Age is a question of mind over matter;
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
As we age our problems increase but our ability to cope with problems generally increases as well. How much our ability to cope increases with age and how much our problems increase with age depends on the individual. Although I don't know what the average rate of growth of these things are I graphed the concept below. I set the happiness curve equal to the difference between one's ability to cope and the amount of problems one has.
If this graph were true then we'd be happiest when we're about 50 years old,we'd be miserable as babies and get more and more miserable after 50. I don't think babies are miserable, and I've known very happy older people. Although this graph is very imperfect I think we can learn from it.
According to this graph, if we want to be happy with old age we need to increase our ability to cope and decrease our problems. Actually to some extent the better our ability to cope the fewer our problems will be. So how do we increase our ability to cope with problems?
We can subdivide these problems into physical (health) related problems and emotional related problems.
The best way to cope with physical related problems is to have a healthy lifestyle. One will feel a lot younger if one keeps in shape and eats right. One will also look a lot younger if one does.
What about the emotional? How does the outlook of middle aged adults differ from that of children? Adults are often more preoccupied with problems than children are. Young children often have an optimism and happiness and enthusiasm and excitement for small things that adults lack. That doesn't mean that we as adults can't be more optimistic, but if we wish to be younger emotionally, we need to make more of an effort to do so given the problems we need to cope with.
Often older adults are depressed when their birthday comes around. They focus on how their problems are increasing instead on being grateful for what they have and that they made it that far. Maturity can bring an increased ability to cope and with it increased inner peace and happiness. We can focus on that on our birthday instead.
Laura Lemay, a well known author of intelligible computer books and a motorcycle mama wrote a good page of the wisdom she learned from getting to the unimaginable age of gasp 30.
c o p y r i g h t ( c ) 1 9 9 9 -2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises. All rights reserved
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