How do we measure

Our lives? Is it in teaspoonfuls or spades?

A while back I discovered that I’m a member of a group called ‘the spoonies’. These are people who are physically challenged in some way and have a limited amount of energy allotted to them each day. If you do a lot in the morning, you’ve used up most of your spoonfuls of energy, so you will find you have very little left to manage the rest of the day.

I don’t think anyone wants to be a spoonie. And for most, it’s just darn impossible. When you’ve got demands on your time like work or children, then you probably find yourself running on empty by the end of every day. I don’t work outside of my home and my two children are now old enough to work around my tiredness but I still hate it. I hate that if I do the hoovering, I won’t be able to walk to the park. If I do the weeding, I won’t get the joy of planting. And yet, nine times out of ten I forget that until it’s too late.

Knowing that you have small things to give teaches the importance of prioritising. I’m still terrible at it. Really I should flip those sentences round so I go for the walk, plant the flowers and then leave the irksome chores for someone else.

Even if we only have little to offer, it still might have a huge impact on someone or something in our lives. Who, for example, was the person who led Billy Graham to faith? His teaspoonful of an encounter resulted in a man who influenced the lives of thousands. Every time I put up something one of my children have written or drawn on Facebook the responses flood in. Already, they both have more of an impact than me. I love that.

Never ever feel that you have nothing to offer somebody else. Each tiny, teaspoon encounter may well elicit a response far beyond your intentions or awareness.

I would love to be able to live in spades; run, or leap, or walk without checking every step, or finish my drink and food like the tiger in ‘The Tiger Came to Tea’, ‘in one big gulp’. The risk of tiring, tripping and choking has shrunk my experience of living in some way. BUT there is power in the little things too.

I came across this poem by Emily Dickinson which expresses it perfectly:

‘If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain,/ If I can ease one life the aching,/ Or cool one pain,/ Or help the fainting robin onto his nest again,/ I shall not live in vain.’

Just remember, something that feels like a teaspoon may pay you back in spades.

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