According to a 2008 Gallup poll of 350,000 people nation-wide, our happiness peaks at age eighteen. After that, people feel worse and worse until they hit age fifty when the trend reverses. And they feel increasingly happier after that until age eighty-five when people, so the poll says, are as happy as they were at eighteen.
How would I have answered that poll? I don’t remember being so happy at eighteen. I was in college and I suppose that was fun, but a peak of happiness? Not sure.
Basically, I have been pretty cheery all along, but in looking back, I think I may have been happiest in my fifties. I had settled in my career; I didn’t feel like I had to prove anything. The children were doing well. Peter was happy teaching. We were healthy and strong and being “old” wasn’t even on our radar screen.
At 70-something, I’m usually happy. But happier? On my way to being as happy as I was at eighteen? No idea.
One thing is true. Too many of my friends haven’t lived to my age. So that makes me lucky. If I am still writing this blog at eighty-five…
I’ll let you know how happy I feel.