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October 19, 2014

Sunday Evening Open Thread: Happiest Years of Our Lives [Y-not]

How about a change of pace from the 24/7 cycle of lousy news?

According to a study by the Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics that was reported last year, most of us can expect to experience two periods of peak happiness in our lives, at age 23 and age 69:

What goes up must come down: after our early twenties, happiness declines on the way to our mid-fifties; then, after cycling back up through our late sixties, it falls again once we reach 75. If you're having a midlife crisis -- brooding over life choices and unfulfilled ambitions -- buck up, better days are coming: the turnaround point is 55, according to the study, at which point happiness starts climbing once more (though that second harder turnaround after 75 sounds a little ominous).

Their findings were based on a survey of over 23,000 people.

An earlier study by a British social networking site, Friends United, found this:


70% of respondents over the age of 40 claimed they were not truly happy until they reached 33.

"The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivete and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth," psychologist Donna Dawson said in the survey's findings. "By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a 'can do' spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities."

Conversely, only 16% of the survey's respondents pined for their childhood, while 6% said they were happiest while in college.

I'm generally a pretty happy person, although I admit it's been less true in recent years. (Take a guess why.) Looking back, I think my happiest years were when I was 25 and later on when I was around 35.

At aged 25 I had been married a couple of years and was pursuing graduate research. Although we were still pretty broke, we had moved from a gawdawful, tiny furnished apartment to a bigger one (still small, but it seemed palatial at the time) and we finally had a little bit of spending money to enjoy living in Chicago.

At aged 35 I was living in Houston, which both my husband and I loved, and my research career had really taken off. Everything seemed possible then.

When were the happiest times of your lives? What made them happy times?


To close things up, here's James Brown (song starts at the 58 second mark):

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posted by Open Blogger at 06:20 PM

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