Friday, November 14, 2008

Happiness Curve

As I was finally reading the newspaper after a full day of: working yesterday in the Humanitarian center, shopping, getting my hair blonded again then hurrying home to rest before making dinner, this article caught by attention written by Bill and Rich Sones. It's about the U-shaped curve of happiness.

It talks about the regularity and predictability of happiness saying...that people tend to begin their young lives feeling relatively happy but then midlife crises can undermine this and despair can peak. This happiness low point typically hits men at about age 40 and women at age 50. Then comes the remarkable rebound: People in their sixties and seventies, if healthy physically, tend to be as happy as young people. This pattern holds for both men and women, singles and married, and those with and without children. Oddly nobody knows why most of us are able to bounce back (to being happy again.) Maybe we just learn to adapt. Or maybe we finally give up UNREALISTIC DREAMS. Or it could be that the cheerful and resilient live long enough to answer questions at age 70.

I know I've been happier since turning 60! Words to think about...maybe it's having an attitude of gratitude, accepting the imperfections of this life while thanking God for the opportunity to experience it with its beauties, injustices and challenges to learn from each day. What do you think?


  1. I agree! My in-laws are around 75 years old and they have more spunk than a 20 year old!

  2. I think I'm the exception to the rule. The older I get, the more unhappy I get. I grieve for my 30-something self. I hate everything about getting older!

  3. It is funny, isn't it? I'm feeling rather content myself and my mom and husband are too. Have a happy weekend, Lin.

  4. I think circumstances certainly play a part in it. I am content, and like to approach life with a sense of humor. Not having to work 5 days a week is a calming thing.

  5. I'm certainly a lot happier, or more satisfied with my life than I was in my forties and early fifties. I think the majority of my friends would say the same.

    I think we come to realize that so much of what we were unhappy about not "getting" or "achieving" wasn't worth having anyway.

    We have more freedom to do what we want to do with our time rather than spend ourselves almost completely on pleasing someone else. Service becomes more of a volunteer effort rather than the obligation it can become with juggling the roles of a wife, homemaker, mother, employee, neighbor, church member, etc...

    We've settled on a few valued friends who's company we thoruoughly enjoy and who's attitudes about life mesh nicely with our own. We don't have to "put on a happy face" for much of anyone anymore.

    We no longer have to shave our legs and underarms, or wear those lousy ___________ (fill in the blank)four or five days of every month. That's a reason to throw confetti from the rooftops!

    I'm not too thrilled with the downturn our physical bodies take as age creeps up on us... but, for me, that's really the only downside.

    I am satisfied with so much less now. What is that expression I'm so fond of tossing around?

    "We spend the first fifty years of our lives collecting things, and the second fifty years trying to get rid of them."
    Que es verdad

    This is all guesswork, mind you... but it seems to be my experience. I LOVE being older! (except for the crumbling physical body bit...oh yeah, and losing my hair)

  6. I am happier than I was in my mid 40's, but I was very ill then and am better now..but this gives me something to look forward to..