Life has a depressingly simple trajectory. You’re born, you grow up, you spend a few years looking and feeling great and then you hit middle age and slowly sink into a quagmire of loneliness, despair, and terrible sex. Finally, you wind up sharing a care home with Grandpa Simpson and wondering why your kids don’t visit anymore.
At least, that’s the cynical view. But there’s a more positive way of seeing things. A way which suggests that aging is less of a slow decline and more of a doorway through which unexplored regions of awesomeness lie.
How many times have you caught a cold this year? As most of our readers are in the 18–35 range, we’re going to guess around three. That’s standard for young people. But our readers over 50 will have different answers. On average, they will have caught between one and two.
When we’re born, each new virus is like someone taking a sledgehammer to our immune systems. As we get older, our bodies get better at remembering certain invaders and fighting them off.
By the time we near 40, we’ve got a Facebook-sized directory of many of the bugs going around, with the result that we find it much harder to get sick in some ways. Of course, an older person’s immune system gets weaker in other ways, and serious illness can result from that. However, science has shown that everything from allergy symptoms to migraines declines as we enter late middle age.
As general rule, life satisfaction dips the longer you live. From age 18 to the mid-twenties, most people rate their own happiness as taking a sharp plunge before plateauing for a while and then plunging again when they approach 40. By middle age, most of us are at the lowest we’ve ever been in our lives.Then something unexpected happens. Things start to pick up. By 60, we’re as happy as we were at 18. By 70, the average person is more satisfied with his life than he’s ever been. read more at listverse.com
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