We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis - What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of
human happiness—and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age. A quote:
“I think it must be something internal,” my 45-year-old friend S. told me. He described his 20s as exciting and fun (“I was really dumb but thought I knew a lot”) and his 30s as a time of hard work and steady rewards (“I felt on track … Things looked like white picket fences and the American dream”), but said he was bushwhacked in his 40s by an unexpected divorce, unmarried fatherhood, and a heart attack. He said he now experiences difficulty feeling contentment, leading to some of the same self-doubt that I felt: a creeping suspicion that he is fated to be whiny. He also wondered whether his dissatisfaction has been a cause of some of his problems, not just an effect. “Professionally, things looked pretty good,” S. told me. “But maybe something was going on. Something sufficient for my wife to leave. If I did a deep psychological dive, I might say that nothing will ever make me content. Maybe there’s something deeply psychologically wrong with me. I see life as a challenge to overcome rather than an adventure to be enjoyed. I’ve thought of running away to Brazil—changing my name and becoming a hotel clerk. Maybe that will change in my 50s.”
On reading about this piece, I found myself wondering about the premise of the questions in the surveys. A question like "How satisfied are you with your life these days?" seems like a very American question to me. Most people on this planet think about whether they are satisfied by their meal, or whether their god is satisfied with them, and all sorts of other things other than narcissistic or hedonistic satisfaction.