after leaving a retirement home the main character says:
"We mustn't forget any of this, absolutely not. We have to live with the certainty that we'll get old and that it wont look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that its 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 in every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do in in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity."
From The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.