Happiness, the sequel

Given my last post with the hideous happy face, thought it would be good time to trot out a pretty funny NYT Magazine article from July:  “Happiness:  A User’s Manual.”  It offers the latest information on who’s happy, who isn’t, and why.  The good news:  “Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to be depressed than members of other professions.”  The strange but predictable bit:

On a day-to-day basis, caring for children creates roughly the same level of satisfaction as washing the dishes. In fact, surveys of parents invariably find a clear dip in happiness after the Blessed Miracle of Childbirth, which continues unabated for twenty years — bottoming out during adolescence — and only returns to pre-birth levels when the child finally leaves home.

Well, that explains the European demographic implosion.  If I may speak on behalf of the rest of the human race — those of us who keep on breeding, misery and all — I would say the surveys are, as they say, objectively true but subjectively false.

Wretched parenting situations occur with appalling frequency, but they aren’t necessarily experienced as such.  Personally, I could have done without the Blessed Miracle of Childbirth, in which I participated in a fifth-wheel “coaching” capacity — I believe future technology will make it possible for babies to hatch in the microwave.  But watching the kids grow up has been a wild, strange adventure, better than any movie — and well worth the exorbitant price of admission.


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