Although I’ve been writing professionally for more than 20 years, this is my first blog. Although that may be shocking for a writer in this day and age of social media, I never had a strong desire to become a blogger.
Then I was inspired by a recent report published in Psychological Science, an AARP study, and research by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), which all point to the same conclusion. In general, middle aged baby boomers are miserable while apparently senior citizens and the younger generation are having a ball in comparison.
That’s right. Despite stereotypes of cranky old people and whiny young adults, it turns out the oldest Americans (age 65 and up) are the happiest, followed by young adults (ages 18 to 29), followed by those ages 33 to 44.
On the other hand, ages 45 to 64 consistently report the lowest levels of happiness with startlingly high rates of depression. A 2012 AARP study confirmed there is a U-shaped happiness curve with the early 50s as the lowest point of well-being.
Being a baby boomer myself ( age 55), I know from personal experience that hitting the mid-century mark can be a bit disenchanting. AARP notices suddenly appeared in the mail, the doctor began threatening a colonoscopy, menopause resulted in insomnia and panic attacks, my shoulder froze up requiring surgery, a dental implant was necessary, and my parents’ health began to rapidly decline.
Despite these challenges, I didn’t consider myself unhappy or miserable and was surprised that my age group is statistically the unhappiest. I was curious why this was the case. After all, old people have plenty of problems too, so why are they happier than our generation? I wanted to know how we could change those statistics. How can we maintain inner peace and happiness through what can be a turbulent time in life? I knew other boomers would be interested in the answer as well.
In addition to becoming a blogger, I am currently at work on my fourth book. I’ve had two young adult novels published, Time To Cast Away and Just Call Me Goody-Two-Shoes, along with a non-fiction book I co-authored published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of my articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines and I won three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a reporter. If you’d like more information about me and my career, you can visit my author’s website.
I live in southern California with my husband of 37 years, Scott, and have two grown sons and three grandchildren. Sailing and traveling are my other passions besides writing. Scott and I love adventures and have been fortunate to experience the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, go white water rafting on a 5-plus rated river in New Zealand, ride a boat under a raging waterfall in Brazil, pet a koala in Australia, walk the Great Wall in China, and scuba dive in the Cayman Islands.