When I was a Junior in high school, I remember our psychology teacher, Mr Sonnek, asking how our class thought happiness changes with age. Our slowly downward diagram just made our close-to-retirement teacher laugh.
As high schoolers, it was easy to spot the physical deterioration with growing old. (And indeed, sometimes older folks aren’t happy at all.) But we missed the internal. Since then, I’ve noticed a contentment among the middle-age and elderly that I rarely see in youth.
The speaker on this video below gives data showing this with the reasons she thinks older adults are happier than younger ones.
It seems that as one becomes older, they wise up and let go of the worry about status or fear of the future they once carried around like a layer of clothing.
They’ve learned how to live one day at a time, one minute at a time, how to break out of the mind’s preoccupation with wanting more, being elsewhere, or being different.
They are at peace with who they are and are present and available to participate and give of themselves as they see fit, to love and help the others around them live their lives, to enjoy the little things in life, with an understanding that life itself is the blessing to be ever so grateful for.
So I’ve since changed my tune. The older I get the happier I’ll be.