Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh, To Be 55!

Hills and valleys; straightaways and curves; ups and downs; happiness and the blues: our lives seem to be lived around this constantly changing good and bad/happiness and sadness cycle. In fact, according to researchers at the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, that's exactly what happens to each of us. The researchers (reported in Time magazine) studied more than 23,000 people aged 17-83 and found that there is a specific cycle to our general terms.
In the mid-20s, our happiness begins to cycle downward and stays in something of a rut until the mid 50s. I know, I know, this seems like a long time to be unhappy: the trend is to be somewhat less happy...not miserable. With all the pressures that dominate those ages, I can agree that they might be tough times for all of us.
In our mid-50s, the happiness cycle trends upward, indicating that we have solved (for the most part) all the things that stressed us earlier, and we are edging toward rediscovering ourselves in retirement. Not coincidentally, we are probably more well-off financially as well , in addition to having figured out that we don't REALLY know everything! This happiness cycle continues, according to researchers through our late 60s and into our 70s.
Seventy-five marks the last phase of happiness, and its not too surprising that the trend is a downward one: physical and mental health begin to decline...our friends (and relatives) begin to die off, and our mobility lessens. the "newfangled" ideas are now too frustrating for us to learn, and we tend to isolate ourselves.
Not a pretty picture.
But not a hard and fast rule, either; other studies have shown that people who are extroverted and emotionally stable as young adults tend to defy these swings in happiness cycles.
But again...not a hard and fast "proof."
Best to live each day with as much a smile as you can muster.
And eat ice cream.


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