Aging Well June 16, 2009

As you grow older are you happier? In a study of more than 2 million people from 80 countries, it was found that happiness was related to age. But the relationship might not be what you would expect. The results showed people are most miserable in middle years between 40 and 50 and are happiest towards the beginning and end of their lives. (In the US, men were most likely to be unhappiest at 50, and women at 40.) This U-shaped curve of peoples’ happiness was a consistent pattern regardless of socio-economic status or changes in marital status, employment or income. “Only in their 50s do most people emerge from the low period. But encouragingly, by the time you are 70, if you are still physically fit then on average you are as happy and mentally healthy as a 20-year-old.”

The researchers suggested several possibilities for this pattern: a better sense of who you are, a greater appreciation for life or cheerful people just live longer. But we all know the real reason. Grandkids! No longer do you have to raise your own but now you can spoil and enjoy your kids’ kids. As one observed, “It’s funny that those things your kids did that got on your nerves seem so cute when your grandchildren do them”.

The Center’s monthly breakfast is this Saturday, June 20th, and Bonnie and Edna would like to offer you a delicious breakfast of hotcakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and your favorite beverage. We generally serve between 40 and 50 folks but we would like to double that number. Bring your friends, pick up someone off the street or just come by yourself. The price is $5.00 for the general public and $4.00 for Center members and the food starts hitting the plates at 8:00 and continues till 10:00.

At times when I am not the sharpest stone in the gravel pit, I have been called dense, but being dense is not always a bad thing if you are talking about bones. Dr. Fran Yuhas will be discussing Bone Density at the center on Tuesday June 23rd at 11:00. You can learn more about the loss of bone density called osteoporosis: when bones become porous because of the loss of calcium and over time weaken to where they are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is much more common in women than in men because “women have less bone mass than men, tend to live longer, take in less calcium, and need the female hormone estrogen to keep their bones strong”.

There was a last minute change for tonight’s Tuesday Night Music at the Center. The Hardshell Harmony will be jumping in – playing their “toe tapping, thigh slapping” brand of bluegrass music which I know you will enjoy. Next week you will have a chance to dance to the Jazz Generations playing the big band sounds of the golden age. Music always starts at 7:00 and is free although we do appreciate donations to keep the music flowing. Everybody is welcome whether you have two toes or four, as long as they can tap to the music.

And if you happen to forget something you read in this column after you have already recycled the paper, you can always go to the Center’s Blog at to find the column and other information about the Center.

Until we meet again, as Bobby McFerrin sang in his #1 hit of 1988, “In every life we have some trouble, When you worry you make it double. Don’t worry, Be happy”.

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