Where did all the spoons go?!

I’m not sure if the spoon analogy is used enough to require explanation or not but I know all about it now – thanks to a few spoonfuls of experiential reality. Apparently it was first used by someone with chronic fatigue (Lupus/fibromyalgia/ME – I’m not sure) to describe what it’s like to live with limited energy levels. I think they were in a cafe at the time, hence the spoons. There are doubtless better summaries available but: if a spoon represents an amount of energy, most people are able to generate enough spoons from sleep, rest and eating to easily get them through the average day. I used to have enough spoons available to exhaust myself on a daily basis and always come back for extra helpings of activity soup. I could choose from a plentiful selection of intricately carved, yet sturdy cooking/eating implements – the kind you’d use to eat from a daddy bear porridge bowl or stir a small cauldron.  Looking back, I’d say I had an almost embarrassing surplus of spoons – at least one for every occasion.

Well not any more! After the definite achievement of Thursday’s rehearsal, Friday was almost entirely dedicated to being horizontal whilst my depleted body took to the painstakingly slow task of whittling a whole new set of cutlery. Don’t be too sorry for me – the 3rd ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand was quite diverting.

It took a while, but eventually my body came good and I woke this morning to find enough spoons in my arsenal to get up, [-3 spoons] cook [-2] eat [+4] and take the twice daily poison tablets [-1].  I didn’t have a clue how many spoons I’d started with, but I had another rehearsal to get to and there was another teacher on it, so nothing would be lost if I had to leave early or something.

Out of the ten regularly rehearsing ensembles (until very recently) I was lucky enough to stand in front of and wave my arms, this is one I really want to attend whenever I can.  Because it’s the local music service’s most senior jazz ensemble and (please don’t tell the boss but) I’d do it for free.  The significance of youth jazz groups goes way back to my time attending Redbridge Music School, when the Jazz Orchestra was the genuine highlight of my month for about five straight years.  When asked to run this one, (regardless of being for a different borough) I played it cool but was absolutely delighted inside.  I was in charge of the kind of band that I’d dreamed of being in as a child, gotten into and then enjoyed every minute of.  I had (and just about still have) the privilege of providing that kind of experience for at least a dozen aspiring young jazz musicians.  It’s even possible that some of them feel what I did back then as they all get up to rehearse at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning.

So, I was well motivated to do the same.  That and I’d promised myself a Nando’s if I made it in.  It was a horrible morning with a stiff breeze risking throat spasms and tingling fingers, but I made it through everything: the hour long journey of walk, bus, train, walk [-8] walk up stairs [-2] assemble trombone and music stand [-2] take a two hour rehearsal [-15] put trombone and music stand away [-3] sit down for a bit and have a biscuit [+1] and reflect on the happy achievement of getting through a really good rehearsal almost like a normal person [+7].  I hope you’d agree that I’d earned a Nando’s by this point, but it turned out this would, in fact, be the difficult bit.

Because after a short walk to a cafe in Westfield [-4] I slumped onto the edge of a sofa and came to the uneasy realisation that I’d suddenly and spectacularly run out of spoons.  More than that, I was in spoon deficit, with nothing to stir the cauldron but but my bare hands and it was starting to boil over.  Ok – the reality wasn’t quite that dramatic – I just sat there unable to move, wondering when I’d summon the impetus take a sip of my smoothie [+0.2 per sip].  After 90 minutes like this [+2] and breaking my record for longest time taken to finish a smoothie [+3 overall] Ollie arrived, because I’d promised him Nando’s too.

Over another PB for longest time taken to eat half a chicken, [+6] I managed to engage in some conversation [-3] and Ollie was most forgiving when I had to choose between keeping eyes open and nodding to show understanding, as I found myself without the required spoons to do both concurrently.  Ironically, I didn’t need any real  spoons to eat the meal itself, which was for the best as it would have cost me more spoons to go and find an actual spoon.

After journeying home [-8] I write this from bed [+2] about to take my second round of poison tablets [-1].  If anyone wants anything at all from me tomorrow, be sure to bring a spoon.