Too Many Spoons

It’s easy to be judgemental of people who spend their money in seemingly frivolous ways, like the couple on Grand Designs who overspend as much money as you could use to build a whole house again.

A similar dynamic applies to the way people spend their time. My sister spends hours making dresses she doesn’t need, just for fun. She is also into studio photography, spending up to an hour setting up a shot and many more hours editing it. She often gets accused of having too much time on her hands.

For people who are time-poor or money-poor, seeing others seemingly fritter away their time or money is really irksome.

My pet peeve is people who have too many “spoons”. I wake up each morning knowing I have only so many spoons – the number seems to vary randomly depending on the day – and I have to allocate them carefully. I can’t use them frivolously, or I’m going to be too knocked out to do the things I really want or need to do later in the day, or in the days following.

The following is a list of the type of people who evidently do not have to undergo the same
mental spoon arithmetic that I do – or if they do, they are drained by different things to me.

1. The girl at the airport wearing plastic shoes

A few years ago, the gaudy-coloured, sometimes sparkly, translucent sandals that I wore as a child in the nineties made a resurgence. They are totally cute but there’s no way I could have jumped on the trend. My feet would have felt like they were suffocating, and I’d lose half a day’s worth of spoons just from wearing them on a five minute walk to the shops.
Travelling is also exhausting to me. There’s a high chance of plans changing unexpectedly, and being in unfamiliar places is stressful also. On a normal, low-stress day, I might sacrifice some spoons to wear nice clothes – for example, I can wear skinny jeans for about 3 hours before I have to go home and tear them off – but wearing high stress clothing while travelling is out of the question for me.
So to see a girl who can wear comfortable clothing while travelling? She makes me feel like she has too many spoons.

2. My sister who ate eggs and then went shopping

One day I was having breakfast with my sister and I asked her why she was eating eggs. “Oh, I’m not horrifically allergic to them,” she said. “They just make me lethargic for the rest of the day.” I was shocked. “Aren’t you going shopping after this?” I asked.
Shopping is so tiring. So many people, bright lights. I get overstimulated just from walking through a shopping centre, let alone the arduous task of trying on clothes and making decisions. If I am going shopping, I have to make sure I eat good food, and eat it right before I leave, so I don’t get hungry while I’m in the shopping centre. I have hypoglycaemia to add to the mix, so if I get hungry while I’m already stressed out, it’s meltdown time.

3. My friend who regularly stays up late on a school night unnecessarily

Recently I rang a friend at 10:30am and woke her up. She had stayed up until 4:30am, just hanging out with mates. I just can’t do that. My sleep is very precious to me. Nine hours is optimal, but if I get less than eight hours, my productivity plummets. These days I have to get up every morning and work on my thesis, which is due very soon, so I can’t afford to write off a whole day just from staying up all night.

But it’s not fair to judge those annoying people on one instance of seeming to have too many spoons. Everyone has their struggles in life. My friend who stays regularly stays up all night has ADD, and would never be able to focus on writing a thesis all day even if she slept for nine hours. My sister who ate eggs and then went shopping has bad anxiety, so if she reads the newspaper she gets overwhelmed by the state of the world and the day is a write-off. And as for the girl wearing sparkly shoes at the airport, maybe she is time-strapped, and would be envious that I have heaps of time, so that I can spend it doing craft projects as well as studying.