Care Spoons

A long time ago, I read an article by Christine Miserandino about Spoon Theory. By now, pretty much everyone has heard of a paraphrase of her ideas. It explains how people with hidden illnesses run out of energy much quicker than people without them. You can read a cached version of her article here

Recently, it has occurred to me that people in the caring profession have a problem that is analogous, that I would like to call “Care Spoons“.
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Your Life Goals are not My Life Goals

Life is not Monopoly.

Monopoly is the kind of game where you get to pick a little model, a dog, or a top hat to represent you, and then everyone takes it in turns to move around the board. Success is measured in only one way: Money. Funny Money. The one with all of the money at the end wins.

Life is not Monopoly.

There is a tendency in modern society for everyone to assume that we are all playing the same game. That we all have the same win condition. That everyone’s win condition(s) are the same. Family, Money, Children. That these win conditions are what everyone should be compared too.

People are tricked into believing this, because like so many MMO’s, we are all playing on the same server. We can see everyone else’s character, and we are all stuck by the same set of game mechanics, rules, and laws. For many people, this means that we must be all working to the same set of win conditions.

It is this frame work that mean that people feel that it is necessary to point out how far ahead of the ‘game’ they are to all those around them. Look at me, I’m winning.

“Your Job earns 15K? well, yes, mine only gets me 21K…”

The problem is that we’re not all playing the same game. We’re just in the same world. My goals, are not your goals. We might have the same set of achievements available to us (Get Married: Achievement Unlocked, Get a House: Achievement Unlocked…), but that doesn’t mean that we all want them.

The best analogy here is that we’re all playing different character types. You’re playing, say, a Money Grabbing Bastard, and I’m playing, say a Filthy Hippy. This means that sure, I can Get Married, and get the bonuses that go with it, but they don’t have as many bonuses for my character. In fact, having money isn’t going to get me as much life XP as it would for your Money Grabbing Bastard. You can also get the achievement “Went To Glastonbury, and do not remember”, but you wouldn’t get anything out of it.

The problem with the Media, with Television, and with the appearance of popular culture is that everyone is playing Basic White Male as a race, and Money Grabbing Bastard as a class. Except that we’re not. In the last update, the worked out that gender is predominantly irrelevant to most achievements, and so is race. Our Character Model can (and should) look however we damn well please, because that shouldn’t stop us from getting the most important achievement “Happiness”.

Society would be so much better if people were just honest about it.

We’ve all had conversations where we say things like “I’ve just got achievement X, I’m so psyched” to have someone respond with “Oh, yeah, but I got X, then Y.” generally in a dismissive term. For them, they are far ahead of you in the game, and they are showing how much better they are at it. What they fail to understand is that achievement has a completely different meaning, and requirement for your Race/Class/Goal combination. If everyone just realised that, when someone shares their achievement, it’s because from their perspective, their character, their goal, it’s a big thing, not a challenge, not an attack, not a test to see who’s winning, but simply wanting to share with a friend their achievement, and everyone just damn well celebrated the world would be a better place.

Life is a game. It’s not competitive. It’s generally co-operative. Sure you can play it competitively, but mostly your playing against yourself, or your own imagined competitor. Even those who seem to be playing the same game as you, are playing a subtly different version, with different difficulties and side-quests.

That’s why someone gives up a career to live in Borneo. That’s why someone else works in a job they hate. They are playing a different game.

We can help each other, we can show other people cheat guides. We can give in-game money, support, and products to other people. We can show them the routes we took. We can give them all the advice about the things we’ve learned. For some it will help. The core mechanics are the core mechanics. We can’t however demand that they chase our goals, because that’s not their game.

If you are one of those people that believes that this game of life has only one set of goals, one set of win-conditions, and are instant that that’s the game everyone should play, stop it.

Seriously, Stop It.

Your ruining the game for everyone.


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The funeral Of Big Bad Jon.

Many people have been asking for the text of the funeral for Big Bad Jon.

Here it is, at least, the plain words. I have added to the book in RED the parts of the book that I said, or the ad-libs that I remember. They may not be all correct, the day was a bit of a blurr. It doesn’t contain the feelings, or the laughter, or of course the tears.

The funeral was written by me entirely for the occasion*.

Funeral (Jon Scholes)

And here’s Jon, doing the sacred dance:

Continue reading “The funeral Of Big Bad Jon.”

Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino

This was originally posted on, but that website is down as at the time of writing (22nd November, 2015). I found that the original article (quoted below) was difficult to find, and rather found many people praising, or paraphrasing the article. In order to ensure that this incredibly important piece of information is kept, I have copied it in it’s entirety from the cache. This is not my work, all rights belong to Christine Miserandino

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino (

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.
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Homosexuality and the Bible – An accepting view

Recently, I’ve been having a debate about why I think that God is okay with homosexuality. The debate has been often rather circular, so in order to aid that debate I thought I would outline my thoughts in a post that might help people understand my perspective, and along the way deal with any criticisms that may crop up.

Reading The Bible

The first that that has to be dealt with is how I read the Bible. This is the first thing, in my opinion, that needs to be dealt with whenever such debates are entered into. Most people are not aware that they are reading the Bible in a particular way, but the way in which someone approaches the Bible will inevitably affect the way this debate proceeds.

Roughly, there are two major camps:

1. Literal Readings : This position suggests that every word in the Bible is literally true. Thus, Genesis 1 and 2 do not contradict each other, but are clarifications of one another. The World was literally created in 7 days.

2. Interpretive Readings : These positions says that the Bible is a complex book, and needs to be read with different kinds of tools, such as context, general knowledge, and so on.

First, let me say that the above two camps are of course the extreme ends. There are nuances and mixtures to the two approaches. Generally, the more ‘literal’ approach denies that there is any form of interpretation, though the further you move from every word being literally true, the more interpretation there is.
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Sermon on NineWorlds (Wisdom)

It’s been a while since I posted a sermon here. That’s predominantly because I’ve moved to delviering sermons from notes.

Unusually last weekend, I felt the need to write out the sermon, as it was going to be a bit complicated to make sure that everything was explained in order.

That means that I have a sermon to post here, hopefully, it’s as well recieved as it was in person.


Sermon Notes

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40 Questions about why I support Gay Marriage

As a socially-liberal Christian, there are now many reactions around the world in reaction to the USA’s acceptance of single-sex marriage. It’s odd that similar results in other countries have not produces such reactions.

I have, of course, been in debate over this issue for many years, and many friends have sent me a link from a website that offers 40 (yes 40!) questions aimed at those of us that support single-sex marriage. Having read them, some of them were quite thought provoking, but generally their tone is designed to lead people into a “gotcha”. That is, that in order to answer the question as frased, you have to agree with the posters argument.

So, to help all those that find these questions difficult, here are my responses.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
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Don’t Call Me Cis.

CAUTION : Post deals with issues of gender identity.

NOTE : This post is not designed in anyway to denigrate the real issues suffered by transpeople, and this post should not be read as such. It is intended as part of a series of thoughts on gender, and how it applies and affects those I know and love. If you choose to leave a comment that is derogatory to any group, it will be removed.

Over the past few weeks, gender normativity has been much on my mind, and there is likely to be a few posts around this issue over the coming weeks.

One of the things that makes me feel very uncomfortable, is the label “Cis”, for all kinds of reasons.

First, cis (meaning, litterally, “on this side of”) is a very polarising term. It suggests that, in the gender debate, the options are “Cissexual”, or “transexual”, and that there is nothing in between. It suggests that gender has gained ANOTHER binary level. You are either Cissexual, that is that your physical and mental genders have always aligned and know nothing else, or transexual, where you haven’t. This seems to me to be replacing one binary (male and female) with another binary (cissexual/transsexual), rather than approaching gender in a much more fluid and sensible way (Mimi Marinucci makes the same point, so wikipedia informs me).
Continue reading “Don’t Call Me Cis.”

Midwinter Anthology, 2014

So, for a long time now, I’ve been working on getting a small digital publishing house going. Not just as a show-case for the writing work that I do, but as a place where I can help other authors and poets get their feet out there.

This is a long process. It requires building a name for yourself, and letting people submit work. It takes mostly work from myself in laying out the books, and passing the strange digital hoops that distributors ask for. Hopefully, with each edition, I get better at it, and the process gets quicker.

For those that want to have a read of it, check out the current Midwinter Anthology on Google Play.

It’s free.

Midwinter Anthology, 2014

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The Wild Sea – For Dad

The Wild Sea For Dad.

Gone beyond the wild sea,
Where foam washes the shore,
Storm-grey waters reflect your eyes.

You stand on distant inaccessible land,
the end of all journey,
Look out to the stormy horizon,
And I will look back.

Beyond the storms, Beyond the calms,
Where fair breeze blows,
Ruddying your weathered face,
Wrinkles your now-eternal smile.

Stand awatch on that shore,
Watch the horizon, and watch for me.
Once my storm is over,
Together, we shall watch the sea.

~Phil Bettinson, 20/01/2014 For Dad.

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The Roman Catholic Church, and Single-Sex Marriage

In a rectent news article in the Independent, the Catholic Synod moderated it’s language towards single-sex couples.

While the Synod continues to uphold the current line of the Catholic Church, and does not seek to change that, it does offer a way forward. It comes on the back of Pope Francis’ statement last year to the LGBTQ community “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”.

The full document itself is lengthy, and does attempt to explore what the Catholic Church means by family. It explores in depth the problems faced by families in the social context, raising the problems of isolation and children born outside of marriage seen in the west, and the practice of polygamy still seen in many places in Africa.

It is as the discussion on what it means to be family develops does the Church find that it needs to say something on the nature of same-sex relationships

In the section entitled Truth and beauty of the family and mercy the document has this to say:

21. The Gospel of the family, while it shines in the witness of many families who live coherently their fidelity to the sacrament, with their mature fruits of authentic daily sanctity must also nurture those seeds that are yet to mature, and must care for those trees that have dried up and wish not to be neglected.

22. In this respect, a new dimension of todays family pastoral consists of accepting the reality of civil marriage and also cohabitation, taking into account the due differences. Indeed, when a union reaches a notable level of stability through a public bond, is characterized by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests, it may be seen as a germ to be accompanied in development towards the sacrament of marriage. Very often, however, cohabitation is established not with a view to a possible future marriage, but rather without any intention of establishing an institutionally-recognized relationship.

23. Imitating Jesus merciful gaze, the Church must accompany her most fragile sons and daughters, marked by wounded and lost love, with attention and care, restoring trust and hope to them like the light of a beacon in a port, or a torch carried among the people to light the way for those who are lost or find themselves in the midst of the storm.

Here the church begins to wrestle with the reality of life that is experienced by most people. It affirms, of course, the stance on marriage, but also makes the point that there are those who have formed non-traditional unions that show the hallmarks of what would be held up as the hallmarks of marriage.

It is good that the Roman Catholic Church has faced this issue head-on. Jesus himself had a non-traditional family, and it is about time that the Churches that attempt to live by his teaching try to minister to all of God’s Children, just like he would have.


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