Losing your marbles has deep roots in American society connected to mental health and the multitude of stigmas surrounding various diagnostic labels. As a husband writing about my wife with a title to an article like this you would think that I was the one who has lost his marbles.
With over 20 years of marriage and having started as high school sweethearts I have watched as my wife’s thought patterns have grown and matured and shifted over the various stages of our lives together. Watching as she develops skills from joining me in studying the assignments for the classes I have taken. Seeing how she picked up on how I developed skills and implemented them in my daily life. Knowing how she seeks out her own skills through our interaction and her education process for finding the things she wants in life.
Several years back she purchased two small glass decorative bowls and a bag of marbles. She set it out by her purse where she could see it everyday. At first I simply thought it was a decoration she had added to our buffet armoire. Then, one early morning, (which she had been consistently thrusting upon herself) I woke to the creak of the bedroom floor, the LED light from the floor scale in the corner and a soft satisfying sound from her. I was awake, she woke me. Next, I heard her outside of our bedroom where she keeps her purse and that is where I heard a clink of glass on glass.
This was the point when I asked what the glass bowls and marbles were about. She shared how she had read an article that told her to reward herself visually for the progress she had made. She had identified how many pounds she wanted to lose and put that number of marbles into one of the bowls and set the other bowl right beside it right where she keeps her purse. This way, it was a visual reinforcement that she could use to support her goal each day. She had begun to weigh herself every Friday morning and every pound she lost she would move one marble to the empty bowl. Why Friday, because she knew if she was going to derail herself it would happen on the weekend and seeing her progress before the weekend she would have greater resolve to stay on track.
On the Friday’s that my wife had progress (or lost her marbles) there were good Fridays. On the days she didn’t lose or found her marbles they were good as well, minus the part where she felt the rewards of her hard work.