the shift from one thing to another. as certain motions of alteration occur in our lives, it is easy to feel their result - no matter their subtlety - as readily as the slight rock of a boat would affect the path of a marble on its deck.
there are some changes that tilt our lives more extremely and set us into a spiral that can oft times make us feel suddenly "out of control." these are not always negative process, but they are processes: elements in our life that require time and patience to play out.
i remember my freshman year of highschool, i found myself overwhelmed with emotion by the time i reached Christmas. frustrated at the fact that at 14 years of age, i could experience such intense emotional upheaval, i turned to my parents for advice. they pointed to a list of "life changes" that are rated by psychologists to help diagnose the weight of some people's life state. having begun a new school and lost a grandfather, in the course of just three months, i already racked up many points on the scale of weighted reality.
i am once again in a season of change. as a nomad, and one in a life-season that is often dictated by shifts, i have found myself in a consistent state of limbo for nearly 18 months. most days, this reality is well within my realm of control to handle. however, as many drastic changes have occurred over the past six months, my resistance to feelings of "overwhelm" have not been as high. i am crying more. not negatively...i am simply crying out the change...it's how i work through it...it is how i process those details about which there are no words to explain. many, if not most, are wonderful transitions, moments i have waited my entire life to experience. still, they require change, and as humans, our propensity for resiliency is simply limited.
returning to the scale to which my parents once directed me, i note that i have racked up a whopping 296 points on the LIFE CHANGE SCALE, in the past 6 months alone. according to psychological research, persons who total 200 points or more on the following scale within a 12-month period are more prone to physical and psychological stress-related illness than those who score less. To see where you stand, simply total the number of stress points you have accumulated in the last year. Note that both pleasant and unpleasant "life events" can cause stress. THAT is a pretty sobering reality. most of us live out our days desiring to be "okay" all of the time, and sometimes feeling inadequate if we're not as "up to par" as we expect ourselves to be. but the reality? our world is changing at a pace beyond any other time in history and our individual lives are VERY affected by the changes that occur on a nearly daily frequency. so, it's perfectly acceptable to have a teary moment or two. they keep us healthy and remind us that we can not do life alone...we NEED ONE ANOTHER DESPERATELY.
care to see how you score on the scale? if it's high, try letting yourself off the hook a bit and remember to lean on those around you. it's not weakness. it is the strength of awareness!
THE SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATING SCALE
(Life Change Scale)
LIFE EVENT MEAN VALUE
Death of spouse 100
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Fired at work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Change of health in family member 44
Sex difficulties 39
Gain of new family member (birth, adoption, older adult moving in) 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state (much worse or much better) 39
Death of close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in number of arguments with spouse (more or less) 35
Loan of over $10,000 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work (promotion, demotion, transfer) 29
Child leaving home (marriage, attending college) 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse begins or stops work 26
Begin or end of school 26
Change in living conditions (remodeling, deterioration of neighborhood) 25
Revision of habits (dress, manners, associations) 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in work conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in church activities 19
Change in recreation 19
Change in social activities 18
Loan less than $10,000 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family get-togethers 15
Change in eating habits 15
Minor violations of the law (eg traffic ticket) 11