Kit's Open Study Hall

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29 Dec 2017 16:26 - 29 Dec 2017 17:48 #310256 by Kit
Kit created the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
So, I want to try something new. This is inspired from Alex's open journal thread he made a while back.

The idea of this thread is for you and I to share knowledge, wisdom, and lessons with each other. I wanted a place that people could wander in and out of and have open communications for questions or to learn from each other.

I'll be posting here about anything I've learned or find of value in my life that I think others might benefit from. I welcome questions, comments, and criticism about my words here. As well as any questions or comments that are 'off topic' from my posts that you'd like to ask me (you are also welcome to PM me if you'd prefer!)

My prime areas of interest are leadership, shamanism, psychology, metaphor, mythology, and world religion but I'm willing to discuss anything that comes to your mind. If I don't know it, I'll tell you and take my best shot at it if I have an educated guess lol

I'm excited! Let's get this started!
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2017 17:48 by Kit.
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29 Dec 2017 17:38 - 29 Dec 2017 18:06 #310265 by Kit
Kit replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
Spoons

I wanted my first post here to be something near and dear to me. How many spoons do you have? Have you bothered to count them? Have you ever run out? Now, I'm not talkin' the spoons in your silverware drawer that are used for icecream and chilli. As awesome as those are, these spoons are much more precious.

As many of you know, I'm dealing with a lot of things right now. The primary being that I'm living in daily pain and after 30 years of an active, healthy life, I'm suddenly finding myself crippled. To give some perspective, on that pain scale of 1-10 that docs ask about? On average, every day, I hang out at a 7. My good days are when I'm at 3 and those are rare. There's not a day that goes by where my hip and leg aren't complaining to me. This all has only compacted my relationship with Anxiety and Depression. THEN, my husband is also away for training for the last five months, so I've got to handle a full-time job, an active three-year-old, somehow keep the house in usable safe order, find enough time to sleep (pain making it poor and short), and hang onto my sanity for dear life!!

Now, I don't tell you this so you can pitty me. It sucks sometimes. Most times. A lot. But with all this on my plate, I was left to try and explain to my boss, my family, my friends, my coworkers, what my life was like because it impacts all of them too.

I'm a gamer, so my first thought was to explain it as Mana. Most actions require the expenditure of mana. There are ways to regain mana, most often with quality sleep and rest. Pain is a constant drain on my mana. And since I don't get quality sleep, I don't start the day with a full mana pool. I can't do some of the things asked of me because I simply don't have the mana to spare. Or at all. I run out before the day is done. Even before dinner is made, much less keeping the kid entertained! And it all snowballs...

But I don't work with many gamers so most people didn't understand that. I tried to describe how it was but if you haven't experienced anything like it, you don't have a basis to compare. All I got were confused looks and blank nods. So I went to the internet. "Dear Google, how do I explain my chronic pain?"

And then I ran into the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino

I asked [my friend] to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.


The whole thing is a really excellent read, but I wanted to just do a brief overview for time's sake. Christine goes on to have her friend go through her day with her spoons in hand. She would take from her the spoons it 'cost' to do each activity. It was a surprise for her friend to see that she had started with 12 spoons, and before she even got to work, just getting ready for the day, she had spent six of them. And by the end of the day she was left with one. And she had to decide what to do about dinner. Would she cook? Then she wouldn't be able to clean. Would she go out? Then she might not be able to drive home safely. And what does she do with the rest of her night? Chores need doing, but to do that she'd need to 'borrow' spoons from tomorrow.

It's a simple explanation but a good one. One big thing that it doesn't really cover is when spoons start disappearing on you. But that's a whole 'nother battle.

Looking back, I realized that Depression and Anxiety love to eat spoons. Even when I had an excess of them (back before my chronic pain), they'd go through them. I'm sure it didn't help that I offered them spoons too. Stress is another Dragon that we like to feed our spoons to. And I'm sure we each have our own favorite Dragons that we like to 'treat' to our spoons.

'They' always say you never value something until it's gone. I think spoons are one of those vastly undervalued but oh so necessary things in our lives. I'd bet that most of you don't run out of them most days and damn do I envy you! But I also bet, if you really think about it, there have been days that you HAVE found yourself giving away your last spoon. You just found yourself on the couch without even the energy to do something you enjoy.

Being mindful of our spoons, even just knowing we're getting low, I think is beneficial to anyone. As well as knowing how we can restore our spoons.

Remember, always do your best to keep your last spoon for yourself!

Note: future writings (because I'll forget as soon as I turn around!)
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2017 18:06 by Kit. Reason: becasue I can't spell lol
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29 Dec 2017 18:13 #310269 by Streen
Streen replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
I can relate, Kit. At least to an extent. I hate to drudge up the past, but I've been through so many surgeries after my car accident in 2005 that I don't even know where to start when it comes to pain. Not to mention depression and anxiety.

The 3 combined are torture, and I commend you for being able to live with them. For myself, depression has been all but erased by meds, anxiety is a daily battle, and pain is gradually improving. My last surgery was in July, so I'm still recovering.

I wish I had an answer that didn't involve pain medication. Those are addicting... coming off of them is hell.

The best and only answer I have is to embrace your pain. Thrive on it. Let it embolden you. Empower you. That was the only way I got through my experiences. The pain I have now I try to fight like anyone else would. Over-the-counter pain meds and such. But in the end, there's always some left that you just have to live with, and yes, I agree, it sucks.

It's true, few people rarely understand what it's like to live with chronic pain, with depression and anxiety dragging you down. I hope it helps just to know that you are not alone in your experiences.

I get it.

"The sage does little,
but leaves nothing undone."
—Lao Tzu
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29 Dec 2017 18:51 #310274 by Kit
Kit replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
Thank you Streen <3 it does really help knowing others can empathize with me. It's really odd trying to relearn how to live my life. Took me a long time to look to others' experiences both for comfort and ideas.

I've turned to more mental pain control. I've so far refused opiates but the other pain meds I'm on cover enough to let me operate. lol I use to say they just helped a little but then I had to go off of them for three days and wasn't able to work so...yeah I don't say that anymore hahaha.

I'm glad you found some meds to help with depression though! I'm on Cymbalta for anxiety and depression and it really helps me. I got lucky and we found something that worked in the first shot.

That must have been a massive car accident if you're still having surgery to fix it! I'm so sorry you're dealing with that but I'm glad you made it out alive! That's insane! I went through a motorcycle wreck eight years ago or so. No surgery but it took over six months before I could run a little again. It's pretty crazy to think that life can change so drastically so quickly.
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29 Dec 2017 19:03 #310276 by Vusuki
Vusuki replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
I liked your story/idea/concept of mana and spoons. Thanks for sharing!

My questions are-
1) What are your habits? Do these habits make your life easier or harder (or does it depend on which habit?).
2) As a partial gamer and using the mana concept- how much do you think habits influence the amount of mana you use for a task?
3) What do you think about more- habits or goals- and which do you value more? I'd like to read your answer and then afterwards see what you think of this article if you've the time- www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/06/habits-vs-goals/

Thanks for your time Kit, :)
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29 Dec 2017 19:20 - 29 Dec 2017 19:24 #310281 by steamboat28
steamboat28 replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
I can't speak for Kit on this one, but I prefer the analogy of spell slots in Vancian magic, because it retains the finite feel of spoons and still allows for "overspending" by using a higher spell slot. Because even if you only need to spend half a slot to do something, it still takes the whole slot.
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2017 19:24 by steamboat28.
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29 Dec 2017 20:06 #310285 by Kit
Kit replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall

Vusuki wrote: I liked your story/idea/concept of mana and spoons. Thanks for sharing!

I can't lay claim to the Spoon Theory but I'm glad SOMEONE gets my mana concept!! haha

Vusuki wrote: My questions are-
1) What are your habits? Do these habits make your life easier or harder (or does it depend on which habit?).
2) As a partial gamer and using the mana concept- how much do you think habits influence the amount of mana you use for a task?
3) What do you think about more- habits or goals- and which do you value more? I'd like to read your answer and then afterwards see what you think of this article if you've the time- www.farnamstreetblog.com/2017/06/habits-vs-goals/

Thanks for your time Kit, :)


1) Oh gods I had to think on this one. Habits make life easier or harder depending on the habit really. Even with my bad habits, I'm in such an emergency mode that it takes more energy to change a habit than just deal with it for now. Just "putting out the fires" so to speak.

Soda is the first one that comes to mind. I drink more of it than I should. It's partly a comfort thing and partly a sheer habit. I have THIS soda with THIS kind of meal. like wine pairing! But I've found myself grabbing for a soda even though I don't WANT one, it's just habit that I have it. Soda means calories means extra weight means more pain. in the long run it's harder, in the short run, the comfort is worth it.

Taking medication has become a habit. In a good way because if it wasn't I'd forget and then bad things happen haha.

I've gotten into the habit of planning my day sometimes out to a week. It feels like tactical planning sometimes. "Ok, when I go to lunch, I'll do this and this and this, and this other thing, then go home for a nap!" trying to best spend the limited mana I've got! Although planning takes mana too lol. On the same vein, I've gotten into the habit of planning before I do anything. So yay mindfulness! It's also forced me out of the anxiety attacks that could build from trying to plan and being faced with too many choices.

I also have a lot of emotional reactions that are based on habitual reaction instead of anything based in current fact. Many of them unhealthy or improper. Those suck and are hard to work on to change.

2) I find habits a kind of double-edged sword. They take a lot of mana to get into place, and a lot to change. But once they're there, they do save mana because you don't have to take the extra step to think about it, or remind yourself about it. The other side though is if locking the door is such a habit you don't think about it and then you have to go check on it after you got to bed because Anxiety whispered that you may not have lol.

3) Both about equally. Most of my goals are to form specific habits. But most of that is on hold for now anyways lol.

Thank you Vusuki! Very thought provoking. I'll check out that link this weekend and get back to ya
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29 Dec 2017 20:10 #310287 by Kit
Kit replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall

steamboat28 wrote: I can't speak for Kit on this one, but I prefer the analogy of spell slots in Vancian magic, because it retains the finite feel of spoons and still allows for "overspending" by using a higher spell slot. Because even if you only need to spend half a slot to do something, it still takes the whole slot.


Ooo I do like that. I think it gets more in-depth than most explanations that the spoons and mana pool would cover but it's a great way to think about it when you want to go into details on when you spend spell slots and trading one for another. I'm trying to think of a real-world example. Maybe exchanging the level 3 slot of "grocery shopping" for a level 2 slot of "doing the dishes"?
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29 Dec 2017 20:18 #310290 by JamesSand
JamesSand replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall
I think we can all agree, if on nothing else, that vancian magic is the worst thing to ever happen ever in the history of fiction, magic, or RPGs (with Potterian magic a photo-finish second)
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29 Dec 2017 20:23 #310294 by Kit
Kit replied the topic: Kit's Open Study Hall

JamesSand wrote: I think we can all agree, if on nothing else, that vancian magic is the worst thing to ever happen ever in the history of fiction, magic, or RPGs (with Potterian magic a photo-finish second)


haha I thought it was limited to table top RPG stuff! has vancian magic shown up in stories? I like it in tabletop but I've not tried a different system either.

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