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.