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Ashton, I love this little (i say by virtue of number of words, not ideas) essay! Such a grand and juicy question you asked and Carstensen answered - while smiling - which, to me, means it must be a favorite idea to deliver...!

The idea that we are not disengaging with our larger world but setting limits on it, digging deeper into what (and who) matters... ha! Take that you who see us as fading... in fact, we are slipping from your hurried view.  And, the notion that we may be 'in the moment' even as we have (out)lived the experience of that hurried, distracted, middle age (which puddle-happy children do not yet know)...this, too, is encouraging.

Having spent the past days researching the dire straits of aging as i write a paper for class (and writing a paper for class is NOT what 59 year old people should spend a Saturday afternoon doing)... I am refreshed by your essay. Thank you.