Who gives a _____ ! You can drop your favorite swear word in there. Go ahead. No one can hear you. When you reach what some call old age, you can throw off the anxiety and phobias and just enjoy life. You’re comfortable in your own skin. At least that’s the theory.
According to a Gallup survey done way back in 2011, happiness follows a U-shaped curve. People’s sense of well-being was highest in childhood and old age. Midlife was a kind of a drag (i.e. low point of the U-shape). Maybe for some, but not everyone.
Anyhew, lately some folks are saying it’s all BS. If your life follows the curve, you filled out the survey. If your life sucks, you threw the questionnaire out without opening it. So once again, the surveys and research may not tell us anything.
It’s often been said that long life is a gift. Not clear who is saying it, but there’s a good chance it’s someone who does not yet have to worry about the body letting them down or worrying about when dementia might set in. By the way, it’s not a comforting thought, but the chances of getting dementia double every five years past the age of sixty-five. People marveled that my mother lived to 106 but they had no idea about the toll it took on her physically and mentally. We liked to think she was grateful for a long life, but maybe not so much when your world shrinks down to just you, alone in an assisted care facility.
We want to approach old age with some grace, don’t we? We would like to do fun things, visit places on our bucket list, enjoy our friends, share the good times with our soulmates, and enjoy these things in reasonably good health. In the end (ooh, I hate the sound of that), contentedness in old age will have much to do with how contented we were before we became old. Cranky, self-centered people are going to hate it. Good-humored people are going appreciate their lives, despite having to pee a lot more often.
Best advice: the hell with the U-curve. Enjoy the life of leisure as best you can. It doesn’t matter how full the glass is, so long as there’s still something in it to enjoy.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon. But that’s not all. You can also purchase the Best of BoomSpeak on Amazon.