Have you heard of the Happiness U-Curve? It’s a profound and substantiated reality that happiness tends to peak in our youth and then re-peak as we age! The U-Curve Happiness scale tends to bottom out in our 40’s and early 50’s but rises again as we age. That’s not a misprint. Your 40’s and early 50’s can be some of your emotionally toughest years and your later 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s some of your emotionally happiest.
In other words, do not believe the myth that life peaks in our young adult years and then steadily tapers off over time. It’s called the “myth of declinism” and it is just not true over the wide range of the population.
The Atlantic Journal has an article on the Happiness U-Curve in its most recent issue and you can read about it elsewhere in plenty of places. Many researchers say we do not even reach our emotional peak until our seventh decade! You’ve seen this reality played out countless times and so have I.
The toughest times emotionally can be in our 40’s when social stresses, family transitions, and chronic comparing can wear and tear on your emotional life. So, if you are in your 40’s, look up and know that your inner person has much to anticipate down the line. Life when you are 45 is not “as good as it gets.” Learning how to age well is a skill that needs to be embraced as early as possible so that you will understand natural transitions that God has hard-wired into our lives.
Granted, there are exceptions to these principles (debilitating health issues being a major exception) and this research tells us about the human condition apart from the influence of the Holy Spirit. But then again, much of this research takes into account the spiritual lives of those who are aging.
In tonight’s UPLIFT service, our topic will be “How to Age Wisely and Well.” We will talk about some of life’s second half ground rules that differ from first half ground rules and how we can embrace “saging more than aging.” We’ll talk about handling the downturns and the upturns on that generic U-scale.
The Bible is clear and authoritative. Social research is clear and supportive. Though we may physically get slower and creakier, our inner person can become richer, wiser, more nuanced, and more insightful. I hope to see you tonight in our UPLIFT service.
Proverbs 16:31 – “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.”
Isaiah 46:4 – “Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you and will save.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 – “So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.”