It was still dark outside when my alarm went off. I grumbled, hit snooze and unsuccessfully tried to return to the dream in which I still had six pack abs, a fast car and a girlfriend who didn’t let me sleep.
That guy didn’t get up before 6 A.M. because he was just getting home. And if by chance he was home and awake then it was probably because he was preparing to go fishing or on some other vacation.
He didn’t groan when he woke up because his back hurt or he had a kink in his neck. But then again he didn’t live in a house, have real furniture or a full refrigerator. And he probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to this article:
A global study on happiness shows middle age is truly miserable, although an Australian researcher says this is not necessarily so.
A study using data from around 80 countries has found happiness is greatest in youth and old age with depression being most common among men and women in their forties
“In a remarkably regular way throughout the world people slide down a U-shaped level of happiness and mental health throughout their lives,” says researcher Professor Andrew Oswald at Warwick University in the UK.
“Some people suffer more than others but in our data the average effect is large.”
The study is published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Let me clarify a few things. I am pushing 40, but still have a while to get there. On the whole I have excellent genes. My grandparents are about to turn 94. My great-grandmothers lived into their nineties and I feel young. So by my unscientific approach I figure that it is going to take another ten years before I am really middle aged.
1. Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? He who learns from all men, as it is written (Psalm 119:99) “I have gained understanding from all my teachers.” Who is mighty? He who subdues his passions, as it is written (Proverbs 16:32) “One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.”
Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion, as it is written (Psalm 128:2) “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.”
I have always appreciated that. The sentiment of being content with what you have is sensible, reasonable, rational even. But, I am a man of serious passion. The fire burns inside me. It always has and I cannot foresee a time when it does not.
In truth I am not all troubled by my inability to rest. The drive is part of what enables me to withstand the hard times. There are days that I just put my head down and trudge on through the muck.
Even with a good attitude there are some things that are harder to accept. The thinning hair isn’t something that makes me jump for joy. It is not horrible, but it is not great. The new aches and pains aren’t particularly welcome. They aren’t friends of mine. They’re like rockstar groupies. I don’t really want them to hang around but they come with the territory.
Later tonight I plan to sit down and review the list of things that I want to accomplish. It is time to take a look at my roadmap and see if I am going in the right direction. Am I doing the things that I need to do to make my dreams come true or am I just treading water.
I know what I need and what I want. One way or another….