Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Happy/Unhappy/Excited/Peaceful

1) a + c = happier and happy is excitement
1
6%
2) a + d = happier and happy is peaceful
11
69%
3) b + c = unhappier and happy is excitement
2
13%
4) b + d = unhappier and happy is peacful.
2
13%
 
Total votes: 16

User avatar
Nick
Posts: 24283
Joined: 23 Jul 2003, 13:31
Location: Up late at night again

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Nick » 04 Aug 2017, 13:33

I was pretty happy go lucky in 1997, in fact in retrospect it was one of the best years of my life.

I was 23/24, living in Newcastle, didn't have much money but I had a job I loved working in a branch of Waterstone's (still probably my favourite job I've ever had in terms of the sheer happiness and enjoyment it gave me), and had some good friends and a decent social circle of funny, clever and interesting people.

In the early part of the year I managed to extricate myself from an unhappy relationship, and my newfound freedom was wonderful. I went out all the time, smoked and drank beer, still had thick dark hair on my head, saw a lot of gigs, took a couple of good holidays, and had a huge amount of fun.


That said, I ticked happier and peaceful now, because I am, and it is. I'm married to the person that I was put on earth to be with, we have a nice home and don't really want for anything, financially or otherwise. Cat and I laugh a lot, we do a lot of fun and interesting stuff, and I think we enjoy life. I'm solvent, I have a job that I enjoy and that I believe I'm quite good at, and when I walk out the door at 5pm, I forget about it until the next time I'm in the office.

I'm more comfortable with myself than I've ever been in my life, and I think I know how to leave things alone and not fret about them far more than I used to. I have two great kids, one of whom is now an adult, and I'm very proud of them both. Generally, day-to-day small stuff crap aside, I'm very content. And lucky.
Jeff K wrote:Nick's still the man! No one has been as consistent as he has been over such a long period of time.

User avatar
Toby
Arsehole all Erect
Posts: 21980
Joined: 28 Jul 2003, 23:13
Contact:

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Toby » 04 Aug 2017, 13:40

Same age as Nick. 23 then and 43 now.

Life was definitely more exciting then as I was travelling a lot to relatively exotic places. Yet, as I reviewed my travel diaries from those days, I was still searching for something intangible that was just out of grasp. Perhaps it was just relationship-based in all honesty; by then I hadn't really had one that I really thought "this is what it's about". I was transitory - not only travelling but without having any roots outside of the parental home. I wasn't in any sort of worthwhile career to thinking about the future..

Now I'm 43 and yes, like others, it's a lot more peaceful. I live in a quiet village in a lovely town and apart from a few annoyances with traffic, I'm not getting riled like I used to. I don't work or at least commute, which has had a transformative effect on me in many respects. I don't seek out hedonic pleasures like I used to; I went to a festival a few weeks ago and had a good time, but during most of it I was thinking "hmm I'd really like to actually sit down somewhere and read my book". By the Sunday, I was actively missing my family and raring to go home. I'm not overly concerned about the future otherwise I think I'd probably have a meltdown. I had a brush with cancer just under two years ago which certainly made me think a lot more about my health, but at the same time it's in things like food and booze that some of life's most heartfelt and central pleasures are to obtained.

User avatar
Nick
Posts: 24283
Joined: 23 Jul 2003, 13:31
Location: Up late at night again

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Nick » 04 Aug 2017, 14:22

Toby wrote:Life was definitely more exciting then as I was travelling a lot to relatively exotic places.


It's funny, in 1997 I'd been only to France and Spain, once each. I had very little interest in travel outside of the UK. Even in the UK, I'd never been to Wales or Northern Ireland, and I think I'd only been to London once - which now seems to me bizarre given how relatively small a country England is.

Fast forward 20 years and between my job and holidays, I've now been to almost 40 countries, in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Between 2006 and 2009 I went to India alone something like 15 times.
Jeff K wrote:Nick's still the man! No one has been as consistent as he has been over such a long period of time.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22557
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Aug 2017, 19:49

Twenty years ago was rough. On this date twenty years ago I was 32 and my first daughter had just been born 19 days ago. We were overjoyed, but it had been clear for a while that something was wrong. She wasn't taking any food and had already had to have a spinal tap. In about a month we would be told that she had a rare brain malformation and would likely not live more than two years...but we didn't quite know that yet.

The context of these times was bleak too. I'd just moved to Colorado from Los Angeles largely unwillingly. My wife had been going through some rough emotional times and decided that leaving LA was the key to her turning things around. In normal times I'd have more to stay for, but my once-interesting musical career had stalled - partially due to being dropped by my label, but mostly due to the death of my best friend and manager. That was a kick in the gut.

My family was also coming apart at the seams. My grandmother had developed dementia and it came out that she had money. This started a protracted legal war between my father and uncle that had left nobody talking to each other and no money left for children or grandchildren.

So here I was in Colorado...not a musician anymore. No real family anymore. Depressed wife. No way to make a living. Newborn child with frightening medical problems I didn't understand. That's a snapshot of me on this day 20 ears ago.

Well...unless this day was this one particular day. My wife was out. Just me and my daughter watching movies all day. I think in that moment I'd thought that all of the hard things might just be over - and I remember it as the only day that I really had to hold this little girl and imagine her growing up into a young woman...going to college...getting married. Soon I'd find out that none of that was going to happen - but I was truly happy on that one day, despite all sorts of recent trouble.

Fast forward to now....

I'm 52. My daughter didn't pass away. She turned twenty 19 days ago and she's happy. Yesterday we got a contraption called a gait trainer which allowed her to walk on her own power while strapped in it. She seemed to enjoy that. Her younger sister heads off to college next month. I have a good job where I'm respected and well paid, a nice house, and my wife is happier than ever. I just finished recording an album after more than 20 years as a non-musician and have several other creative projects happening.

I'm closer to dying, but also better at living. I don't know what stopped my depression, except that I hit a point where I was done with it. I'm under no illusions that hard times won't ever return. I know they will if I'm lucky enough to stay alive long enough to run into them. But I already know that I'm a survivor. I have a talent for meeting hard realities and making my way towards the whatever happiness can be taken from them. So I guess I'm at peace with that. All in all, I'm the happiest I've ever been.
Last edited by Davey the Fat Boy on 05 Aug 2017, 16:15, edited 2 times in total.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 28683
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Minnie the Minx » 04 Aug 2017, 19:53

That's quite a post, Davey!
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
Minnie the Minx
funky thigh collector
Posts: 28683
Joined: 29 Dec 2006, 16:00
Location: In the naughty North and in the sexy South

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Minnie the Minx » 04 Aug 2017, 20:01

I'm not sure I understand the premise of the original four options, but I suppose my answer would be that I am happy in a very different way now than I was 20 years ago. I did not appreciate the capacity that a great, great love has to shift your perceptions about everything, but now I see everything clearly. I never had that before I got married.
One of my dear friends that I ran around with for years in punko days has terminal cancer and her and I are talking a lot. I'm sending her diary entries of what we did on what day - getting banned from pubs mainly - and she says constantly, how immortal and indestructable we seemed which added to all of our fun. There was no doubt my life was exciting then. I forget how exciting. But did that equate to happy? I dunno. Lots of things contributed to that. My friend, with a different immediate future in front of her, is remembering those days with an added happiness slant. Maybe if things were different, she would be content now too.

I'm living in a city I love with the man of my dreams and despite the day to day grind our life continues to hold infinite possibilities. I'm happy.
You come at the Queen, you best not miss.

Dr Markus wrote:
Someone in your line of work usually as their own man cave aka the shed we're they can potter around fixing stuff or something don't they?

User avatar
take5_d_shorterer
Posts: 5599
Joined: 22 Sep 2003, 23:09
Location: photo. by Andor Kertesz, Hung.

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Aug 2017, 04:32

Diamond Dog wrote:A two part question :

1. Compared with 20 years ago, are you
a) happier or,
b) unhappier
than you were.


20 years ago, I was more incompetent as a musician. Not sure what this necessarily has to do with happiness, but it's a lot easier to quantify.

One difference is that 20 years ago, I thought of musicianship more in terms of being inspired while now I think of it first as taking care of some basic skill sets, after which there can be room for some creativity.

Now I can identify more clearly where I'm incompetent and can address that head-on.

And
2) Do you primarily associate happiness with being
c) Excited, or
d) Peaceful.


Can't answer, but I suspect that performing music well has to do with maintaining a certain calm. It is totally different from the listening experience in which you can afford to get excited. You do that when you play, and your time is going to be all messed up. No one wants to listen to that.

User avatar
Snarfyguy
Dominated by the Obscure
Posts: 52119
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:04
Location: New York

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Snarfyguy » 05 Aug 2017, 04:37

20 years ago I was a way better musician than I am now (probably because I spent a lot more time playing).

: /
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

User avatar
Diamond Dog
"Self Quoter" Extraordinaire.
Posts: 64187
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 21:04
Location: High On Poachers Hill

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Diamond Dog » 05 Aug 2017, 06:31

Some great honest insights here everyone - a real credit to you all.
In science, the most important criteria for success is not being stunningly full of shit.

User avatar
Belle Lettre
Éminence grise
Posts: 15001
Joined: 09 Oct 2008, 07:16
Location: Antiterra

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Belle Lettre » 05 Aug 2017, 10:04

Davey's post was amazing.
Nikki Gradual wrote:
Get a fucking grip you narcissistic cretins.

User avatar
kath
Groovy Queen of the Cosmos
Posts: 33345
Joined: 22 Feb 2006, 15:20
Location: bama via new orleans

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby kath » 05 Aug 2017, 14:22

Belle Lettre wrote:Davey's post was amazing.


yes.

User avatar
never/ever
Posts: 21597
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 14:21
Location: Journeying through a burning brain

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby never/ever » 06 Aug 2017, 12:20

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
I'm closer to dying, but also better at living.


That is a beautiful short statement that is wrapped in a great story mate. And it so much reflects my answer to the given question that I will leave it at that (not that I really have a story to tell....)
Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?."

George Carlin

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22557
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 07 Aug 2017, 00:03

Thanks to all for the nice words - and for all of the wisdom shared on this thread by all.

I'm always a bit hesitant to talk too much about that time in my life. It was what it was, but I don't really want to fall into the trap of using it to claim any kind of nobility. I'm far from the only person here who has come through tough times. I'm reminded in particular of what we all watched kath go through a few years ago, and the tremendous grace she exhibited throughout. I imagine that we didn't see the half of it, but I'm still a bit in awe of the part that was visible to us.

But it's good to talk about these things - especially when the way the question is framed allows for nuance. I don't take depression lightly. I know that it isn't simply a matter of pulling oneself up from one's bootstraps. Some folks fight a daily war with their brain chemistry. Some folks are overwhelmed by circumstance. Others struggle with a mix of both.

I was lucky in that my brain chemistry and personality default was on my side. But even so...it took more than a decade to crawl out of something that felt like hell. I can only imagine where I'd be now with only a slightly different brain chemistry.

On the other side of ledger, I've also seen some amazing examples of personal triumph around me. I've got a friend with terrible depression who just keeps getting off the mat no matter how many times he's pulled down. I have another who spent years wasting away through cycles of addiction and homelessness who met a girl and decided to live again long after we'd all written his obituary. Even my own mother, depressed and self-destructive well into her 60s finally found a healthy relationship and began living the best years of her life in her 70s.

So I do find myself compelled to talk about what I've come through when I can talk about it in terms of being a hard won (if perhaps temporary) victory. If all of what I went through serves any purpose at all, I hope that it can be one more story out there that reminds people that happiness is always a possibility as long as we're still living.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
F.o.W
Posts: 380
Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 19:46
Location: High Wycombe

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby F.o.W » 08 Aug 2017, 15:08

Davey, brilliant post and respect to you.
Twenty years ago, our eldest daughter was five years old, and we were a month away from the birth of our second child.
Was I happy? On one level, as a family man, yes I was. A decent job, roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food on the table. I had a few good mates, ran a sunday football team. Quite the picture of happiness.
Twenty months ago, this fell away, when I came out. Not going to dwell, because that's not my style, but I lost everything.
Now, as in August 2017, am I happy? Fucking Damn Right I am. Took a while, the support of my step mum, but I got there.
A job I love, new home (the second this year), new town, new circle of friends (a lot of the old ones are still there, thank God), opportunities opening up every day, I actually feel like I've got control over my life back!
I'm older, happier and at peace with myself.
You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant... oh, fuck it.

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45867
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Quaco » 09 Aug 2017, 03:38

This morning, I had the unique pleasure of watching a video taken in 1985 (age: 19) of my friends and me. I certainly had many good times back then, but I would never want to go back to that particular type of insecurity that I could see in everything I did. Ugh. I would never want to give up what I've learned and felt in the years since. Interestingly, I think back then I might have said that I would have wanted to go back to earlier childhood.

Not always happier now, but I'm more consistent and less seeking approval in oh-so-subtle ways. Less on a roller coaster of the thrills of joy and the related hangover afterward when it doesn't last or the next thing doesn't pan out. I guess that's peacefulness.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 13854
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby Jimbo » 09 Aug 2017, 04:31

Just as we are getting relaxed - I into easy part time work and a small pension, my wife with a low pay but satisfying job, our son on his own - my wife's father had a stroke. Last night she and I actually talked about selling our home and moving to Sapporo to help her mom deal with her dad. Old or young, shit happens.
persona non grata among those who worship at the altar of conventional wisdom

User avatar
take5_d_shorterer
Posts: 5599
Joined: 22 Sep 2003, 23:09
Location: photo. by Andor Kertesz, Hung.

Re: Happy as you get older - and, if so, why?

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 09 Aug 2017, 21:11

Cerebral hemorrhage ranks particularly high as a cause of death for Japanese (see http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa- ... s-of-death ).

I'd recommend knowing where the nearest stroke center is. If the stroke is ischemic and is treated within 3 hours, the effects are usually reversible.