Tom Purcell

You worry about the future more than you ever have. You are wiser and pay attention to the news. You are saddened, even angered, by our country's inability to address its core problems - spending, debt, deficit, money-printing.

You worry about the future that your children and grandchildren will know. Will they live in a country with fewer freedoms, lots more government rules and a perpetually stagnant economy, as is the case in Western Europe?

So it makes sense that one's happiness would tank at 55.

We celebrated my father's 80th birthday on Sunday. He told me that when he hit 50, time took off like a rocket. That makes me cranky, too.

It's going by too fast. I'm not accomplishing enough. My country is not accomplishing enough.

If I can hang on until I'm 69, will my happiness peak again?

I hope so. I hope our country comes to its senses and is able to unleash the ingenuity and prosperity we need to pay for all the promises we have made.

But at 51, I have my doubts, which is troubling - I still have four years to reach my peak crankiness.

Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell, author of "Comical Sense: A Lone Conservative Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" and "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood," is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons. Visit him on the web at