'tis the season

I’m not feeling terribly jolly, still not ready to throw a blog on the fire. I know about that, too.

The old Holmes Stress Score, if I remember (I’ll check it soon) comes to mind. I discovered it when I was doing research about grief - mine and others’ - after Bill died. There were points (not rewards) assigned to different life events in terms of their stress level. Death of a spouse, as I remember, ranked higher than divorce, but not quite as much as loss of a child. The saying was that losing a mate was like losing a limb but losing a child was like losing a lung. That’s like comparing apples and oranges. No one has a monopoly on grief and i’s not a competition.

The assigned numbers were comprehensive, right down to a stress score of 3 for a parking ticket. Christmas, as I recall, carried with it a burden of 12 stress points.

So there you have it. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. We are so spoiled here in this make-believe First World that we feel resentful and put-upon if things aren’t hunky-dory, especially when we are expected to be happy happy happy as everyone around us seems to be.

Now I’ll look it up….

It was called a Stress Scale and it measured stress. You can look it up, but here is a partial table of stress values:

  1. Death of spouse (100)

  2. Divorce (73)

  3. Marital separation (65)

  4. Jail term (63)

  5. Death of 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)

    • and so on, down to

    42. Christmas (12)

BTW: I got the number wrong on a parking ticket: Number 43, “minor violations of the law”, rates 11 points on the scale.

If I had more time I’d tell you about an interview I snagged because I cited the Holmes Rahe Scale to my target and persuaded her that she needed me to guide her.

I feel better.