Are 23 and 69 the happiest ages in life?

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 22, 2013 

If recent study results are correct, I already experienced one of life's happiest ages -- but I can feel the excitement again in 38 years.

Life's happiest ages are 23 and 69, according to study results described on TIME magazine's website. It notes, "What goes up must come down: after our early twenties, happiness declines on the way to our mid-fifties; then, after cycling back up through our late sixties, it falls again once we reach 75."

The Center for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics conducted the study.

I know what you're thinking: "Sonya, this news is crazy. It's impossible to identify universally happy ages." You might be right.

Google "happiest ages in life" and you'll find a variety of opinions, including 2012 survey results that suggest 33 is the happiest age of people's lives.

At 31, I don't yearn to repeat life at a certain age -- and I hardly look back on my 23rd year with extreme fondness. I was poor, inexperienced and living with my parents. I certainly hope that wasn't the peak of my personal happiness.

As the aforementioned TIME piece suggests, our perception of happy ages varies due to "mental attitudes." What's more, our definition of happiness inevitably evolves over time. Immediately after I graduated from college, I thought my happiness peaked during my dorm days. Now, I cringe at the thought of returning to the world of all-nighters and hunch punch.

But the biggest problem with these so-called "happiest ages" is that they risk making us disregard equally valuable phases in life.

By excessively dwelling on the happiness we experienced in the past, we lose the thrill of believing the best is yet to come.

Discussion time: Do you think there's a happiest age in life?

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service