Sunday, September 07, 2008

Speaking of Laughter...

Maybe my mom isn't alone among people her age. (See previous posting.) While getting a pedicure yesterday, I came across this tidbit in the October 2008 issue of Shape:

After studying more than 30 years' worth of data, sociologists at the University of Chicago concluded that Americans grow more joyful over time. The longer we live and the more experiences we have, the easier it is to find common ground with others, they say. As a result, we feel more fulfilled by our relationships, which contribute to our sense of well-being. How to get the same effect now? Write down one thing you learned today in a journal before you go to sleep. Think about how it might help you understand someone else better. . . .


  1. My daughter is applying to be a Scholastic News reporter. Contestants have to answer the question: "What is great about your community." She wanted to talk to senior citizens. We scheduled an appointment with three ladies living in a retirement home this past Friday.

    Two were in the 80's and one had just turned 90.

    And just like the report you read in "Shape" magazine...

    We found them to be content and happy. They all reported enjoying the members of their facility. And we walked away from there impressed by their general sense of well-being.


  2. My husband is a hospice volunteer and really loves the oldie goldies. He echoes what you and your daughter found. If you make it to 90, he says, generally you're pretty content.

  3. Prill, though not as old as your mother, I certianly am more joyfull as I get older. I think writing has something to do with it. They say it therapeutic and I believe that, too. Both mentally and physically. Thank you for citing the study!


  4. I've never thought about writing that way, Carolyn, but I think you're right. For me, writing can be exhilarating, or agonizing, depending on the moment. But even when it's agonizing, there's a certain joy that comes with trying to put my thoughts into words.