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My Bowl of Marbles

graciegirlggraciegirl Posts: 249
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain

I have read the letter to normals,great article!) and also the Spoon Therapy, another very good one. I don't know if this one has been posted before, but it is a good one, too. It nevers hurts to reread some of these.

They have been very helpful to me at times.


My Bowl of Marbles

Linda Jean Frame
Summer 1998

Editor's Note: Whether you're a cancer patient or a caregiver, you have to remember to give to yourself without feeling guilty. When your energy resources run low, as they often do during the cancer experience, consider Linda Jean Frame's way of taking care of herself:

I begin by thinking of energy as marbles. Each small, expendable amount of energy becomes a marble. I have a limited amount of marbles to use each day, and while the number may vary from day to day, I can pretty well judge each morning just how many marbles I will have to use that day. I then place my day's supply in an imaginary fish bowl and begin my day.

With each activity -- washing my face, combing my hair, etc. -- I use energy. When I expend one marble's worth of energy, I extract one marble from the bowl. I value each marble at a certain amount and can judge when I use that amount of energy. You might give a different value to each of your marbles, but it will all work out the same way in the end. Bigger projects require more marbles; on bad days, however, you will find that even small activities will demand the use of more marbles than those same activities will require on your good days. There are times when it is very frustrating to have so little energy and to have to use so much of it to do even simple things, but that's the way it is!

Starting each day with an awareness of your energy supply will enable you to choose what is really important to you, and you can plan accordingly. Try to avoid frustration by accepting your limitations. Frustration is a form of stress, and stress is a marble user! Comfort yourself with the thought that you won't always have so few marbles to use. Tomorrow may be a better day. Remember to remove marbles during the day for any type of stress. Remove marbles for anything that causes tension or fear. I throw out a couple of marbles every time I have to drive in rush-hour traffic -- not because the traffic bothers me, but because I know that I must be a little more alert and stressed than when I drive at other times of the day. If something really BIG happens, and I am really stressed or shocked, I may throw the whole bowl away and give myself the rest of the day off.

If you should see me or phone me at one of those times when I have resigned from the human race, you might say, "Linda has lost her marbles!" -- and you would be exactly right!



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