Thursday, January 26, 2006

Life events stress scale

I came across this life events stress scale and I think it's really interesting. I had heard of it before but never seen it. On a scale of 1 to 100, vacation gets 13 points. Jail term gets 63. I wonder if that depends on the length of jail time. Marriage gets a 50. Now, here's a weird one -- outstanding personal achievement gets a 28. What's that about? The stress it takes to get to that achievement or the stress of keeping up with it or something? Hmm.

Anyway, it just made me think about my own life events in the past 12 months. And how CHANGE is so hard, no matter if its for the good or bad. I mean, look at the last items on the scale. They all start with the word change!

Just something to think about...I wonder how these items got on here vs. other things not on this list?

Life Event Stress Scale
In the past 12 months, which of the following major life events have taken place in your life?
1. Make a check mark next to each event that you have experienced this year
2. When you are done, add up the points for each event.
3. Calculate your score at the end.

Event Stress Scores
__ Death of Spouse 100
__ Divorce 73
__ Marital Separation 65
__ Jail Term 63
__ Death of close family member 63
__ Personal injury or illness 53
__ Marriage 50
__ Fired from work 47
__ Marital reconciliation 45
__ Retirement 45
__ Change in family member's health 44
__ Pregnancy 40
__ Sex difficulties 39
__ Addition to family 39
__ Business readjustment 39
__ Change in financial status 38
__ Death of close friend 37
__ Change to a different line of work 36
__ Change in number of marital arguments 35
__ Mortgage or loan over $10,000 31
__ Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
__ Change in work responsibilities 29
__ Trouble with inlaws 29
__ Outstanding personal achievement 28
__ Spouse begins or stops work 26
__ Starting or finishing school 26
__ Change in living conditions 25
__ Revision of personal habits 24
__ Trouble with boss 23
__ Change in work hours, conditions 20
__ Change in residence 20
__ Change in schools 20
__ Change in recreational habits 19
__ Change in church activities 19
__ Change in social activities 18
__ Mortgage or loan under $10,000 17
__ Change in sleeping habits 16
__ Change in number of family gatherings 15
__ Change in eating habits 15
__ Vacation 13
__ Christmas season 12
__ Minor violation of the law 11
CALCULATE Your total score:___________

This scale shows the kind of life pressure that you are facing. Depending on your coping skills or the lack thereof, this scale can predict the likelihood that you will that you will fall victim to a stress related illness. The illness could be mildfrequent tension headaches, acid indigestion, loss of sleep to more serious problems like ulcers, migraines, lower back pain, etc..

0 - 149 Low susceptibility to stress related illness
150- 299 Medium susceptibility to stress related illness
300 and over High susceptibility to stress related illness

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What I need the most

Do you ever get that feeling of being so lost that you have no idea what you need to get you where you need to be?

Yesterday wasn't so good. I mean, nothing bad happened really. I got a lot done until about 3:30 (not school related though) and then plopped down on the couch in front of the TV and zoned out. I didn't even get up to turn on the lights when it got dark. I felt pathetic. Jesse is out of town, so there was no one here to drag me out of my self-induced misery.

I knew I needed to do something. Specifically WORK but I just couldn't do it. It was like if I moved at all, I would have to figure out what to do, and that was just too much to handle. Do I sound crazy? The structure of the weekdays usually means I don't have to deal with these decisions.

There was nothing that I felt like doing. It wasn't like "oh i'd rather be shopping or writing emails or making art". There was nothing I wanted to do and I knew I *should* be doing all the homework that has piled up so quickly. It's only the second week of school. Sigh. So I just got sad and all depressed again. And that sucks. Because I really thought this semester was going to be different. And then I was hungry, but there wasn't anything to eat except some mac and cheese that had green noodles instead of the normal creamy colored ones. I haven't eaten mac and cheese in at least a year, but that's what I resorted to.

You would think I know myself well enough by now to figure out what I need to cheer me up. Like giving a friend advice when they're down. You'd think I could be a good friend to myself and say "Rach, what you need is just a little _______! Then you'll feel refreshed." But I just don't know *what* is going to make me feel refreshed.

My mom is the ever-constant comforter in my life. What would I do without her?

Maybe you just need to cry once a week Rach. I mean, you can't be happy all the time. And when you are happy, you're really happy. So it's okay to feel down.

Maybe that's true. But I hate feeling this way. I have enough to deal with without feeling so down and being so hard on myself. I wish I didn't make things harder.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Probably not, but I really can't help feeling like everyone else has it so together and gets so much done and doesn't struggle like me.

When I do get those spurts, boy, am I productive. But they seem to be appearing less frequently. And when they do, they don't have quite as much endurance as I'd like.

Do I just need to be more discplined? I did go grocery shopping today. Cleaned out the fridge. Made dinner already for when Jesse gets home. The bed is still unmade though. And I haven't opened my bookbag. There's always something hanging over your head if you let it.

Well, this was a lot of rambling. I apologize to the three people who read this blog. I know there's really nothing to say to me at this point and its get old to hear someone complain all the time. The truth is that when I'm around people in real life, I can't be like this. So inevitably it all comes out here.

I just wish I knew how to help myself right now. I wish I knew what I needed the most.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

High or Low Expectations?

Do you ever have those debates with others or with yourself when you try to figure out is it better to:
a. have low expectations and be surprised when things go better than planned or
b. have high expectations and be filled with hope that you'll get there

I have a friend who is applying for jobs right now. Getting a job in academia is difficult...and sometimes there just aren't that many positions open for your area of expertise. So when I was talking to her about it the other day, I asked her first choice for a job. She replied that she didn't have a first choice. Only a second choice.

Now, her rationale was that by not having a "first" choice, she was keeping herself from being too excited about that and getting her hopes up that she would get a job there. Maybe part of it functions to save face - if you don't say what your first choice is than it's okay if you don't get a job there. But isn't your second choice just really your first choice?

Anyway, I just think this illustrates that weird mental game we play about our expectations.

Don't you think that sometimes expectations are a self-fulfilling prophesy? I expect this person not to like me, and then they don't. Or I expect this person to say no to whatever I'm asking, and they say NO.

What about our expectations leaks out or translates into how we act and our behavior toward others? If we live life always hoping for the best, does that lead to us acting in a way that will get us to where we want to be?

I have been listening to the 7 habits of highly effective people on my iPod and one thing that Dr. Covey says is that you begin with the end in mind. He has you imagine your funeral and what you want people to say at your eulogy and then work toward that. Apparently this exercise helps to clarify your values and what is important to you so can you act and make decision in harmony with those values.

Well, these are the things swimming around my head lately. If you think this is an interesting topic at all, post and tell me what you think! I am such an extravert...even on a blog I want interaction!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Yikes! Time to start another year already?! What is about a new year that seems so inspiring? You get a brand new calender that you get to hang on your wall with not a thing on it! Everything is so wide open.

This reminds me of the acronym for my myers brigss type - ENFP = Everyday New Fantastic Possibilities! It's so me, isn't it?

That's how the start of 2006 makes me feel. It reminds me that everyday there ARE new fantastic possibilities!

So what will happen on this blog in the next year?

Hopefully I'll have lots of interesting news to report and wonderful insights to reveal.