Why a transient life beats peanut butter on pancakes

Peanut Butter Pancakes

Olaf is the blogger behind MileHighFinanceGuy.com, where he shares a variety of posts on financial topics and reflections on life and money. 

He previously worked as an advisor at one of the largest financial firms in the US. While there, Olaf regularly helped people decide what to do with old 401(k)s, construct investment portfolios, and determine how much money was needed to retire

Nowadays, he blogs, works two part-time jobs, and most importantly, enjoys life. 

While this post is about life and FI, Olaf’s bread and butter (or peanut butter on pancakes) is truly in creating amazing financial tools and resources. You can learn more about Olaf and his blog here.

Tran·sience: The state or fact of lasting only for a short time; transitory nature.

FI: The state of being financially independent.

Often, financial independence is married to the mantra of retiring early. 

Many in the media even sensationalize the idea of thirty-somethings amassing small fortunes so that they never have to work again, pretending that these individuals will drop out of society. 

However, such narratives are fallacies.

Financial Independence is not about dropping out of society. Instead, FI is about tuning into what matters.

A reality where you are free to chase your dreams NOW instead of with what remains after your 9-to-5 workday.

Maybe you crave to start a business? 

Perhaps you want to travel the world?

You may yearn to spend more time with your kids, family, and friends. 

The possibilities are endless, but you get the point.

My life since reaching FI: transient!

Since reaching FI, my life has changed indistinguishably and yet also dramatically. I am still the same person, with the same worldview and passions, moving through life. 

But what I fill my time doing is sporadic, variable, and transient.

The weekend and weekdays have few distinguishable differences, and I love that. 

Somedays, I wake up early, others I sleep in late. 

Sometimes I work throughout the day, while others enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. 

Simply put, I do what I want, when I like, and how I desire. 

Now, that isn’t to say I don’t have work-related emergencies requiring immediate attention. 

Yet even as crises emerge, I have the time to devote to them. 

And, when there aren’t troubles, I am not bound to a schedule. Thus, I follow each day as it comes and goes. 

If I have a creative desire, I chase it. If my spouse wants to do something, we have the time. And, if my parents need help with a task, I can assist them.

You see, financial independence is a transformative event, placing you in a world where you are free to pursue the now – a reality where you become transient instead of static.

FI allows you live in the here and now

The more a thing tends to be permanent, the more it tends to be lifeless.

– Alan Watts

No longer are you an outsider in your life, relegated to living for the weekends. 

Instead, financial freedom empowers you to chase the briefness of life by exploring things on your own time – a life where you live in the moment

So, whether you want to devote a day or a lifetime to something, FI lets you do just that.

And while time is finite, the way you spend it doesn’t have to be.

Doesn’t that sound like bliss? Sort of like peanut butter on pancakes!

For me, transience and FI go hand-in-hand. While a lot of my life has structure due to having kids with their various activities, school drop offs, pick ups, etc – a lot of my life is now transient in many ways.

This last week was a good example. I had certain plans to work Friday on my new website, but then my oldest was sick last week and stuck at home. So we seized the day, and watched Star Wars together. 

Pre-retirement that would never have happened. I would have gone into an office or stayed home and been chained to the computer. 

Now, I am in full control, and can do what I please. To me, this is the huge benefit of FI and the transience that it allows!

Ok, well time to go try out some peanut butter pancakes…

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