The health club where I work out is in the basement of a medical office building. It was originally intended by the hospital to be a place of therapy for patients as well as a benefit to employees. It's quite nice. I leave feeling invigorated from the exercise.
Yet, everytime I leave I can't help but feel a bit sanguine. You see, on my way out to the parking lot I have to make my way through the elderly and infirmed who are there to see their doctors. Many times there are vans with lifts helping down patients in wheel chairs. Walkers are ubiquous as the aging joints no longer seem as spry or lubricated as they once were and extra help is needed to walk and move forward.
I'm glad I encounter it all though. It keeps my life in perspective and gives me a renewed vigor for the present moment. Soon, much sooner than I would like, I will be in their shoes. My joints will be worse off then they are now (though mine do ache from time to time). I'm sure there will be many visits to the doctor just to keep the affects of old age under control. I already have a couple "liver spots" on my neck for goodness sake.
I also participated in a funeral service today for a dear friend who passed away at age 50 (50!) from melanoma. Talk about an event that keeps things in perspective and compels one to make the most of every moment.
All that is to say, we should wisely reallocate resourses from the future (whether it be money or time) and use it for the service of the present. There are a friends to see, places to go, and family to love. Time moves quickly and we never know how soon our life may end. What, then, is all that disproportionate worry about future comfort and security etc. going to do for us?
I'm not trying to be a downer here, but I believe the healthiest thing we can do is look in the mirror and admit to ourselves that we are aging and are going to die some day. It's scathingly honest and eliminates all kinds of dysfuntion and psychosis. It keeps us on our toes. It also helps us live today no matter what our age.
Maybe the most wonderful gift we can give ourselves and others today, is quite simply, today. Live it now, live it fully, and live it well – because for heaven sakes time is swift and unpredictable. I'm not much of a philosopher (makes my head bust open), but I am passionate about life, and life becomes more meaningful and richer when I filter it through the lense of dying.