Every single one of these something-year-olds, all of whom are widowed, recalled a time when their spouses were still alive and when their children were younger and living at home.
There was no hesitation though, that those days were also the happiest. This was a common topic of conversation among my family and friends during this time as it had a particular resonance with people in both its counter-intuitive yet completely reasonable analyses. The theory of the U-bend came about as researchers discovered consistent findings from independent research projects on happiness and well-being all over the world. Researchers hypothesized that middle-age-misery was due to the overwhelming number of familial, professional and financial demands during these years and that people became more self-accepting, less ambitious and more mindful of living in the present moment instead of the future as people approached their 70s.
When we are younger, perhaps we think of happiness as a feeling than a state of fulfillment, meaning or abundance, which my interviewees were associating it with. Regardless, their responses came as a sobering reminder for me to fully appreciate and soak in these chaotic days of diaper changes, messiness and minimal me-time. They may just end up being my happiest times.
Elder Interview - Essay Example
Another subject I was dying to know about was if their spouses of many decades were the loves of their lives. As it turns out, this was true for some and not for others. In both cases, it did not keep them from trying to make their marriages work.
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I got the sense from what they were sharing that after they had children, their marriages became much less important to their happiness than the overall nuclear family dynamic. This focus upon the family unit, however, did not mean that their sexual and romantic passion went away.
They still longed to be wooed and pursued.
The Life Review Interview - Research Paper Example
They still experienced intense attraction to people who were not their spouses and continue to experience intense attraction for other people to this day. Of course, sex becomes more tiresome, as well as masturbation, but the desire for companionship is as present as it was during the height of their youth. Those who were valued for their good looks or athleticism experienced much more grief in regards to their current bodies than those who derived confidence from admirable qualities that were much less time-fixed.
A great example of this is one interviewee who was well-known in her community for being a writer and columnist in local newspapers. I found this to be a profound distinction.
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She believed in an afterlife, as one might expect given that she is a church member. She had an assurance that she would, in one way or another, be well taken care of after her time here came to an end. She is still very physically and mentally healthy so it was that final leg of her journey that worried her.
Would she be restricted to a hospital bed, just a mess of tubes and needles?
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Would she still recognize family and friends? Would she be in constant pain? In fact, being old, she shared, brought a lot of advantages: more time, more perspective, less hustling to be the best and most successful and urgency to strengthen the important relationships in her life. This radical relational orientation of all my subjects caught me by surprise. As someone who is entering the height of my career, I expend much more energy on my work than my relationships.
Elder Interview Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - words
And when I imagine my future, I envision what I will have accomplished rather than what my relationships will be like. These something-year-olds emphasize the opposite when they look back on their lives. Their joys and regrets have nothing to do with their careers, but with their parents, children, spouses and friends. My conversations challenged me.
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But these different perspectives helped me to focus on what really matters in the face of competing responsibilities and priorities. Academic Level. Estimated Date:.
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