Posted in Change, Debate, Environment, families, Liberation, lonelyness, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Psychology, Relationships, Role of women, Skills, Thoughts, Time

Happiness

flowerhead   

How can we capture that feeling called happiness?

Like a flower’s seed head it can be blown away so easily by the wind.

One moment it is there, the next it has vanished into thin air.

 

The clouds of pain can gather quickly with the rising storm,

to dampen our hearts and extinguish that sweet feeling of pleasure.

How then do we hold on to such a fragile thing as this? 

 

  Yesterday I read an article in the Times discussing mid-life crisis and the age at which it is most likely to occur, regardless of status, money, children or career.It would appear from the researchers results that a low point is experienced by all of us. The likely age for women is 40 and for men 50.

The purpose of this blog today is not to discuss the article’s validity or specific content but just to look at the results. The link to the Times report is at the end of this short blog for you to read yourself and make your own conclusions.  

So the results suggest this low-point does not suddenly occur over a year but over a period of time. However, by the time you have reached 70, and if active and fit you should be feeling happier again. This feeling obviously passes over time and you reach the other end. I should like to see all the published findings in detail.Certainly, this looks a very interesting study, and for me who is currently studying research principles, theories and application, it would be very premature of me to say there could be many questions left that need futher enquiry and investigation.

For my studies, I am currently looking at the lives of older women and why some accept old age and change better than others. This explores the relationship between mental positiveness and physical well-being and the ability to adapt to a deteriorating body. Depression, isolation and managing altered body image are explored. I am hoping that a greater understanding can not only benefit my professional work but also looking ahead to my own management of age-related change.

From speaking to just a few women, so far in my own enquiries on this subject, of which little research has been done, I have discovered that having a sense of community seems to be a key thing to well-being and quality of life. I state one small example: by having a post office in a rural village means that an older person can get out, engage, post a letter and take a walk. I don’t wish to digress here, but the point is, there are so many reasons and causes why one person can be happy and the next person not. Also how our environment can have a big impact, particularly when in this example given, rural post offices are in threat of closure.

Going back to the results of the study: it stated that a low-point does not come about overnight. I can totally identity with this. It can take layers and layers of events over time. Disappointments, broken promises to ones self and a partner. The hopes and aspirations blown away like my flower’s seed head, gone in a puff of regret and sadness. There are so many reasons why happiness can seem so elusive. It is going to take a very ambitious and brave study to measure and analyse them all. 

My own views as to why mid-life can be hard and older age seem easier are these. Has it to do with caring for ageing parents, holding done a job, battling with a mortgage and trying to get children though education? The retirement years can seem like a field of plenty with spare time and hopefully some cash to pursue a hobby or have a holiday. The grandchildren can be handed back at the end of the day and there are no shift work to content with.

Ok, perhaps a little simplistic but these were reasons given by my partner and I discussing this report together. You readers will have your own ideas, and if you seek out the second link here, some one has already given some answers.

 

Here are the links to the articles. You can see for yourself.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3267259.ece

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article3271700.ece

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Author:

Committed to the education of children and the health and human rights of women and mankind. I also enjoy taking photographs and sometimes I write poetry.

5 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. I can’t find anything out about LinkBox yet, but I am suspicious of it.

    I saw the Times article myself and nearly blogged on it, but thought it might be too close to your birthday for comfort, so tactfully stayed well clear -:)

    I agree that middle-age is difficult for some people for the reasons of extra pressure you have mentioned. I would suggest that for some there may be an existential element. Middle-age is a time for coming to terms with reality, when you know that many of the dreams of youth are not going to happen. In middle-age you either realistically accept that and find meaning in other ways, or you sink into depression or find a variety of ways to try to block out the pain.

    You mention how environment, and community, and health are all important in helping people adjust to deteroriation. My own observation would be that for some women, more so than men, their physical appearance tends to play a large part in their self-esteem. I think that for some women, coping with ageing is partly about learning to value themselves apart from their bodies. It means being realistic rather than idealistic about what is happening to their bodies, and learning to value themselves highly for other things.

    Of course, some women also have a lot of their self-esteem wrapped up in motherhood and middle-age is the time when the children fly away. In addition to coping with deteriorating bodies, women also have to adjust to empty nests. The survivors create meaning in new and exciting ways instead of trying to keep the fledglings in the nest or having plastic surgery.

  2. The women of the Beautiful Women Project range in age from three through ninety. I found something really interesting when these women were broken into decades: 20-29 were just terribly overwhelmed by all of the changes that they were going through in this decade: college, new jobs, dating, looking for a partner. The women in their thirties were just tired: their time consumed with their careers, partners, children, and social responsiblities. The women in their forties were enjoying their downtime: kids were more independent, they were secure in their professional life, they were comfortable in their own skin. The women in their fifties: they were my party girls, completely reborn. The women in their sixties were very philisophical and spiritual. The women in their seventies, eighties and nineties were reflective but also were aware that others were starting to infringe upon how they chose to live their lives. Regardless of their age or stage of life they all shared one thing in common: they were all absolutely beautiful. Please check out the project: http://www.beautifulwomenproject.org. Their stories and images are also available in the book, Beautiful Women available on amazon.com. Thanks for the space to respond.

  3. I have looked at the site and have contacted you personally with my thanks for sharing this information with us. Very interesting comments about how each women feel, depending on their decade of life.
    These responses make blogging so worthwhile, especially to me who is still new to this world.

  4. I missed this in the newspaper so I am glad I saw it here. Blogging is so good in that respect.

    I think I am the Queen of the Midlife Crisis. Until a few years ago I was just swept along – doing things in a sort of preprogrammed fashion, not thinking a great deal about why (or why not), assuming everything would always stay the same. And then yes, something hit me and derailed me really. I am not sure if it was the sudden realisation that physically things were not what they were – that may certainly have been a trigger, made me stop for a moment and wonder.

    But I am glad that I hopped off the track and re-evaluated a few things and made some changes. I wouldn’t say I was happy but I think I am now setting in motion things that I want to do, and I am hopeful that they may lead to happiness.

    In terms of staying happy I find that I need exercise (if I don’t run I get miserable) – releases endorphins and keeps me in shape and yes, community too. I like my own company but yes, if I don’t get just the casual chatting in the street or at the school on here, then my mood suffers and it becomes a vicious circle where I become almost agoraphobic and cannot go out.

    It’s like Pooh’s thoughtful spot here! Thanks for provoking my thoughts!

  5. What I found with the aging situation is it happens over time and you do not really take note until it hits critical mass and then you notice big time. I agree that personal situations cause the experience to vary. Whatever the context, it ultimately comes down to a mental exercise for all of us on how to best adjust and take advantage of the situation since we have no choice about aging. What I’m finding is that 50 plus years of life experience has given me the tools to feel better and do more today than I did when I was younger. So, there is life after 50 (or whatever decade was the previous one).

    As to linkbox above I would steer clear of that. Use of link schemes can cause you to be suspended from search engines and then you would get a lot less traffic! The guidelines I’ve seen is just to write content people want to read and it looks like you are doing a good job on this site.

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