I am going to be miserable three years from Friday. Statistically speaking, that is.
You see, I turn 37 on Friday and a new, supposedly comprehensive, study finds that depression comes down on people in their 40s like a sledgehammer.
So I only have three years of happiness left.
When I am 40, it's not going to matter that I love my family, job, country, God, and Nintendo DS. I am doomed to misery. I won't enjoy sunsets and sushi anymore. Long walks with the kids and trips to Disneyland are just going to stink because of my age.
If I had known this study was going to come out, I would have enjoyed my youth more. According to the people who conducted this study, people in their 40s get depressed because many people realize they haven't achieved their biggest aspirations in life...and their friends begin to drop like flies! I'm not making this stuff up! (Though I question the validity of studies like this.)
But I'm not going to let middle-age get me down. The researchers claim there is a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of being forty-something.
The study claims that you snap out of the depression in your 50s and if you make it into your 70s physically fit, you are going to feel as good as a 20-year-old!
And now if you'll excuse me, I am off to conduct a study of my own. I want to know if the fuzz on the strawberries in my refrigerator will affect the taste of my smoothies.
Seriously, why do people pay attention to this stuff! Life is what you make of it, not what some study says it should be.
All the great philosophers were right--ultimately you are as happy as you make yourself out to be. Studies like this do more damage than good, in my opinion, because they plant the seed of defeat.
And that is all it takes for some people to get depressed about their lives.
Look forward to your life, whether you're a child, a teen, middle aged, or a senior citizen. Why? Because you can find the good in your life outweighs the bad.
If you only open your eyes.
This is my favorite quote by Jack London and something I like to live by. I hope it inspires you half as much as it inspires me.
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."