Trevor Carter

Ideally, if we live a full life, when the end comes we should be ready to meet it, perhaps even welcome it. Endings of any kind necessarily embody sadness, and in one’s ending of endings the sadness is intensified. Yet endings can also embody satisfactions: in having stayed the course, having achieved things, having put more in than one has taken out.

I have had a disjointed, though colourful, life. I suppose those two are related. There is a danger, particularly in ‘developed’ countries, of seeing success in life as being defined by material accumulation rather than the development of enlightenment, knowledge and wisdom. It is fine to accumulate wealth provided we do so by doing something we love.

Another corrosive issue is safety culture. One aspect of this is keeping life going when there is no life left in life. I intend to plan my exit and be present at my wake, which I hope will be a hell of a party. I found the book ‘Chocolat’ by Joanne Harris an inspiration for this.

My greatest satisfactions are in having effected positive change through doing things which I have taken delight in. I also get a kick out of confounding expectations. I think it is true that as one gets older one regrets more the things one has not done, due to lack of courage, than the mistakes one has made due to poor judgement. Another regret is not appreciating things enough, which I expect is quite common.

A peculiarity of my life is that, after experiencing poor health in childhood, my health has gradually improved as I have aged. This has led to me feeling more light-hearted. Thus, in the autumn of my years, I am enjoying the occasional spurt of late flowering immaturity.