we currently enjoy a richness that we could never have imagined. […] we believe that the real measure of modern success is nothing to do with your bank balance or the size of your house, but instead, the amount of free time you have at your disposal. We think disposable time, as a resource to strive for and spend, counts for much more than disposable income. You see, time is much more valuable than anything else, be it natural resources such as gold or diamonds, or a man-made commodity such as money. Time is the currency of life itself.
Reader Briony shows us a lovely news story about a family of four who got tired of their conventional life and gave it all up. They now live, very happily by the sounds of it, in a touring caravan and self-employed:
the trade-off for [a house and the income and security of a job] was that we also had the ongoing monotony of working too many hours, with not having enough sleep, and with not having enough time to spend with Amy and Ella doing the things that we know are so important for parents to do with their children: reading with them, playing with them, or just having enough uncluttered quality family time. And to cap it all, I saw Kerry on what seemed like a daily basis being psychologically and emotionally crushed under a growing pile of marking, pupil target matrices and pointless Excel spreadsheets that were being filled in because the data might one day make an Ofsted inspector happy.
[…] Reassuringly for us, this was how many of our friends and colleagues were also living. Living for the weekends, I mean. It was normal. It is normal. You see, as a culture, it seems we are almost accepting of this way of life. It’s a way of life that often seems to prioritise work and money above time spent together as a family or with friends.
“It would be interesting to find out what they decide to do after their nominal year,” says Briony. My advice? Carry on Camping. New Escapologist salutes the Meeks.