11. Productivity and Happiness in Old Age

A new Stanford study shows there’s a silver lining to the graying of our nation. As we grow older, we tend to become more emotionally stable. Over the years, the older subjects reported having fewer negative emotions and more positive ones compared with their younger days. The study has shown as people get older people tend to invest in what’s most important to them when their time is limited. As individuals get older they often come to the realization that life is fragile and will come to an end and that is Okay with them.

I have found Being old is most of all a mindset. The answer, to me is on a daily basis finding things, even some simple things which may seem as unimportant. Things that I can easily become enthusiastic about. It may be that after I have my morning coffee that I can look forward to sitting out on my very small concrete porch smoking a big black ugly cigar, enjoying my 10′ x 10′ flower garden, listening to the music of my choice or perhaps writing. What more could one need? As Samuel Ullman wrote; “you are as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” All of the above are choices that one can make for him or herself on a daily basis.

Old age can be a time of when we can find deep self-fulfillment and happiness. It is a time of life that is left up to the individual and not a time that depends on years counted. It is a time of life where one does not have to be on a schedule as one would previously as a member of the family or perhaps in a workplace. It is a time of life that is left up to the individual.It is truly a fact that old age may bring about an energy loss as well as health issues. This to some may bring about negative feelings and cause one to be concerned about his or her uselessness. One does not have to be a bitter old man or lady it is the choice of the individual how they wish to live their later years. My very wise mother when she was in her late 80s would say to me; “Ira these grumpy old people that one may have to deal with were grumpy young people long before they got old.”

Studies have shown that in fields that require accumulated knowledge, creative peaks they typically occur later. Historians and philosophers, for example, may reach their peak output when they are in their 60s. The answer to a productive and happy old age is to keep one’s mind busy and to go on with one’s life in a productive manner. Anti-aging is certainly a possibility, but it has to come from within.


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