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Happiness when aging?


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I've noticed that a lot of 30+ or so people tend to be happy with/love life. How and why? Do you just end up having to say this when you're older, regardless of how you feel?


I have already reached my peak, I don't really have anything left to really look forward to to enjoy... I guess I should volunteer or something, but I don't know if this will truly help at all.


I already feel super old and useless at 19 so I can't even imagine how awful I will feel 5 years from now. How are you so happy when you know you're physical and mental health are just going down the drain, as well as your dreams?

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It's weird but I am actually much happier in my thirties than I was in my twenties ( and I hope to be even happier in my forties! ) - I think the reason is, I am learning things and improving myself every day, so, after all these years and days, I have finally learnt how to deal with things, find out what it is I really love and want and I love myself far more, though it took many years...

I even look younger I think...sounds like you are just going through a rough patch and it should get better if you keep on trying and moving and I'm sure you are not useless! And you have so long to follow your dreams...even if your first few attempts didn't succeed you will get there in the end, you just have to keep daydreaming and have faith you will live your dreams in the future...

Anyhow you are meant to feel worse when you are a teenager and this is your last teenage year! Mine were helllish - I'm much happier now...

I'm definitely sure you haven't reached your peak - and volunteering does help, as well as going to meet-ups where you can meet people with common interests to your own, even I was surprised when I went to a few and I really did meet people who were actually on my wavelength...

Wishing you the very best...Eclipse x

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I'm not sure.....

Maybe by then they have created a rich enough tapestry to be happy about....


Maybe they just begrudgingly accept that the things that they did when they were 20 are now not applicable to them and force themselves to be happy with what they are allowed in life compared to what they had.


Maybe they are better at accepting who they are and their expectations of themselves and what kind of partner they expect dramatically drop.


Those are just some ideas.


As for me being 30 this year and looking like I am way younger....I don't think I can fully comprehend what the majority of 30 year olds who look like 30 year olds think....



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LOL why would we 'have to say it'?


Maybe you were surrounded by unhappy older people as a kid. I was lucky - my parents always taught us that however old you get, you never feel older than 18 inside - by which they meant that you never need to lose that 'joie de vivre' - however, some people never had it in the first place. When my daughters were teenagers they both had friends who seemed older than me.


There is SOOOOoo much to look forward to in life, but I think - for me at least - it hinges on finding out who you are and learning to love yourself and be there for yourself.


THEN learn to be there for others. Not at the expense of who you are, but with a vision that in this glorious world we are all interconnected and there is something new to learn and exoerience every day.


Why do you feel super-old at 19? Reframe your life - instead of thinking of all the things you've never had or done, look forward to having and doing them.


Aging isn't always easy, of course - I was very active up until last year when I somehow broke my knee, and I'm currently working my way back to the fitness levels I had before. It IS odd going to the gym and, instead of running for 30 minutes on the treadmill, cycling at level 1 for 6 minutes and then having to stop! I am optimistic that I shall reach much better fitness levels, but if I don't, well - I've had the luxury, this last year, of practising for if I ever get infirm. I have crawled round town at a snail's pace, in a lot of pain, and seen that plenty of others cope with that too. I set myself the task of seeing how I could be optimistic about it - and you know what I came up with?


From being a person who always stops and smells the roses (Which I do - quite literally - and recommend), I became someone who was going slowly enough to see them growing!


I wasn't always an optimist, far from it. The other who taught me this wonderful lesson was difficult in other ways and damaged me very badly. Thank goodness, somewhere along the line I realised I had a choice to make about whether I wanted to be happy or miserable.


It is down to taking responsibility and playing a game with life - whatever you throw at me, I'm going to find a way to put a positive spin on it.


And if that sounds too Pollyanna, I'm sorry - but it's a lot more fun this way!


So far each decade has been better than the last, a lot of people will tell you the same - it's because you genuinely do feel better and more accepting of yourself as you grow older (hopefully). I am really excited about turning fifty in August - it can only get better!

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I've noticed that a lot of 30+ or so people tend to be happy with/love life. How and why?


I find there is more freedom, and everyone is more relaxed as you approach 30. You can do what you like, and there is more of your own place in life for you I think.


In high school and through your teens it's all are you in the cool group, are you wearing the right stuff, are you going to the best parties? Lots of pressure to fit in.


In your twenties it begins to ease up but not that much. Are you in the best social and sports clubs at university, are you keeping up with the jokes and things with your age group at work, can you keep up with the drinking everyone else does? Happy to stay up all night drinking and then go and do something silly in the morning with a hangover? Can you prove that you can keep up, do exciting stuff and so on?


It all tails off when you reach 30, and you start to do things that you like doing for a change. You can't drink as much but instead of nights up being a stupid drunken competition, they are fun and you talk about what you want to. It's more food over at friends (rather than wild nights out) because they have young kids now, you can make a cake, have a cocktail party at home, go on holiday and look at sights that you want to see (whatever you like). You can do this without a blazing hangover and five other hungover sweaty blokes not wanting to start drinking again but having to do so because they don't want to lose face. In short you no longer have to prove any of those silly little things that were so important when you were younger. It's hard to explain, but it just seems more chilled and happier with less pressure about little things that aren't really important.

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Because at 19... your just getting out of your parents reach! Up till then they were responsible for showing you what you should be as an adult.


From 19 to 30 you get to get out and experience the adult with full responsibility and accountability. Everyone makes mistakes... some more serious than others.


By the time you are 30... you've taken what you learned from your parents... what you learned from the school of hard knocks and you make your life your own. You take what you feel is the best from both worlds and you tally forward with your own rules.


Trust me... I think many of us have been that bleak teenager - suffering that teenage angst against adult rule only to move on into appreciation later in life. Stick a round and see if you can prove or disprove the theory... what you have to lose but another decade!



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OP - I wouldn't go back to being your age (or thereabouts) if you paid me. Forget what people tell you about it being "the best time of your life" because they're full of it. It's a sucky time of life because its fraught with major transitions at a time when you haven't really learned how to navigate through major transitions.


You are leaving childhood behind, but you haven't yet learned much about adulthood or "how to be an adult"

You are probably dealing with decisons about futher schooling or going right to work

You have more questions about your future than answers

You are likely dealing with decisions about the type of work you want to do

You are also likely to be dealing with money management on a bigger scale than you have before

You are trying to figure out who you are, what you believe, and what kind of person you'd like to be

....and let's not forget the whole area of romantic relationships/sex and your own sexual identity.


Any ONE of these areas would give a person enough to deal with....having to deal with them all around the same time (when you've never had to deal with this sort of thing before and have no clue as to how you're supposed to deal with these things) can certainly make adult life seem like a soul-sucking journey into a pit of total despair.


But it isn't. Because it gets easier to manage those things as you learn.


As a child, when you first tried to ride a 2 wheel bicycle, it was probably hard. You'd see older kids riding 2 wheelers (and some of them would coast about with their hands OFF the handlebars!) and they made it look so easy...but you kept wobbling & falling over. But you kept trying, and one day...it all just came together and you figured out how to do it.


Life's kinda like that. At 19, the training wheels are off (or about to come off) and you're all wobbly and unsteady and you can't figure out how the older kids are cruising around happily when you are nursing yet another scraped knee and bruises from your latest fall.


While I can't speak for all those looking backwards at 30, I know for myself that dealing with what life throws at me has gotten easier the older I get...because it's likely I've personally experienced something similar before and remember what did and didn't work....OR...I know someone who has gone through something similar and can benefit from what they learned. Even when I was a young adult I didn't put much stock into other people's opinions of me and what I chose to do....as I've gotten older, I *really* don't give a horse's behind what other people think of me and/or what I choose to do. This is an incredibly freeing thing because it means you are calling the shots in your own life.


I still feel like I'm about 15 most days.....only I have my own house, my own car, my own money, no curfew, and the ability to do pretty much what I want. My 40s have been better than my 30s which were better than my 20s. I felt "older" at 25 than I do at 46. I take better physical care of myself in terms of eating and exercise at 46 than I did at 26 or 36. My mental health is light years better now than 25-30 years ago (due in part to spending much of my 30s working with a really good therapist). And I have decades of navigating through life that give me the confidence that I am capable of handling whatever may come my way. I sure as hell didn't have that at 19. And having that makes a major difference in one's outlook on life.


Does that sound to you like what you've imagined getting older will be like?

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Oh, one other thing -


The stuff you like and that makes you happy now -- that can still be part of your life decades later.


My house is decorated with framed posters of mine and my husband's favorite bands. Bruce Springsteen is still on the wall in my bedroom just like he was 30 years ago. My husband bought me a DVD documentary of Monty Python for my birthday, and now we are re-watching all the old Flying Circus shows...and I still freakin' love them and they still make me laugh. Our main hobby is playing World of Warcraft.


So, yeah, the things in your life now that you like and that bring you joy don't have to get left behind as you get older. That's a choice people make.

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Hmm, thanks for the answers, they make a lot of sense... Unfortunately I don't believe and can't be convinced that the world will even make it another 10 years without experiencing some type of apocalyptic scenario. At least I'll have made it to a year before I might start feeling happy

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I don't believe and can't be convinced that the world will even make it another 10 years without experiencing some type of apocalyptic scenario.


Believe it or not, many of us who were your age in the 1970's felt this way also. We were on the verge of nuclear holocaust. We had the oil crisis. Pollution was destroying our planet. We had the Vietnam War. And yet, life continues, some people make choices to help solve problems, to bring happiness and joy into their lives and others, to raise families, to live consciously, to love, to be kind, to be creative, to Live. Try to let go a little of worry about the future, and a make one positive choice, now. Enjoy that one positive choice. Relax and repeat....

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GAH!!!!! Lost my reply!!


I was discussing this just the other night in a writing class. We were aged between 20 and 70 and we all had memories of thinking this way as teenagers. My Mum was terrified during the Cuban crisis (early 60s) as they were told they would only have a four minute warning before the world ended, and she realised her kids were all in different schools and she wouldn't be able to reach them all. She used to sob at home...


My theory is that we have four possible options when worrying about future events.


The first two are assuming that something bad IS going to happen. We can either:


a) Worry. This prolongs our bad experience as we have spent time before the event worrying - probably rendering ourselves less fit to deal with it when it finally happens.


b) DON'T worry. At least this way we limit the awful experience by not living it before it happens.


If it DOESN'T happen in the end, we can either:

c) Worry. What a waste of time! And it's open-ended cos we just keep worrying until... nothing happens.


d) DON'T worry. AND nothing bad happens! Win-win!


I like 'd' best... whatever, it's obviously much more logical not to worry!

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I wish I could just "decide" not to worry...


Uh, you can.


But to do that, you have to be in control of what you think and you have to turn your thoughts away from negative, doomsday scenarios.


It's easy for most humans to come up with worst-case scenarios. If we are alive today, it's because we descended from a long line of people who were very good at noticing what was wrong in their environment. The people who didn't notice what was wrong probably became the wild animal's dinner and didn't get a chance to procreate.


So you're talking generations upon generations of this negative thinking ability genetically hard-wired into our brains.


It takes effort to turn that around. I started working on gaining control of and consciously re-directing my thoughts in my 20s. Still work on it today. But it's much more automatic now than years ago.


By the way, don't feel so specially doomed. Your generation isn't the first to look at the world and think it was all ending and going to hell in a handbasket, and your generation won't be the last. Back in the 80s when I was around your age we were figuring Ronald Regan would get us all nuked or drafted and killed in a war. Far as I can tell, none of that came to pass so all our worrying and doomsday scenarios were for naught.


What you're experiencing is nothing new, really.

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I find myself becoming more happy as I age as well. Even though I am only 24, I have reached a point in my life that all I want is to be stress free. When I was in my late teens to early 20's I thought in order to be happy, I must have a lot of friends and people in my life. I couldn't have been more wrong. Actually, the more people in your personal life, the more problems you have.


Furthermore, as we age, I believe we become more comfortable with who we are and what we want in life. The older people I know have this mellow way of thinking and it's almost like a "been there--done that" kind of attitude. I enjoy talking to people in their 30s and 40s, because they always have the less dramatic advice.

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I think it's because wisdom + stability+ experience + caring less about what people think = a much more care free existence.


I know that, at age 28, I am a lot ahppier than I was in my earlier 20s. I still have a long way to go (see earlier post), but it's comforting to know that things really do get better.

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