Sunday, April 20, 2008

With age comes happiness

Every day, older people come to see me in my office saying, "Doc, I don't know why they call this 'The Golden Years' because there is nothing golden about them." And, then, they go into their medical concerns that, hopefully, I can help them out with. But, I do have good news for older Americans because there is new research being released stating that the happiest Americans are the oldest (Associated Press).
A certain amount of distress in old age is inevitable, including aches and pains and the deaths of loved ones and friends. But older people generally have learned to be more content with what they have than younger adults, [researcher] Yang said.

This is partly because older people have learned to lower their expectations and accept their achievements, said Duke University aging expert Linda George. An older person may realize "it's fine that I was a schoolteacher and not a Nobel prize winner."
The rest of this article goes into examples of people and their point of view at the older part of life. The balance between being hard-charging to succeed and being content is something that I struggle with everyday. That stress level really bothers me sometimes. Maybe the lesson from this study is that sometimes (only sometimes) that it's ok to lower expectations and accept achievements. My life would be a a little more content and less stressful.


Muddy said...

My daughter has a part time job mornings where she encounters a large amount of seniors. She says that they are her favorite customers by far. Generally they are more patient, kind, and speak with more respect than customers that are not seniors. Perhaps this article does a lot to explain why. Thanks!

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

and it doesn't hurt that i am pretty much able to do whatever i want either...

like cruising and blogging and playing cards and just stuff i like to do. retirement can be lovely. i am lucky that mine is.

having had two major bouts with cancer and a hubby with one himself, we live each day as fully as we can. you see the day in a new light sort of.

breath in doc, now breath out. it's good here...

smiles, bee