attitude


Just came across this short piece and wanted to both affirm it from my personal life experience and share it by way of inspiration to you:

Growing Older, Getting Happier

Older people tend to be happier than younger people, and their happiness increases with age, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports.

Researchers contacted 1,546 people ages 21 to 99 via random telephone calls and found that older age was, not surprisingly, tied to declines in physical and cognitive function. But it was also associated with higher levels of overall satisfaction, happiness and well-being, and lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress. The older the person, the study found, the better his or her mental health tended to be.

The researchers used well-validated scales to assess mental health, although the study relied on self-reports and was a snapshot in time that did not follow an individual through a lifetime. Other studies have found similar results linking advancing age and higher levels of happiness.

The reasons for the effect remain unclear, but the senior author, Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, had some suggestions.

“Brain studies show that the amygdala in older people responds less to stressful or negative images than in a younger person,” he said. “We become wise. Peer pressure loses its sting. Better decision-making, more control of emotions, doing things that are not just for yourself, knowing oneself better, being more studious and yet more decisive.

“This is good news for young people, too,” he added. “You have something to look forward to.”
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So, what sayest YOU?

A version of this article appears in print on 08/30/2016, on page D4 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Growing Older, and Happier.

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When I look back on my personal values, one that has remained constant over these past 7 decades has been always learning something new. Much of that comes in the form of reading or listening to audio books, with two or three books in progress at any given time. Even in looking back over a career that I can honestly say I loved every day of it, whether it was short order cook (teen years at Danford’s in Metuchen, NJ), selling jewelry at Metuchen Jeweler’s, giving customer service at the local tropical pet store or car hopping at Stewart’book librarys Root Beer stand in nearby Ford’s NJ (great lessons when you work on tips – good service means rewards with each car you waited on; work hard and you make more – lessons every young person needs to learn to succeed in later years), or teaching high school mathematics (at St. Peter’s high school in New Brunswick NJ where I attended and later taught at as a peer with my former teachers – loved those kids and working days!).  I even was the high school tennis coach, an assignment that drove me to the library to learn how to play and score tennis since I had no background in the sport until then.

Geometry teacher (1968) JFK High School, Iselin, NJ

Geometry teacher (1968) JFK High School, Iselin, NJ

Later in corporate America working at Sperry, Univac, Unisys – the names changed over my forty years, as did the company – but always moving into a different challenging role every 3 years – constantly learning new things, usually by sitting down with individual team members and watching them do a job, then asking if I can try my had at it – great bonding and fun way to learn. Whether it was teaching (yes, never strayed far from that stand up in front of a classroom even in this environment) or presenting product to a customer/prospect, I was learning and growing.

It was during those years that I came to recognize how important a value that was to giving me satisfaction in my life. It was never hard work even when it required working beyond 24 hours in a day, and sometimes it did!

Now in retirement that still plays a major role in living a fulfilled life each day. Whether its hosting a support group meeting for organ transplant patients learning from a kidney recipient turned kidney transplant surgeon last Thursday evening, Saturday attending a day long leadership summit listening to a presenter from the UK sharing what organ donation is like in their world, attending a bible study on Sunday followed by a learning workshop on how to lead a church council, each expands my world of interest just as it has for these many years.

And so it goes, bones may ache, health conditions may challenge, but the mind remains alive and hungry. That’s why, after reading a Washington Post editorial about the political climate just before now, I found myself distracted in watching a YouTube video on how they make bubble gum! (which I then posted on Twitter, another social media resource I’m trying to learn how to use effectively – learning, learning, learning!) – and then was moved to share here in my long neglected blog, this story of today and learnings.

So what are your values that make your own daily life worth living? Not sure? Take some quiet time to ask and answer that question, then focus more of your life in that direction to get more enjoyment out of life today and everyday.

So now I’m off to more reading and a to-do list that is too long for a life in retirement that is supposed to be one of quiet and resting. My lesson for you today: don’t believe it – life is to be lived and the more you learn the more interesting each day can be.

With my left knee replacement surgery now out two months+, I was looking forward to a recent air traveling to Atlanta for a UNOS board meeting as a final test of this new painus-airways-express-erj-195_4562_t-free functionality. In prior trips with both knees aging and no cartilage left, travel was painful with a typical assigned airport gate being as far from the main terminal as you can get – i.e. a distant Gate F79, meaning a very long walk with several stops to rest both arthritic knees along the way.
Of course now with that test underway, my assigned gate was B2, the very first gate past security! On the return flight, it was gate D21 in Atlanta, so I felt at least this would be a good test. Wouldn’t you know it? Gate D21 was the first gate of the spoke off the central hub, so again just like B2, the closest one! Where were they when I couldn’t walk?
Upon returning to Philadelphia after three long days of meetings and this late night return we arrived at the furthest B gate and even with the up hill ramp midway in that long walk I’m pleased to report a ‘no-pain’ experience with no need to stop and rest. I can’t tell you how much younger I felt with that, and yes, even the right knee that has had nothing done to it, was pain-free. Doctor upon my release confirmed that when one knee gets fixed, often the other previously pained knee improves and that has been my case, so very thankful for that.

He assures me that when its time to do the second knee, “You will know it!” and for now, despite my willingness to do it when needed, that right knee is doing just fine.

. . . plain pink and “Mystery Chicks” flavored marshmallow Peeps!

We were talking about the newly released special flavored Peeps this weekend and how we wouldn’t buy them at the current asking prices of $1.99 (and more), waiting until they go on sale.

Well, Pam found them at Walmart for $1 each and so we have tasted just one of each flavor (all too sweet) and guessing the mystery flavor challenge as being (according to Pam’s tasting): Kiwi flavored – imagine that.  My favorite as of now is “Party Cake” – smells like cake, tastes creamy like cake, perfect. But my other favorite just for its great smell is their “Bubble Gum Peeps” – smells exactly like my childhood Fleer’s pink bubble gum – they did a great job with it.  Of course these get so much better when aged and hardened, if we let them age instead of going back for ‘just one more.’

Try them out and let us know your personal favorite, or your own guess as to the Mystery Chicks flavor as you see it.  And, fact of the day: 5,500,000 peeps are ‘born’each day!  We have 60 of them here now (well 60 minus 6 we’ve tasted).

Life is just a bowl of . . . (not cherries but…) Peeps:

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15M views and counting, and I just discovered it – hope it gets you thinking too:

The video tells the whole story:

So go on out there today and feel your own beauty, patch or no patch!  And let me say to you: “You are beautiful!”  (yes, even you men out there)

I’m currently reading yet another amazing heart transplant biography that shows the amazing strength and resilience of the human spirit.  Facing two heart transplants in one week, months of very challenging recovery in the hospital, to today where he lives a normal life with loving family again, with a kidney donated by his loving wife.  Check out that book, I Left My Heart at Stanford, on Amazon by clicking on that title.

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Today, in yet another amazing true life story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds of being born without arms, now working full time and living what for him is a “normal” life, driving (can you imagine how he drives w/o hands and arms?), adapting to challenges any of us would not believe but can be inspired in seeing him in daily action, you can see this story in the video at http://www.wimp.com/designscomponents/

Enjoy, and then go on facing your own life challenges with renewed belief that if they can do what you read and view in these stories, you certainly can do your own, getting through your day too.  As for me, I am working in my office, looking out the window at Pam’s beautiful garden, watching an amazing display of aerodynamics as a humming bird does his daily visit on the flowers in hanging planters just outside that window.  Life is good and I pray that you too are living that same experience today and every day as we count our blessings.

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