One can easily get lost in all the articles and books about aging. I’ve been trying, with little luck, to narrow down my focus to mostly four topics listed in this blog’s title: “the philosophy, psychology, sociology and spirituality of aging.” It’s obviously a wide spectrum. So, to narrow things down, I started looking specifically into one area, psychology.
As I have noted in a good number of previous posts, early old age, which varies for some, ranging anywhere from 45 to 65, brings lots of consternation about who you really are and what you are doing with yourself in work and elsewhere. You come to an intersection where you think more deeply about where your compass is pointing, and it’s almost like going back in time to when you were first trying to figure out what you were going to do with your life.
I recently took a popular psychology test that measures whether or not you experience meaning in your life as well as how engaged and motivated you are in finding or deepening your life’s meaning.
This is the first post of a new series I’m calling “Scholars on Aging” in which I synthesize some of what I personally consider, from self-studies, to be the most interesting articles and books written by academics and authors around the world who conduct research on aging.
The article identified six aspects of modern life known to have troubling influences on our psyches (along with suggested cures): meritocracy, individualism, secularism, romanticism, the media, and perfectibility. As I read though these, I thought about how they might apply to getting old, which, in my estimation, jumpstarts once you turn 60, when we reach the beginning of the final three-innings of life (or less depending on your fate).