On my way to a yoga class last week, I caught a few minutes of an interview with Jane Fonda on the Diane Rehm Show (from WAMU).
In the interview, they discuss Fonda’s new book, Prime Time: Love, health, sex, fitness, friendship, spirit–making the most of all of your life.
To hear the complete interview or read the transcript go to» http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-08-11/jane-fonda-prime-time
REHM: But it does seem to me that for a great many people, getting older is tough. There are illnesses. There are problems with family. There is loss of a job. There’s lack of money. People have tons of problems to get through. But you have lots of advantages. You’re healthy. You’re athletic. You’ve kept your body strong. You’ve kept your mind going and you’ve got plenty of money.
FONDA: Let me say two things about that, Diane. That is all true and yet there’s been studies done. There was one, a very large study done of 350,000 Americans from very young age to very old age and what it showed is that most people over 50 tend to be happier, less hostile, less stressed, less anxious. The scientists don’t entirely understand why, but they postulate certain things that make sense to me.
Fonda also uses a metaphor from Mary Catherine Bateson’s recent book Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom. “We have not added decades to life expectancy by simply extending old age; instead, we have opened up a new space partway through the life course, a second and different kind of adulthood that precedes old age, and as a result every stage of life is undergoing change.”