Author Topic: A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday  (Read 1666 times)

runbikerun

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A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday
« on: September 25, 2017, 12:44:33 AM »
Compared to the standards of some of what appears here, this is pretty minor...but at this early stage in the process, I'll take minor victories.

I spent most of my Saturday at a lecture: my employer is quite generous about paying for continuing academic and professional development, and ties some salary bumps to getting specific qualifications, so having finished the previous qualification in 2016 I requested (and got) approval to sign up for the next one. It also helps with motivation that this qualification can be converted to an MSc from a fairly reputable university with a couple of additional modules, so this is a golden opportunity to supersede my extremely unimpressive bachelor's degree with a good master's.

The lecture itself was on the university's campus, ten kilometres from home, and was scheduled to run for six hours including breaks. The only food or drink available in the area is the in-building Starbucks. So I pulled out the bike on Friday night and tuned it up, before packing a one-liter flask filled with fresh coffee and a footlong sandwich filled with spiced chicken, pepperoni and brie.

On Saturday morning, I arrive early enough and take one of the only two seats in the room with access to a power outlet for a laptop. Just before the lecture starts, a random guy takes the seat beside me so he can plug in his own laptop too. We talk briefly, and I realise that not only do we work in the same company, he's the head of the exact department I want to get into for the rest of my career. It turns out he knows my boss' boss as well, who's also at the lecture.

The lecture itself is dense, and quite useful in providing direction for the first of our assignments. At breaks, I skip the Starbucks queue and have a strong black coffee; at lunch, I take my time and eat in peace instead of hurrying around the campus. At the end of the lecture, the guy beside me mentions that he was chatting to my boss' boss, and then suggests that I email him when I get back to the office on Monday to discuss a potential site visit to his office to see what the work's like and whether I definitely want to move there.

Once I get home, I get to work on making dinner: homemade pizzas using store-bought bases, leftover tomato passata, and the rest of the chicken, pepperoni and Brie. My wife and I wash them down with good beer while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in full HD. We reread the books over the summer, and now we're working through the movies to enjoy them as adaptations.

Total money actually spent on Saturday: four quid for the movie rental.
Total money spent on ingredients which were used on Saturday: about a fiver for the food, and a tenner for the beer.

So in a day where our combined spending struggled to clear twenty quid, I managed to enjoy a lunch and two coffee breaks in a new place, improve my understanding of the field I work in, advance my career, eat excellent pizza, crack a couple of beers, share a date night with my wife, and see an old film in a new light. It would have been easy to drive the ten kilometres each way, spend fifteen quid on coffees and food, kept myself to myself at the lecture, and then gone out to the cinema and a restaurant, and finished the day thirty quid poorer and no closer to getting the job I want. Another small step along the road to FI, but a particularly satisfying one.

PizzaSteve

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Re: A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 11:15:28 AM »
Same for me.

We spent Sat morning picking free grapes at a friend's vineyard.  Only cost was for the gas for our Prius to get there.  We packed a picnic lunch we made ourselves from fresh, in season food.  After stimulating conversation about netting, fighting off wild turkeys and FIRE, we served our home made wine from previous year made from free grapes (a wonderful rose), to complete the cycle.  We own a hand cranked stemmer crusher and basket press, so juice is fermenting as we speak!
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runbikerun

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Re: A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 01:00:25 PM »
"Fighting off wild turkeys"? I need to up my conversation game.

Your wine production reminds me I also need to make another attempt at home brewing...

DirtDiva

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Re: A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 07:20:19 AM »
That sounds like a perfect day.  I love the feeling of using my time effectively and enjoyably.

(You neglected to mention the benefits of exercise and fresh air, and reduced impact on the environment!)

Dictator_Mars

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Re: A Satisfyingly Mustachian Saturday
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 07:25:05 AM »
A perfect day, thanks for sharing.