Debra Swersky
Alixandra Martin - Untitled.png


Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.


I owe you “The Real Answer” (Part 2) to add to my “Snap Answer” from a couple of weeks ago when I learned about the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. It was after honestly answering the question “how are you?” that I learned about the scale at which point I immediately scanned the life event list to calculate my total life change units. Adding everything up was a combination of hilarious, nauseating, and (oddly) rewarding. 

Here’s the long-and-short story: In the span of one year I have experienced upwards of 11 life events that have taken place. I say “upwards” because things like ‘business readjustment,’ ‘change to a different line of work,’ and ‘change in responsibilities at work’ could be misconstrued as one-in-the-same if you’re self-employed… or starting your own business… or establishing a non-profit. At any rate, thankfully, my life events haven’t (personally) been the ones at the top of the list: death, marital stuff, and pregnancy. But, once you get down to “gain a new family member” (whaddup, Asher and Lincoln?!), the party train starts picking up speed.

A couple of weeks ago I “snap answered” the question “how could I possibly endure that many “life change units” and not have an illness?” with Headspace. Which is certainly true… but the real answer is the answer to the question: What was happening in my world (the non life-unit-adjusting world) that allowed me to not contract some illness?… recognizing, of course, that .118 of a correlation between stress and illness is not super statistically significant.

Part 2: The Real Answer

The love of my life and I have been together for 11-years, tomorrow: March 26, 2016. He is part of the reason that I’ve not only ‘changed my residence’ (coming up on twice in one year!) but am also able to ‘change to a different line of work.’ It’s the consistency of our relationship that has made these two life events bearable… and possible.

On the flipside, the life events I (read: we) have endured aren’t all life-changing and ground-breaking. They’re fun and happy! Yet, even when you look at those ones the love of my life is there: surprising me at the awards ceremony during my ‘outstanding personal achievement,’ and making the honeymoon that was never going to happen not only happen but be everything that a ‘vacation’ could be. It’s with his support that I am able to reach for the stars and sleep among the clouds.

So, what’s the real answer? It’s the love that we share, the team that we are, and the complement that we provide for each other that allows the demands of our respective lives to never exceed “the personal and social resources” that we have available. It’s the care that we place in our respective and collective health and wellbeing (one of us better than the other) that allows us to monitor the “wear and tear on our bodies.” And it’s the conversations that we have, the hugs that we share, and the eye contact that we make that help to minimize the stress of stress. 

It’s hard to believe that it has been eleven years. He is everything that is happening in my non-life-adjusting world that has allowed me to stay sane, keep all of the irons in the fire, and enjoy life. You will not find anyone with a better outlook on living. I am so lucky to be a part of his world.

Debra Swersky