Just Starting the 15-Year Trough

Here's the most validating graph I've seen in a while from my latest issue of Science News. WB stands for well-being, so the higher up the dot on the graph, the happier the people feel at that age. Hundreds of thousands of people were surveyed in this piece of research to show that we all start getting progressively less happy as our 30's wear on and don't recover until after we turn 50. My main two reactions to the graph were:

Oh, good, it's not just me!

Ha! Duh! Those are the years that we raise our kids!* ; )

But seriously, the youthful enthusiasm and raw ambition of my teens and 20's has given way to the realization that all of my dreams might not come true, the burden of the giant mortgage, the whirlwind of being a working mom, the appearance of spider veins and cellulite and more and more gray hair, the loss of my physical energy, professional burnout...OMG, I think I'm having a mid-life crisis! Send me a red convertible corvette, stat!

And what's the next step? Turtle as a tween and teen (ugh!), caring for aging parents, increasing responsibilities, less personal freedom and time...I can see how this dip lasts 10-15 years before you can get your head above water and look around after 50 with a whole new attitude.

The cool part is that the end of the graph is so hopeful! We end up even happier than we ever were in the beginning! Or perhaps we just finally learn to really really really lower our standards? Either way, who cares, we feel better! I'm looking forward to that...

*Speaking for those of us who entered parenting in our mid-30's...

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