From The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery:
"We mustn't forget that our bodies decline, friends die, everyone forgets about us, and the end is solitude...that a lifespan is pathetically short, that one day you're twenty and the next day you're eighty...just by observing the adults around me I understood that very early on that life goes by in no time at all, yes they're always in such a hurry, so stressed out by deadlines, so eager for now that they needn't think about tomorrow...but if you dread tomorrow, it's because you don't know how to build the present, and when you don't know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it's a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up becoming today, don't you see?
So, we mustn't forget any of this, absolutely not. We have to live with the certainty that we'll get old and that it won't look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that it's now that matters: to build something, now, at any price, using all our strength. Always remember that there's a retirement home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity.
That's what the future is for: to build the present, with real plans, made by living people."