Lisa writes: Being over 50 is not a moral failing. Hitting life’s halfway point is certainly not something to be ashamed of or to try and keep hidden. Yet in looking at media aimed at the boomer demographic, it would not be hard to conclude that the post-50 years were one long desperate attempt to recapture the better days of youth, as if we had carelessly left them behind.
It turns out that for most of us, those pre-50 days were not better, by almost any measure, and advertisers should probably rewrite their copy to read, “30 is the new 50.”
There is an apologetic quality, an almost defensive posture, to much of what is written about midlife. Yet it is misplaced because research confirms that the decline in our overall happiness, that begins at age 18 and continues steadily downhill, reverses course as we enter our sixth decade. In every country, every income group, whether employed or not, a parent or not, the downward drift in our happiness level reverses course as we approach our 50th birthdays.