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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Catching Up

Another brief hiatus from my hiatus.

According to Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe from the University of Washington School of Medicine, life events usually list out in a stress scale that goes something like this:
  1. Death of a spouse 100
  2. Divorce 73
  3. Marital Separation 65
  4. Jail term 63
  5. Death of a close family member 63
  6. Personal injury or illness 53
  7. Marriage 50
  8. Fired at work 47
  9. Marital reconciliation 45
  10. Retirement 45
  11. Change in health of family member 44
  12. Pregnancy 40
  13. Sex difficulties 39
  14. Gain of a new family member 39
  15. Business readjustments 39
  16. Change in financial state 38
  17. Death of a close friend 37
  18. Change to different line of work 36
  19. Change in number of arguments with spouse 35
  20. Mortgage over $ 50,000 31
  21. Foreclosure of mortgage 30
  22. Change in responsibilities at work 29
  23. Son or daughter leaving home 29
  24. Trouble with in-laws 29
  25. Outstanding Personal achievements 28
  26. Spouse begins or stops work 26
  27. Begin or end school 26
  28. Change in living conditions 25
  29. Revision of personal habits 24
  30. Trouble with boss 23
  31. Change in work hours or conditions 20
  32. Change in residence 20
  33. Change in school 20
  34. Change in recreation 19
  35. Change in religious activities 19
  36. Change in social activities 18
  37. Loan less than 50,000 17
  38. Change in sleeping habits 16
  39. Change in number of family get- togethers 15
  40. Change in eating habits 15

Right now eight of these things are all poking at me simultaneously.  Pretty daunting stuff.  In fact, I'd probably note that September 2010 was the worst month of my life, absolutely barring none.  Yet, as I look at the middle of October today, I can honestly say that I got through it.  Well make that "getting through it" as I think that's a better description.  I have my good days, and I have my bad, and most of these things are going to take a long, long time to work out.  Some may never, in fact, work out. Like most things in life though, it's not as much about arriving at a "place" as it is about learning from, and to the extent possible, enjoying the journey.  T.S. Eliot knew that all too well.  What's more, none of us are born with the promise of a perfect, stress-free life.  In the midst of the "stuff" that's not much in the way of consolation, but it does have the benefit of being real.

I've alluded to this in a prior post or two, but one of the things I've learned...and am learning...from all of this is that you don't get through changes in life like this all by yourself.  Well maybe some can, but I have learned the hard way that at least I can't. Real acknowledgments will come at a later date, but suffice to say in depths of the worst is when you learn just how blessed you really are in life to have people that care. 

Interestingly enough, one of the best bits of advice I got that relates to personal matters came about from a conversation I had with my (new) Vice President at work:  if you spend all your time looking in the rear-view mirror you are going to miss what is in front of you.  He was talking about business, but most of that advice I've tried to apply outside of the office.
Here's to keeping one's eye on the road.

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