Why I Love Birthdays

My son turns 21 this Saturday, and I think that he’s really happy that he’ll be able to go to a bar this Friday night at 12:01 (when it’s officially Saturday) and order his first alcoholic beverage legally with his real ID.

But I am going to be happier. That’s according to a quick look at a few happiness studies. For the most part, the results yield a U curve, which means that if you track your emotions and age, it comes out like a skateboard park. Starts high, swoops down and rebounds back up. You are, according to the research, at your lowest in your mid 40s, but the good news is that it only gets better from there. For those of us who have not reached our euphoric 80s, the news is, well, happy. Or as Robert Samuelson suggested in yesterday’s Washington Post, if you aren’t satisfied, just wait. Chances are you’ll get older. And not only wiser, but more chipper. Samuelson was writing about his friend Jonathan Rauche’s cover story in The Atlantic, which explores the happiness U.

What that means for my son and for me is that while he may —> Read More Here


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