I’m putting a flyer together for my upcoming talk at the KGB Bar, and ran it past a colleague who’s a designer. She got halfway through the headline—“a monologue about why Americans are so ambivalent about growing old”—and blurted, “I’m not ambivalent about it!”
“How do you feel about getting old?” I asked.
“Do you want to die young?” Stephanie shook her head.
“Then you’re ambivalent.” D’oh.
It’s likely that at 37 she’s simply too young to feel better about what the future holds, as a story the New York Times newly launched Booming blog suggests. Titled “Why Am I Getting Mellower?”, it quotes new evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, that we get better at emotional regulation as we age: calmer, less aggravated, more content. A few commenters cast this as resignation, but I think it’s further corroboration for the U-shaped happiness curve, which rises steeply from age 50 on.
2 thoughts on “mellowness awaits, Stephanie”
why can’t one be terrified of both?
Growing older is not necessarily a bad thing. Each day in our lives brings with it new opportunities. If you are living just in the moment you certainly avoid the trap of either living in the past or worry about what the future holds. Besides, growing older beats the heck out of the alternative. A very close friend of mine turned 100 yesterday. She is quite active and in very good health. Recently we enjoyed dinner together and as she looked over the many choices on the menu, she noted one she did not know what it was. With an attitude so typical for her she said “any time I see something I’ve never tried, that’s what I order!”