I want to describe to you what a typical week is like for me these days. It’s going to sound a little braggy, but I think it’s important to present an example of the type of free life I’d like to see people working towards. I suspect that some people will read this post and immediately say “I can never do what he did for reasons x, y, and z”. I certainly would have said that ten years ago. But please bear with me. In future posts, I will make the case that I’m not just a lucky bastard. I’ve spent many years thinking differently from those around me. I’ve made deliberate choices, and I promise you I’ll let you in on my decision-making secrets soon enough. But for now, I present to you a week in the life of Daniel S. Bernstein.
On Monday, I drive down to the casino to play poker. I like to play a long session, stay over, and then take my time getting back the next morning. The hotel room is comped, and they pay for my gas and meals too. Oh, and there is a seemingly unlimited supply of suckers handing me their money the whole time I am there. The games aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still pretty juicy! I may sometimes skip my poker session if I’m more excited about something else, but it’s usually nice to start the week with a little gambling getaway.
The first thing I do on Tuesday when I get home is soak some beans. They will be a key component of my fuel for the week. With the beans soaking, I move on to my abundance meditation. I remind myself that I have far more resources than I need for myself alone. I picture myself taking a loss, and realizing that I still have more than enough. I repeat this a few times, with the goal of awakening my giving spirit. (Yes, I do see the irony of doing this exercise after I have just finished taking money from people in a zero-sum game. Humans have complex needs, and I am no exception.) For the rest of the day, I take it slow because I’m usually tired. I cook food, do laundry, get organized, easy stuff like that.
Wednesday is when I dig in and work on some more substantial projects I am excited about. I may do some financial planning work, read books on topics that interest me, or develop systems to improve my life and the lives of those I care about. Of course, this all depends on the weather and my overall mood. If it’s summer and nothing in particular is gripping me, then a long bike ride with the wife might be in order. Yeah, she’s home too, so we can play while the kid is at school.
I usually have some momentum going into Thursday, so I keep chugging away at my projects. However, I always take a break at some point to get out on my bike for an exercise/errands combo. The library and grocery store are mandatory stops. In the summer, I also have to stop by the farmers market to get my pastured chicken eggs. I don’t think a free man should be eating eggs from a chicken that did not live freely.
There is often still momentum leading into Friday, but things do start to slow down. Friday is a day of reflecting on the week, wrapping things up, and getting excited for a weekend of activities with my family. I understand that most people don’t have a reflection day, but I also think that is kind of crazy.
We almost always kick off the weekend by having people over for dinner on Friday night. We eat great-tasting healthy food while listening to pleasing dinner music. (One thing I really like to do is find a highly-regarded album that none of us has heard before and play it in its entirety while we eat.) After dinner, the kids play while the adults drink wine and converse.
On Saturday morning, the family adventures begin. My wife, son, and I all like to get out, explore, and create. Sometimes we spend money, but there is really no need. There are far too many exciting free things to do to ever get through them all. In fact, I prefer to end the weekend with a profit. It doesn’t happen often, but I’m working on different strategies and expect it to start happening more.
On Sunday night, I usually get an excited feeling because I’m going to play poker the next day, and my competitive juices are flowing. And the cycle continues from there.
So that’s how things go for me. I take it slow and keep it simple. I don’t buy much stuff. There is little stress and an abundance of free time. I manage to keep the pile of money growing. To me, it’s the good life, but I’m sure some would disagree. There is no place for Xbox Live, fancy dinners out, or trips to Disneyland in this life. Some may consider that a bad thing, and to them I respond with a quote from the classic Linklater film Slacker: “I may live badly, but at least I don’t have to work to do it!”