Modern society divides life into various phases. We have childhood, youth, middle age, and old age. Our tendency is to celebrate youth and regret old age. We regret the so-called passing of youth because
we see life as a series of phases within a block of time. But actually, all phases exist simultaneously. We can always have the
spontaneity of childhood, the freedom and curiosity of youth, the creativity and responsibility of midlife, and the wisdom of later years.
The idea of phases in life exists only in the analytical mind. When we do not see our lives as phases, we are just like incense: we burn
brightly when long and just as brightly when short. Then there are no regrets.
--Les Kaye in "Zen at Work"