bell pepper diced
1 cup mild salsa
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon – Roasted Chicken Flavor
4 cups water
5 corn tortillas cut in to strips
1 package liquid fajita seasoning
1 rotisserie chicken

Instructions

  1. In a large pot begin by sauteeing carrots and bell pepper in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add in salsa, Better Than Bouillon and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add in liquid fajita seasoning and allow to boil for 10 minutes.
  4. While that boils, cut tortillas into strips and shred chicken.
  5. Add tortillas to soup and stir until tortillas begin to dissolve.
  6. Add in shredded chicken and let cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve hot topped with your favorites – sour cream, avocado, and cheese!

This is a great tailgating meal…Okay so it may not be in a crock pot BUT it doesn’t mean you can’t put it in one.  The best way to transport your crock pot or food to a tailgating party is in a Thirty One Market Thermal!  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes (and a crock pot). A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Counting Our Blessings In November

Halloween is behind us so the next BIG day is Thanksgiving paired with Black Friday, right?  So let’s kick off November with some Thirty One excitement…

Thirty One’s top selling product for years has been the Large Utility Tote…BUT the biggest complaint is the fact it sags when it wasn’t full.  The solution…… The Stand Tall Insert!  And the best part about it is it is on SALE this month!!!!  So let’s check out some of the great ways you can grab one (or more) of these beauties….

#1Have you every thought about being a part of Thirty One?

Have you been crunching numbers to try and figure out YOUR holiday budget?  No time for a part-time job?  You work full-time?  Are a mom taxi 24/7?  What if I told you, you could make up to $1000 and have a debt-free holiday?  Impossible right?  You are thinking not enough hours in your day….. I may be able to help with an investment of $99 by you:  How would you like to solve your holiday gift giving with 40% off our amazing products?  There are TWO Enrollments Kits which are  packed with some of this seasons top sellers – the Retro Metro Bag (my favorite) and the large utility tote which has been a company top seller since it was introduced!   You could grab the kit and use it for gifts….. that is holiday shopping on a budget!

An added BONUS is that during your enrollment month AND the following 4 months of being a consultant you get to earn even MORE!  In addition to your 25% commission, you will earn Wishes Rewards!  Rewards are good for FREE product, business supplies, VISA gift cards or Disney bucks.  You get to pick how you will use YOUR rewards!  Mix and match them to get the most savings this holiday season.

#2Be a Hostess with the Mostess!

I know not everyone is interested in joining our pink bubble – how about hosting your own party?  Did you know for just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party.  You will get $25 in FREE product, 1 half price item and 1 hostess exclusive.  It only takes 6 orders of $35 to have a qualified party?  Thirty One just increased their FREE products for hostesses at the $600 level to $120 in FREE products, TWO half price items and TWO hostess exclusives!  This is super easy to reach since my average parties are about $640.  When you hit a $600 party, you will get double hostess credits this month.  PLUS you can get the Hostess Special which is the Holiday Party Bundle (a Fresh Market Thermal and a Perfect Party Set) for just $40!

I offer home, catalog/online, on the go (at your office or at a local restaurant) along with ever popular Facebook parties.  Which fits into YOUR busy schedule?  I will still send you a hostess packet so you can share it with your friends, family and co-workers.  How many people could you check off your holiday gift list with the free and discounted products you earn for hosting a party?  Maybe even treat yourself to something special.

#3 – Don’t want to join, and not interested in being a hostess…..

How about getting a jump on your holiday shopping with YOUR choice of TWO of Thirty One’s TOP sellers….. Yes, you can pick TWO of your favorite products with this month’s customer special.  With just a $35 purchase, you can mix and match two of FIVE products offered this month at discounted prices!.  Which one would you pick – the stand tall insert to keep your large utility tote from sagging, a littles carry all caddy, a Keepsake Planner, an Essential Storage Tote or the Boutique Backpack?

Would you like to get JUST what you want this holiday season?  Why not send me your holiday shopping list and then tell your hubby, children, significant other to call me and I will make sure YOU get what is on your wish list. Yes, I will set up a gift registry to make sure you get the Thirty One products YOU want.  I would say it is a win – win for everyone, right?

So, who is ready to get started on their holiday shopping?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Golden Autumn Beef Pot

Unknown.jpeg   

Today’s recipe is direct from my Weight Watcher’s Facebook group.  It sounded yummy so I wanted to share….

Prep: 45 minutes     Cook: 1:30 minutes     Serves: 8

6 Smartpoints per serving ( 1 serving = 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 12  pound(s) uncooked trimmed top round steak, Cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium uncooked onions , chopped
  • 3 medium uncooked potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups uncooked rutabaga, cubed
  • 12 cups uncooked carrots, chopped
  • 1cups uncooked cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley – chopped or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 beef bouillon cubes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12 tsp salt

 Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, brown meat in oil in 2 batches. Set aside.
  2. Saute onions in same pan until soft.
  3. Return meat to pan along with remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer, covered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

This is a great tailgating meal…Okay so it may not be in a crock pot BUT it doesn’t mean you can’t put it in one.  The best way to transport your crock pot or food to a tailgating party is in a Thirty One Market Thermal!  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes (and a crock pot). A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Does Your Light Shine?

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Happiness is derived from helping others, making a difference, and serving the world in your own unique way.  For me, I try to do it by helping those who are struggling.

No matter what your purpose is, let your underlying mission be to “live your life in a way people say  “There’s something different about them and I want to feel the same peace, joy, and love in my own life.”

Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Here are five ways you can share this idea:

1. Look for ways to be a blessing.

Letting your light shine means letting all the good within you come out. In a world full of negativity, you will be amazed at the light which enters your world when you do something good.  It is like a burst of fresh air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing to others with simple random acts of kindness.  It can be as easy as a “thank you” or holding the door for someone, or paying for someone’s coffee.  It can be for someone you know or someone you don’t know – either way, your light with shine.

2. Refuse to be judgmental.

One of the fastest ways to turn people away from God is to judge them. And sometimes we do it without even realizing it.  Have you heard the saying “hate the act not the person”?  Basically, we can acknowledge a person has done wrong without condemning them for it.  We are all sinners and fall short every day.   We have all done things we need to be forgiven for, and by grace the grace of God,  we have received forgiveness.  Choose to pray for those you feel tempted to judge – not always an easy thing to do. Embrace and support others when they are trying to do better. .

3. Speak up for what is just.

Speak up for what is just—not right. Do you confuse being right with doing right? I know I have.  We should really be focusing more on doing right. No matter what, especially during conflict, it’s essential you treat people justly. Ensure those who cross your path are better off because they encountered you.  When in a situation where others are being cheated, disrespected, or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. Don’t ATTACK but do it in a direct, calm, straightforward, and nonjudgmental manner.  It may not always be easy but it is important to do.

4. Let go of the desire to fit in.

This is probably the toughest thing for this “people pleaser”.  Letting our light shine when we feel the need to fit in everywhere you go, is probably the hardest thing for me.  I am learning a simple smile, talking kindly to people can make all of the difference in the world.  When we are more concerned about being an instrument of truth and love rather than fitting in, our light will shine.

5. Don’t hide your spiritual life.

Do you have a relationship with God but pretend publicly he is not central in your life?  If God is an important part of who you are, why would you keep it to yourself?  Does it have something to do with fitting in?  I don’t mean you need to have a Bible on your desk or quote scripture all of the time. When an opportunity comes up  to share where your strength comes from or how blessed you are, be honest.  Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.  You will also stop trying to please the world.

8330AB52.jpgHas your light dimmed in today’s crazy world?  I challenge you this week to find one way to share your light with the world.  Share how you did it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!