I believe some of my best days are yet to come. There are researchers who say levels of happiness are different as life changes throughout our lives.
Depending on what was happening in our life at different ages, happiness kind of follows a U-shape curve as we age. Your peak years of happiness seem to be not only when you are young, in great health and having fun but also again in retirement when your mind and body may not be as sharp and fit but you have a new outlook and want to make every moment count.
I love that our Heavenly Father created us all equal but with different spirits and gave us choices. What makes one person happy or content may be different from what makes someone else happy and elated. Throughout life our expectations of happiness change, as my journey from one phase of life to the next I’ve definetly matured and learned from all my experiences.
Most people in their 20’s are motivated by school, involved with causes and comparing themselves to other’s their age. My 20’s were filled with heartache and disappointment. Balancing dating and career choices can be challenging. My advice; focus on what you can control-doing your best. Try getting into the best school for YOU, and start a good job. Ignore what you cannot control–don’t compare your ‘likes’ on Facebook or social media to what everyone else is doing…just be you the beautiful flower you are beginning to bloom into.
In the third decade of life many people have established themselves in careers and began families. If you choose to experience a career or become an entrepreneur or being a wife and mother be the best at it as you can. Pray for patience. In a career, George Vaillant M.D. says there are four C’s to finding joy. “Find something you are competent at, committed to, compensated for and contented with.” As a young mother I made so many mistakes, and compared myself to mother’s who I believed were completely out of my league of knowledge in parenting.
Now looking back my advice would be this; it’s important to be sure you’re being valuable to someone else, maybe your children or husband. Form and cultivate relationships, not just at work but in all aspects of your life, where you have something to offer that someone else wants.
When I turned 40 I felt I was in the best health of my life, eating right, working out everyday and enjoying my teenagers. For some people it’s a balancing act to take care of their children and care for their aging parents. I didn’t have the pleasure of caring for my mother as she aged, so I concentrated on my family life. The mothering ‘guilt’ was gone I felt I had done well at raising intelligent beautiful children. In my 40’s I began to understand a little about happiness, I was more calm and peaceful. My story is not quite typical, as in my late 40’s I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but for the typical person in their 40’s it’s a time of self assurance, finding joy in what they have accomplished in life thus far.
Now I am in my 50’s–I read one time that the younger generation believes when you wake up on your 50th birthday you suddenly want to move to a small village in Costa Rica to open up a dog shelter…..ha ha, if my family is reading this they will laugh because that is that last thing on earth I would do–no matter what age. As funny as that is, it’s simply not my reality. I have always been someone’s mom, or Eric’s wife. I have had to redefine myself seek out new hobbies, try new things. I’ve had to learn to not compare my wealth to the health I had in my 20’s. I now realize I don’t get everything in life, but I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit. I happy on a different level, everyday I thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me to experience another sunrise, or the opportunity to play with my beautiful grandchildren. I’ve learned I am enough, I am strong, brave and compassionate. I am celebrating the small miracles I see in my life and look forward to exploring more of who I am. I listen to my heart and ask for help through prayer. I love my life right now, I’m true to myself and work hard to serve others.
I am looking forward to doors opening up for me as I move into my 60’s and beyond. Above all my family means more to me than ever before. I have faith and hope for a future full of pure joy.
XOXO Monya Bonbon