I know, I know…I started this whole thing because I thought the “Spoon Theory” was not readily accessible to those outside the world of chronic illness. I remarked that it was “a lot to read” and now I’m on my third day of posting about my alternative metaphor. *sigh*
If you’re sick of it by now, just close this window and move on with your day, because I am going to go ahead and examine a feature that my iPhone recently started offering me. I’ve mentioned that my phone is not holding a charge very well (nor am I for that matter), so I frequently get a prompt to switch to “low power mode”. This function is quite handy. I might be out tutoring in some nearby library, when I check my texts in between students, and I realize that my phone, which the last time I checked had 80% battery, is suddenly down to 37%. A dialog box pops up on my screen offering me the option of switching to “low power mode”. Knowing that I won’t be home for another couple of hours, I readily accept my phone’s offer. “Why, yes, I will switch to lower power mode, dear iPhone, thank you for asking.”
In fact, I am kind of wondering why my smart phone isn’t always in “low power mode”. I mean, isn’t it smart-enough by now that it is able to do everything I need it to do while remaining in “low power mode”?
That is, after all, what I have been learning to do.
I mean, my battery regularly plummets from 80% down to 37% with very little forewarning. So, I have found ways to conserve energy — to utilize my “low power mode”. For instance, when I am teaching, I may start standing in the front of the room, but it won’t be long before I sit right among my students and lead a discussion from “among the ranks”. We could say it’s brilliant teaching strategy, or just call it what it is — “low power mode”.
My “low power mode” extends beyond the classroom. I’ve found a variety of ways to conserve energy so that I have it for all the things that are important to me.
- I cook in large quantities (when I cook, which isn’t often) so that we can freeze portions for days that I’m spending my energy on something else.
- I fold laundry while sitting in front of the television, and I take breaks if my arms get tired.
- I take smaller, more frequent shopping trips so that I don’t often have to put away a whole kitchen’s worth of groceries at one time.
- I also clean in spurts — wipe down the bathroom before I jump in the shower, vacuum right before company comes, and change the sheets when my husband is around to help re-make the bed.
- My Christmas shopping took me quite a while this past year because I purchased one or two items at a time, often online while sitting on my couch.
These strategies allow an extended battery life. Because I run on “low power mode” I can blog, teach, and join friends for dinner all in one day. I still may need to pause mid-afternoon and plug in for an hour or two of re-charging, but ultimately I can participate in the things that are important to me.
I know this is the strategy that works best for me, and yet, from time to time, I keep all the apps open, the screen up to full brightness, and the wifi searching for a signal. Sometimes I do this out of forgetfulness; other times, I’m just willingly taking the risk. Either way, I end up shutting down in the middle of something, wishing that I’d slowed down or plugged in sooner.
And then I have another chance to learn my lesson — another chance to function at “lower power mode” from the start; my iPhone should go and do likewise.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.