By Lori Borgman
Tribune News Service
A chart titled “The Age You Peak at Everything,” published by Business Insider, was sent my way and was an enjoyable read, if you enjoy waves of uneasiness that roll your stomach.
Lest I sound somewhat despondent, which is possible since, according to the chart, my last Life Satisfaction Peak was at age 23 and my next one will not occur until age 69, the selling point of the chart is that growing older comes with benchmarks of contentment.
One can only hope.
Of course, there is a lot of ground to cover between youth and age with numerous peaks along the way, some of which you have probably already missed.
The peak age to learn a foreign language? Age 7. Yep, that ship has sailed; bon voyage.
In other bad news, your brain processing power peaks around age 18.
A moment for reflection on that one. If brain processors peak at age 18, but greater life satisfaction lies beyond 18, could it be that contentment is tied to lower brain capacity? Just asking.
Muscle strength tends to peak at age 25, followed by the peak likelihood of finding a marriage partner, which occurs around age 26. The sequencing of those two, peak strength followed by marriage, is entirely logical as marriage takes strength.
Oh, does marriage take strength. Right, honey?
Honey just shouted, “Yes!”
The peak for bone mass is age 30, for playing chess, age 31, and for remembering faces, age 32. Your best age for the ability to focus is 43.
Where was I?
Let’s be honest; we all know what follows peaks. Valleys. The chart does not note valleys, but it should. The chart uses a straight line marked with dots for peaks, but realistically, life often looks more like a wild EKG.
For an upswing on the EKG, your arithmetic skills peak at 50. Apparently, the multiplication tables take far longer to gel than previously thought.
Peak points appear increasingly sparse as the timeline progresses. There is a near dearth of activity between ages 52 and 68. If that’s where you are and it feels like a long, dry stretch, it probably is.
Out of the blue, age 69 pops up as when many experience life satisfaction, again, 46 years after the first satisfied life peak.
The two remaining peaks are significant. Wisdom really may come with age. Psychologists gave groups of people a conflict and asked for insights, responses and possible outcomes. The oldest age group, those in the 69-90 age range, did better than the other ages on almost every count.
The final peak comes at age 82 and is for psychological well-being. The 82- to 85-year-old age group gave the highest average number, which was 7 on a scale of 10.
Not a bad crescendo. Not bad at all.
Repeat after me: The best may be yet to come, the best may be yet to come.
(Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker)