Dr. Helen comments on a London School of Economics study that shows happiness peaking at the age of 23 and again at 69:
Notice that the theme here seems to be that people are happiest when not raising a family. Everyone in-between is probably dealing with a lot more stress.
What is this “happiness” they speak of? I’m alive and of alert mind, so I scan the landscape with cold hate every single day, but also with gratitude for the small things that make life a gift. The years between 23 and 69 are life’s in media res. At twenty-two, I had dropped out of college and worked two full-time restaurant jobs. And yet, having that smoke with the guys after work on a moonlit summer night made it a good year.
Nobody chooses his birth year and today neoliberalism aims to destroy everything we build, everything we value. So under the present deal, there are things that need to be done and snares to be avoided. Happiness is not the real thing, it is the sunlight that warms your skin when you strike the balance of performing your duty and enjoying your freedom. Other than that, there is silence, trees, and the open sky. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.