I'm reading The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie and ran across an interesting line that really hit home. One of the key characters is an older gentleman confined to a wheelchair due to a tragic accident in which he lost his wife and both children. He was a friend of the murder victim and during the investigation, the police superintendent is questioning his doctor. Here's an excerpt with emphasis added by me:
"Yes, Mr. Jefferson's health is in a precarious state. For several years now the man has been driving himself ruthlessly. In his determination to live like other men he has lived at a far greater pace than the normal man of his age. He has refused to rest, to take things easy, to go slow, or any of the other phrases with which I and his other medical advisers have tendered our opinion. The result is that the man is an overworked engine. Heart, lungs, blood pressure - they're all overstrained."
"You say Mr. Jefferson has resolutely refused to listen?"
"Yes. I don't know that I blame him. It's not what I say to my patients, superintendent, but a man may as well wear out as rust out. A lot of my colleagues do that, and take it from me, it's not a bad way. In a place like Danemouth one sees most of the other thing. Invalids clinging to life, terrified of overexerting themselves, terrified of a breath of drafty air, of a stray germ, of an injudicious meal."Think about that for just a minute. Wear out or rust out - which do you choose? Now don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating being hard on your body or ignoring your doctor's advice. Quite the opposite, in fact - I firmly believe everyone has a personal responsibility to take care of their health. But as we age, it is easy to allow our fears to separate us from people, places and activities that would enhance our lives and the lives of others. So make a commitment to go forth and really live your life. Do what you can while you can - and don't let that rust start building up!
Please note: The image above is an Amazon affilitate link but please, go to your library and borrow this book if you want to read it.