Monday, February 13, 2012


Dear Hearts and Gentle People,

I loved your comments on Friday. I think it's safe to say you disliked the stress and illness chart, which I'll post again right here and now. From Wikipedia:


In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe examined the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. Patients were asked to tally a list of 43 life events based on a relative score. A positive correlation of 0.118 was found between their life events and their illnesses.
Their results were published as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS),[1] known more commonly as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Subsequent validation has supported the links between stress and illness.[2]



To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of "Life Change Units" that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
Life eventLife change units
Death of a spouse100
Marital separation65
Death of a close family member63
Personal injury or illness53
Dismissal from work47
Marital reconciliation45
Change in health of family member44
Sexual difficulties39
Gain a new family member39
Business readjustment39
Change in financial state38
Death of a close friend37
Change to different line of work36
Change in frequency of arguments35
Major mortgage32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan30
Change in responsibilities at work29
Child leaving home29
Trouble with in-laws29
Outstanding personal achievement28
Spouse starts or stops work26
Begin or end school26
Change in living conditions25
Revision of personal habits24
Trouble with boss23
Change in working hours or conditions20
Change in residence20
Change in schools20
Change in recreation19
Change in church activities19
Change in social activities18
Minor mortgage or loan17
Change in sleeping habits16
Change in number of family reunions15
Change in eating habits15
Minor violation of law11
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.
If I obey the rules for this piece of crap interesting analysis and count points for what happened to me in the past year, then I have, I think, 319 points. I added them up a minute ago and while I wrote the beginning of the sentence, I forgot the number of points. I just remember it was a bit more than 300.
Now I'm going to cheat and count my points for the last three years.


Oh, boy. Thanks a lot, Holmes and Rahe. I wasn't sure just how miserable I was until you told me. 
Way to go, trying to make me feel worse. Whether I count points for one year or three years, I'm up shit crick without a paddle at risk of illness. So, boys, what is my illness and what should I do about it?

Huh? Huh?
I'm waiting for an answer.

I guess Holmes and Rahe aren't going to tell me anything. It's probably top secret.
See why I hate graphs and scales and tests that determine what type of personality we supposedly have and what our illnesses are? I have news for you: I am a person, not a number. 
So, Holmes and Rahe, I'm thwoing you in the twash with the boo jacket. Yes, fellas, you have cockwoach cwap on you.
I've decided to make up my own scale, and it will lead to our What? Monday question. 
It's The Janie Junebug Joy Scale and it counteracts the misery assessment. The highest score I can get on my scale for any individual life event is 1,000.
Gaining a new family member is worth 39 points on the agony assessment. Well, to me, gaining a new family member most likely means having a baby, adopting a child, or experiencing the joy of seeing my children fall in love and get married. On my Joy Scale, a new family member is worth the maximum 1,000 points. 
Since Favorite Young Man and Little Chick moved in together a few months ago, I count that as gaining a family member. Little Chick is definitely worth 1,000 points. My new points wipe out my points from the Holmes and Rahe are full of shit scale, whether I use the 300+ or the 600+. Doesn't matter cuz those numbers don't mean anything anyway.
I will also give 1,000 points to the feelings I experience every time I see Favorite Young Man and Little Chick and talk to The Hurricane on the telephone. Tail wags and kisses from the dogs must be worth a lot of joy points. Living in a sweet little house, making a new friend, seeing an old friend, building my confidence by doing my own yard work, and best of all, knowing I am saved . . . I could go on and on.
I think you get the idea that having a joy scale you make up yourself and giving yourself as many happiness points as you like is one heckuvalot better than having your unhappiness measured.
This bring me to today's What? Monday question:

What are some life events you would put on your joy scale? And if you want to give them a ton of points, then please feel free. It's your scale. It belongs to you, not Holmes and Rahe or anyone else. Tell us how happy you are, please.  

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug
Please make a special effort to visit my blog on Thursday. Bouncin' Barb (of will be this week's guest postess as we continue to discuss love and intimacy. Barb has known, and continues to know, some serious hard times. Let's show her our appreciation.


  1. I'm giving myself 2000 points for not having to listen to male psychiatrists tell me how a female should feel about things. Ugh!! What do they know?

  2. I was just telling my mom about a chart like this! I took the test before I ran away to Hawaii and my score was way up there, too. It's so interesting to me what order they put things in. I think it's pretty accurate.

    I'm sorry you've been through so many of these things recently :(

  3. When Peanut was a baby I had her in the bathtub. While I was washing her up she unexpectedly leaned over and puckered up for a kiss. I can still see those puffy little cheeks. Everything around me was crumbling around that time, and here's this wonderful gift of life waiting to be kissed.

  4. If I'm happy, I know it. If I'm sad, I know it--& so does everyone around me. To paraphrase "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"--we don't need no stinkin' scale!

  5. Dear Janie,
    I'd give a 1,000 points to receiving the habit as a Benedictine nun in 1960. Another 1,000 points to having a reading and signing at the Stillwater Carnegie Library when Crown published "A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story." Another 750 when I represented Ireland on St. Mary's float in the 1944 parade around the Independence Square. And I'd give at least 1,000 points to having my brother snow blow my drive and then come in and visit for over an hour! Yes. A lovely day today.


  6. Hmmmm. What would I put on the joy scale? Interesting question.
    Let me think about it.

  7. Your Majesty, Your comment is much appreciated by your loyal servant.

    Elisa, Did your high score encourage you to run away or did the events themselves, or was it Cade?

    Stephanola, That comment is so darn sweet that if I were a bit bitchier I'd probably throw up over it. Instead, I think it's adorable.

  8. Well, then, fishducky, no stinkin' scales for you, EVER!

    Dee, Your score is outstanding. Don't you love creating your own scale and giving yourself points? It makes so much more sense than a scale created by a couple of men we've never met.

    Rick, You think as long as you want. In fact, you can give yourself points for thinking if you feel like it.

  9. I think illness is my most stressful thing. Specially when kids fall sick I get so so stressed.

  10. PAPS, I think when our children are ill it's harder on us than when we're ill.

  11. Things that bring joy... my kids when they enjoy hanging out with me... accomplishments, whether mine or a family member's or friend's... helping someone who needs it (anything from listening to a problem or giving a ride, on up to donating hours of time or lots of money for a good cause)... baking cookies... drinking cocoa and then sleeping while it rains... riding my bike on a sunny day... there are so many things, and yet it is easy to forget them and get caught up in the day-to-day (or even the "big event") troubles. Thank you for reminding me to think of some of them. Regardless of my "total" all-round points, today's happiness points just went through the roof!

  12. Oh, LegalEagle, Let's keep those happiness points coming.

  13. I have to give 1000 points to each of my cherished blog family members! You all have gotten me through many difficult days and I don't know where I'd be without you :)

  14. Excellent choice, Maggie. The blogosphere helps me through so much.

  15. I'm giving myself 1000 points for the month I spent in India.
    (That place did me good in ways I can't describe, must be the ageing hippy in my soul).

    And another 2000 for just...well...being me.

  16. Jane, I think of myself as an aging hippie, too. I earned 1,000 points tonight for wearing a mini-skirt and boots out to dinner.


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