A recent NPR piece caught my attention this week. The Grumpy Point: When a Man Turns 70. They were looking at a study published in the March 2014 issue of Psychology and Aging about how men approach their “Golden Years”. I wrote previously about how my husband is not very impressed with his “F’ing Golden Years“.
Gerontology professor, Carolyn Aldwin, from Oregon State University and the lead author on the study says;
““Some older people continue to find sources of happiness late in life despite dealing with family losses, declining health, or a lack of resources,” she said. “You may lose a parent, but gain a grandchild. The kids may leave the house, but you bask in their accomplishments as adults. You find value in gardening, volunteering, caregiving or civic involvement.”
Aging is neither exclusively rosy nor depressing, Aldwin said, and how you react to hassles and uplifts as a 55- to 60-year-old may change as you enter what researchers call “the fourth age,” from 75 to 100, based on your perceptions and/or your life experiences.”
“The Fourth Age” is an interesting concept, with more and more people getting to those magic numbers, but ill-equipped for the costs mentally and physically of that age. My husband is in this group now and has definitely been experiencing the challenges that come with age; more health complications, his energy levels isn’t the same, he gets upset that his mind just isn’t as sharp as it used to be. He says his head still feels like he’s 40, but he definitely knows his body is now in “the fourth age” and it is tough on him.
Little things seem to upset him the way they never used to, silly stuff like spilling something or the dogs fighting or kids making noise in the neighborhood, he just no longer has a tolerance for any of it. The cranky curmudgeon is what I like to call him sometimes. The good thing is it generally only lasts a short time and then the mental laps kicks in and he forgets why he was mad in the first place.
Are you in the “Fourth Age” or dealing with someone that has gotten grumpy?