The Art of Aging HAPPY

Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

When I was a little girl, happiness–and I mean total and complete happiness —was a Good Humor popsicle, a song on my transistor radio,  a snow day home from school, or the giant Hershey bar my grandmother would leave on the stairway for me on Fridays (her shopping day). I’ll bet you too, could name countless carefree pleasures that made you happy when you were a kid. 

As we go through adulthood our happy-go-lucky approach to life gradually fades beneath a stiff cocoon of responsibility, busyness, practicality, and “should-ing” all over ourselves, as the great Dr. Albert Ellis use to say.  The Third Age of life beckons us to break free of all of those constraints. We are more aware of our mortality than ever before, and in these precious years we deserve to make our lives special, feel stronger,  more confident, more resilient, and reap the benefits of happiness that are  available to us everywhere and every day. Happiness is not some elusive Holy Grail  that we must endlessly pursue with little hope of finding.  I want to reassure you that you can learn to love your life more whenever you wish to.  

We all feel amazing when we achieve a goal over time, but it is also important to be on the lookout for every nuance that makes you smile right now. Today for instance, I am loving the symphony of a rainstorm outside my window.  It gives me a sense of peace and joy to witness the sky wash the earth clean. What are the simple pleasures that you might savor today?

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