Happiness and aging in the US: A study by the Brookings Institution

Posted by Scott, Volunteer Mentor @IndianaScott, Dec 8, 2020

I found this study interesting on happiness and aging in the US. Completed by the well-respected Brookings Institution, others here might find it of interest, especially as they discuss the differences they see in the USA versus other developed countries.
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/07/happiness-and-aging-in-the-us-why-it-is-different-from-other-places-and-why-it-matters/
Strength, Courage, and Peace to all

@merpreb

@nannette1941– Welcome to Mayo Clinic. It's very nice to meet you. I can hear a lot of pain in what you say. Feeling lonely is actually a very lonely feeling. I've felt it many times. I felt as if nobody understood me or what I needed and wanted. I felt like nobody liked me. I'm terrible, I must be. I was pushing people away because I was honestly just a miserable person to be with. I can look back at it now and see this. I complained all the time and dragged people down. I finally entered counseling and finally saw that it wasn't that people didn't want to be with me but that I was asking them to be and do for me what I wasn't doing for myself. And that "doing" was taking actions to change my behaviors. I was burdening people, expecting them to fix me.

You say that you used to be so active. What did you use to do? What is stopping you now from doing "everything?"

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Yes… this is the way I feel, but this morning I decided to change… I got up two hour ago and so far I did one load of laundry and cleaned the deck. My problem is/was I expect others to do for me what I would do for them, and THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN! On Christmas day my oven broke down and I had a lady come for brunch… I managed, she came… I had a fabulous brunch… she ate, left, never even said thank you… This is my problem I do too much for others and I expect too much from others.

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@artscaping

HI there @nannette1941, so it is time for bed. I hope you sleep well. Here is something to chew on……….can you remember feeling good about yourself? What was the occasion?

I see that 1941 at the end of your Connect name and so is it possible you were born in 1941? I was born in 1942. So we share many of the same worries and wonderments about our lives and how things have changed. I sent out about 75 digital Holliday letters and have received 6 replies. I moved from my village of 4,000 on the mountain after 20 years because of the fires. Now I live in a town of 65,000 and yet I feel alone…..like no one knows me.

Do you play games like Bridge or Mahjongg? Of course, this COVID has kept even the most avid Bridge player at home. Do you have family here and do they Zoom? My daughter and granddaughters have a Bed Party with me every other Sunday evening. I think I spend more time with them now because of Zoom. And we are all together. My daughter joins us for morning YOGA on Saturdays and Sundays. That is another connection I never had before.

What other activities do you enjoy? Are you creative? Have you made anything you would like to share? We have several groups of discussion open to anyone. Check out "Just Want to Talk" or "The Chat Room".

One more question…..how are you feeling physically? How is your health in general?

I hope to hear from you in the morning. And while I sense that you are despondent and lonely, I hope you have not had thoughts about self-harm. You know that there will always be someone to help when you call the National Suicide Help Line 800 293-8255.

May you be content and at peace.
Chris

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Yes, I was born in 1941; in France. I love to paint watercolor, I am a published author: poetry, one of my poem was selected for the millennium book of poetry; I love to cook (and I am a gourmet cook) I love to entertain but people do not like to come to my house because they say they could never entertain the way I do… actually a hamburger would do with a glass of wine… I entertain because I need and want friends. That is as simple as that.

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@nannette1941

Good Morning, Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my SOS. Yes, it does feel as if I were all alone and the only one experiencing this. However, morning when I got up I ask myself why I I feel the way I do and this is the answer I got from myself: if someone around me felt the way I do I would open my home and ask if we could talk about it… SO THIS IS THE ANSWER: I EXPECT OTHERS TO DO FOR ME WHAT I WOULD SURELY DO FOR THEM AND THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

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@nannette1941– If you expect people to do for you what you would do for others then I fear that you will continue to be very disappointed. About a dozen years ago I was visiting family. My daughter-in-law, who thought that everyone should love her newborn as she did. She decided that because another family member hadn't flown across the country to visit and meet the new child she would return his gift. She didn't want anything to do with him. She thought that his very generous gift was not how she expected him to act. This to me is trying to control how people behave and feel. If I make lunch for someone I do expect a thank you. But I don't expect that person to duplicate and reciprocate based on what I wanted.

Do your friends know how you really feel? Have you told your friends how you want them to treat you or act towards you?

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Good morning, nannette1941! Well, I see you survived the night, as did all my sweet plants!!!! They did quite well, even my little 'Vanda' orchid, hanging on the crepe myrtle tree on the deck. I have it on a limb, sheltered frome the cold wind by the fence. I'ts happy this morning and the large bud growing bigger by the moment is getting rreally huge, ready to open soon. I'll send you a pic. when it opens. Where in France were you born? Wish you'd tell me a little about life there….that was during the war? How and when did you get to the states? Sounds like you've had quite an interesting life and accomplished a lot…..poetry I love!! Can you send any info re your book? I'd love to read some of your writing……also, I so jealous that you cook, that you're a gourmet. How wonderful to be able to give to your friends and family through your love of cooking. I wanted to learn more and more, even learned from French Gourmet on tv! But, stopped that journey as I worked long hours in retirement administration and then owned my own shop…..2 very different areas of life's work, but I loved and enjoyed them both. Both had to do with helping others, working with folks to make their lives better, I guess. Think that was something I was supposed to do with my life. Sad I didn't do a better job of it, tho! Oh, well, did my best.. I'm having to work on accetance. Acceptance of where I am right this minute. In life. Acceptance of my age….yes, the number and the consequences! Mostly, acceptance of me, me today, possibility of me tomorrow and my memories of me yesterday. Tough place. But, Not so much of yesterday anymore! Milestone. More now of today and hope for tomorrow. getting there. Again, glad you had a good rest and woke up today with a new vision! Careful not to overdo!!!!! Blessings. Elizabeth

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@ess77

Hi, @nannette1941! I'm Elizabeth, ess77, in Jacksonville, Fl where it's really, really icey cold! In the low 30's last night, up in 40's today….wow! And, going down in 20's tonight. I love my plants in my yard and on the deck, BUT can't bring pots in anymore and can't cover most of the time, either. It really hurts me……but, we had a chat a couple years ago when I got physically worse and really sad, so I explained to my ginger plant, staghorn fern, lilies, thorn of crowns, pitcher plant hanging basket, plumbego, hydrangias, hybiscus and on and on….we chatted. I explained my situation and how things had changed. Explained it's up to them now to take care of themselves when I can't do it. They were so sweet…..I raised them all from tiny babies, several were being thrown away at Lowe's or Ace Hardware or the nursery…so I grabbed them for $1-2 and saved them from the garbage! the first couple years I did lose a few to the long, extended freeze overnight. But, we don't have many of those, so most of them did fine. I'm able now, with housekeeper help, to water them regularly, talk with them and make them feel loved. They are my friends! So, they've gotten tougher, stronger and can survive the cold winter nights we have in north Fla once in a while. You know, I think we have a good system now. They know I'm much older, weaker and need help, that I'm alone and need their love, so they do their best to survive w/little help from me. I've had to make kind of the same changes in my own life……I'm alone almost all day every day. It's tough. I do have a 53 year old son, disabled for 20 years who now lives across the street from me. He moved here for me to help…..now, he's a bit better and can help me some. Friends I almost never see anymore. I miss them and the times we shared. We don't have meals together anymore. My son and I don't either. He was at his home all day yesterday and today. I was here alone. But, we did chat on the phone. Today, I needed a med. refill, couldn't go out and he did go get it for me. That was wonderful! Rare! I guess all this is to say I'm one of the folks on this coversation site who does really understand how you feel. I bet most of these great folks have had the same feelings……Being alone can be so tough. But, I've gotten so I contact my friends or contacts or acquaintances or whomever by email, mostly, some by text or phone. Usually email is best for me, so I can chat and really let them know I'm thinking of them. No, I don't get many emails back to catch up. Some, but everyone returns with a sentence or fill them in on what I'm thinking. I don't know where you live…..we have to make ourselves go out! I have a hard time with that. I think if I didn't have doc appts at Mayo Clinic I might never go out of the house. But, I do and they're really working with me to get me much better. AND, nannette, I have a doc I spend time talking with every couple months. He's saving my emotional life, maybe my life for real. Not until I began these chats with him, at Mayo, did I really begin to get better. I had someone who was truly interested in my best, in helping me get to the emotional health to live and make it through getting older. Please consider getting in touch with someone like this. A pastor, maybe, a doctor is perfect for me. Maybe the local Council on Aging has some ideas….You know, Chris Trout, 'artscaping', seems to know a lot about how & where to find the things we need to get us through these tough times. So does Colleen Young. And Erika. They're volunteer mentors and whatever and have good info. Artscaping can get you in touch with the good folks who can help you out. Good for you for speaking up! That's a big step to getting to the right people. I'm here, on this crazy computer or my phone or watching tv or whatever………reach out to me anytime. You know, that would really help me out. I need the friendship!!!! I'm thinking about you and will keep you in my prayers! Blessings, my new friend. Elizabeth

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Hi NANNETTE,
wow, you are a gourmet cook. I admire you.
I have a question you maybe can answer.
I bought some Yukon Gold small potatoes, and would love to boil them in a broth, but all the canned soups have so much salt, even boullion is loaded with salt. Have any ideas-suggestions how to boil them without all the salt.
In plain water, they lose their taste.
If I bake them, they are just another bake potato.
I do not have a slow cooker, so that would be out.
Take care,
Thanks in advance.
Funcountess

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Start with quality, creamy potatoes. I prefer to use Yukon Gold potatoes. You can even use a mixture of white-skinned and red-skinned potatoes. Cut the potatoes into small bite-size pieces.
Place potatoes in a bowl and toss with extra-virgin olive oil, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
Pour onto a lined baking sheet. You can use a Silpat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. If the potatoes are larger, they will need longer than 40 minutes. Pierce the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done.
Toss with chopped fresh parsley and more garlic butter, if so desired. You can top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. This is the recipe I use.

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@nannette1941

Yes, I was born in 1941; in France. I love to paint watercolor, I am a published author: poetry, one of my poem was selected for the millennium book of poetry; I love to cook (and I am a gourmet cook) I love to entertain but people do not like to come to my house because they say they could never entertain the way I do… actually a hamburger would do with a glass of wine… I entertain because I need and want friends. That is as simple as that.

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@nannette1941 Let your friends know that spending time with you is a gift to you. Perhaps beyond fixing a meal, you could have a "game night" or have someone talk about a great trip they went on, or just fix tea and sandwiches. While you might not consider what you do as "fancy", it may very well feel like that to others, and they don't think they can do as well. I don't think you are expecting them to, right? If you do a craft, invite a few people over that do the same or similar, just to have some crafting time together, and share space. If they feel you are comparing their house/meal/lifestyle to yours, it may put them on edge. Be yourself, be gracious in accepting whatever level of friendship others offer.

I hope this sounds like something you could try?
Ginger

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@nannette1941

Start with quality, creamy potatoes. I prefer to use Yukon Gold potatoes. You can even use a mixture of white-skinned and red-skinned potatoes. Cut the potatoes into small bite-size pieces.
Place potatoes in a bowl and toss with extra-virgin olive oil, melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
Pour onto a lined baking sheet. You can use a Silpat, parchment paper, or aluminum foil lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. If the potatoes are larger, they will need longer than 40 minutes. Pierce the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done.
Toss with chopped fresh parsley and more garlic butter, if so desired. You can top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. This is the recipe I use.

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Thanks Nannette,
You are making my mouth water just reading your recipe.
I have the new non stick aluminum foil, so will use that. Will not add the salt and pepper, but will try everything else.
I just buy the Yukon Gold potatoes, and sometimes the red skin yams.
Did you go to cooking school in France?
The only thing I have from France is my French perfumes, and my American born French Poodle., that are really German dogs, but history said the French ladies loved their fur, and decided to groom them fancy.
It’s been decades since I’ve been to Europe, and I truly loved France. Do you still have relatives there?
Stay well, and thanks again.
Funcountess

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@nannette1941

Yes, I was born in 1941; in France. I love to paint watercolor, I am a published author: poetry, one of my poem was selected for the millennium book of poetry; I love to cook (and I am a gourmet cook) I love to entertain but people do not like to come to my house because they say they could never entertain the way I do… actually a hamburger would do with a glass of wine… I entertain because I need and want friends. That is as simple as that.

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@nannette1941– Good morning. I'm just a few years younger than you are and I have hosted many a dinner party. People are strange that way, thinking that they have to compete. Maybe just make scrambled eggs- plain scrambled eggs the next time? Or have a simple soup and salad party with just a few people at a time?

The last time that I was in Paris it was for three weeks while my husband worked. Paris and all of France feel like my second home. I don't know if I'll ever have a chance to return but my times there have been wonderful. I even returned to my university to learn french, but it's been a while since then. To me, it's the most beautiful language in the world. If I had a french accent I don't think that I would ever shut up! When did you move to the US?

My husband is the author of several books and my drawings are in his books. I have a couple of art rewards for my watercolors. Right now it's pretty difficult to paint out of doors with COVID-19 around. Too many people like to stand around and watch people paint and tell them what they missed or painted incorrectly. lol

I hope that you continue to be safe and take care of yourself. Are you living with your family?

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@nannette1941

I just feel useless. I have to beg people to come and eat at my house, I am a good cook… so they do not want to come but I am not invited. Where I come from, on Christmas day/eve an extra plate is put on the table for the unknown guest… but no one comes and I am tired of so much loneliness. They say reach out… well I do but nothing happens. Since I am retired it is just so lonely

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@nannette1941 It's Monday….time to get going. I usually have MFR therapy on Monday at 11 am. So I got up, dressed, and was in the car a few miles down the road and then it hit me. Because of the holidays, my appointment is at 3 pm.

So now I have some time to respond. Let's see if I remember the highlights. Born in France..,, is there a french speaking group where you live now. In my village, there was a "French group that met regularly and only spoke French. They wanted to make sure they didn't lose the language.

You are an artist……painting. Two of the artists in my gallery were from Hawaii. Painters always gathered on Saturday morning at a beautiful park (Kapiolani) to learn and teach, to have social interactions. Is there a painter's group where you live? Wanna start one.?

And then there were the walkers. We went on Inn to Inn walks here in the US and in Canada and Ireland. Do you know of such a group?

I can see that other Connect folks jumped in with great messages for you. Yea Team!

How was the weekend? Anything super special?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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@merpreb

@nannette1941– Good morning. I'm just a few years younger than you are and I have hosted many a dinner party. People are strange that way, thinking that they have to compete. Maybe just make scrambled eggs- plain scrambled eggs the next time? Or have a simple soup and salad party with just a few people at a time?

The last time that I was in Paris it was for three weeks while my husband worked. Paris and all of France feel like my second home. I don't know if I'll ever have a chance to return but my times there have been wonderful. I even returned to my university to learn french, but it's been a while since then. To me, it's the most beautiful language in the world. If I had a french accent I don't think that I would ever shut up! When did you move to the US?

My husband is the author of several books and my drawings are in his books. I have a couple of art rewards for my watercolors. Right now it's pretty difficult to paint out of doors with COVID-19 around. Too many people like to stand around and watch people paint and tell them what they missed or painted incorrectly. lol

I hope that you continue to be safe and take care of yourself. Are you living with your family?

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What kind of watercolors do you paint? How could I give you my personal email and telephone so that we could share more? What books does your husband write? Could you find out (should you want to) how we – you and – could communicate on a personal level?

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@artscaping

@nannette1941 It's Monday….time to get going. I usually have MFR therapy on Monday at 11 am. So I got up, dressed, and was in the car a few miles down the road and then it hit me. Because of the holidays, my appointment is at 3 pm.

So now I have some time to respond. Let's see if I remember the highlights. Born in France..,, is there a french speaking group where you live now. In my village, there was a "French group that met regularly and only spoke French. They wanted to make sure they didn't lose the language.

You are an artist……painting. Two of the artists in my gallery were from Hawaii. Painters always gathered on Saturday morning at a beautiful park (Kapiolani) to learn and teach, to have social interactions. Is there a painter's group where you live? Wanna start one.?

And then there were the walkers. We went on Inn to Inn walks here in the US and in Canada and Ireland. Do you know of such a group?

I can see that other Connect folks jumped in with great messages for you. Yea Team!

How was the weekend? Anything super special?

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

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Hello Chris, the French people in my church group are too busy (they are still employed ) walking was my favorite but because of surgery in one foot and the need in the other, walking is out of question.

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