How do we do this living thing? I’ve concluded it’s a lifetime learning process. I’d been through a bad time. A bereavement. An in depth investigation by the Inland Revenue. I’d lost my sense of direction, questioned my values. I was thirty eight years old and an unexpected clarity settled on me. Life has no purpose. You have to be religious to believe otherwise and I have no religion. We are born, we live, we die. Driven by a need to survive, our species, like all others, has adapted our lifespan to fit in an ecological niche. Longer or shorter and we are less successful as a species.
Our lives are short by design. Painfully short. I was half way though my life and realised, really understood, I was going to die. Like billions upon billions before me. There is no meaning to life. No purpose. But what we have is so precious. Precious because it is in such a limited supply. Life. We can’t buy any more when it runs out. We must therefore utilise every second in a way that minimises regrets and maximises joy.
I did the sums. I could afford it if I was careful. So I retired. It took two years to find a buyer for my business. I arranged my life to minimise outgoings. I was surprised how little one needs to live when the focus changes from the material to the aesthetic.
The cost of living in UK is high though. In Spain it’s less. At the time, a lot less. The skies are bluer and they are blue nearly every day. I bought a hovel about 10 miles from the coast on the Costa Blanca for the price of a good second hand Jaguar. My life became a joyous adventure again.