One of the surprising things that comes with age is happiness. In America, at least, we grow up thinking that happiness is a frantic condition of youth that begins slipping away as soon as you are ware of it and must be chased with all your energy.

There is some happiness in that but it is the happiness of exertion and easy activity of the young animal. Whether you are prone to depression or anxiety there are elements of that for us all. Happiness is a quest and the failure to act is a haunting fear of the unclaimed opportunity. We visualize age as a dusty lost and found that will be unbearable if there are too many unclaimed chances at happiness.

Then after years and the departure of children, perhaps the departure of a mate and the discovery that you really do enjoy what you do and maybe your lucky enough to make an acceptable living at it. And then you realize that grandchildren grow up, too and still love you, and one morning a new happiness appears.

Wow, where did you come from? No frantic chase but the just willingness to be happy. To see happiness in what we have built and what we have lost. The knowledge that this doesn’t need to go away but is something that we have and, in the end, it is free and part of life.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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