A day in the life – Third-Life Crisis edition

December 5, 2017

I recently turned 35.

I know, I know.

Third-life crisis time. Time to give up on whatever hopes and dreams I once had and go find a house to mortgage.

Actually, now that I think about it, no…

It was probably time for that long ago.

By now I should be setting aside money for funeral expenses.

Anyway, I’ve recently decided it’s time to do another one of these day in the life posts.

If you’d like more, check out a digital nomad in London or the glamorous life of a semi-professional blogger.

Here goes nothin’…

8:44 – the third-life crisis begins

Out of bed.

Fuck it’s cold.

But I still don’t have a boss or an alarm, and I managed to get a full 8 hours of sleep. That’s always a plus.

I put a pot of coffee on the stove and open up the computer.

Soon I have 11 browser tabs open and I’m looking at all the articles I should re-do for SEO purposes – but don’t have time for now.

Then I remember Amazon.

Hack the Amazon algorithm. Appear higher in search rankings for books. That’ll give me the passive income I need to really get to work on my evil schemes… or something.

And into the labyrinth I go.

After about three hours rewriting Amazon book descriptions, I finally manage to scrape myself off the sofa and into the shower.

The outside temp is about 4 degrees, and even so I manage to do 90 seconds of cold-ass water – blasting my nuts and the back of my neck with icy needles of water doesn’t actually make me feel colder. But not much warmer either.


The best part about the cold showers is just psyching myself up to do something so obviously counter-intuitive.

Life’s hard if you live it the easy way, and easy if you live it the hard way.

I pull on my hoodie and some jeans and I’m off to the café.


The café I’ve been going to recently seems to be firing all the cute girls and hiring less-cute girls.

Oh well. They’re not entirely uncute.

The main problem is that the less-cute girls don’t know how I like my coffee yet.

I order the usual and today it comes out weak and watery.

Disappointing… but it still has caffeine.

I attempt to journal about something, but my thoughts just keep coming back to keywords for Amazon. And passive income. And all the other stuff I’m not doing by being in the café.

I finish my watery coffee and wander up to Plaza Castilla. They’re doing an exhibition about Auschwitz. “Not so far away, not so long ago.”

History sucked. We’re lucky to be alive now.


Walk’s over.

Back on the computer, updating some old articles.

My writing from a couple of years ago is awful. And the fact that it seems so bad now means that I’m improving, month by month.

As well as improving the writing, I’m crushing SEO, one link at a time.

I’ve been applying some of Brian Dean’s advice and it’s working great. I’m getting traffic like never before. In fact, last month more than half a million people saw my blogs and videos.

Half a million people.

That’s huge. That’s more people than watch some legit TV shows, most likely.

And more people than I ever would have taught in a hundred lifetimes giving company classes.

Humbling to think about.

third life crisis
Me at home, doing the pro-blogger thing and wearing my usual grey hoodie. Photo by Jonny Exon.

The day is passing quickly…


Time for some pushups.

The day of my 35th birthday, I realized: I’m halfway to 70.

Guess I’m not going to end up as one of those 70-year-olds who’s in great shape without first being one of those 35-year-olds who’s in great shape.

Hence, more pushups.

I manage to do 60. Plus some bodyweight squats. Tomorrow more.

Is a third-life crisis a real thing?

Seems like life’s just one damn thing after another – might as well learn to love it.


Reheating noodles.

When they start to sizzle, scrape them out of the pan onto a plate.

Sriracha. Beer. And noodles.

Damn these things are good. Ever since Natalia taught me how to make real rice noodles, I hardly eat anything else.

Unless it’s steak.

I finish up one of Sam Harris’ podcasts. Is Buddhism True?

(In my experience, largely, yes.)

Does free will exist?

(I used to think so, but he’s pretty convincing that it doesn’t.)

Should I have some chocolate when I’m done with these noodles?

Debating these things with myself has become a bit more complicated now that I no longer believe in free will.

If it truly is a deterministic universe, then I’ve already decided whether or not to have the chocolate. Now I’m just trying to discover the decision – already made – that’s lurking somewhere in my brain.

In the end, I eat half a square of chocolate and then somehow forget about it.

I find the other half-square sitting on the table where I left it hours later.

Six-pack abs, here I come!



I’ve managed to spend about an hour and a half between lunch and post-lunch random clicking on the internet.

I decide to do some reading.

Book of the week: Mistakes Were Made, but Not By Me.

Recently I’m big into cognitive biases and the idea that everything is a delusion.

I find it delightfully relevant to know the world we live in is full of deluded bias-zombies wandering around on autopilot.

(How do I turn that into a business opportunity? That’s the big question.)

After an hour or so, I hop back on the computer to update some articles here on the Chorizo Chronicles.

Dominating the Madrid internet… one post at a time.

best madrid blog
Weird art installation in Plaza Mayor, Madrid.

I quickly picture myself as the Don Corleone of bloggers, with people coming up to me in the street, offering me free food, wanting to kiss my ring. Incidentally, all that stuff happens already – except for the ring-kissing.

Maybe because I don’t wear a ring.


I briefly go over some of the drafts I have half-written.

Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Ugh. Can’t make any sense out of that debate.

Part III of my life story…

Needs a lot of work.

Hey, look at the time! The market’s open again.

I wander down the street to buy an oxtail.

Things to be thankful for today: Coffee. Oxtail. Tomorrow’s a national holiday. And I’ve been out of the house not once but twice.



Back from the market, oxtail in hand.

Part III of my life story still seems too hard for this cold winter evening. (You can read parts one and two though.)

Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve done a “day in the life”.

Maybe I’ll do that instead of something hard.

“Just have the other half-square of chocolate”, whispers my amygdala. “It’s a deterministic universe anyway…”


Day in the life’s almost done…

Shouldn’t I send an email to people trying to actually sell something today?


They’re probably on their way out of town anyway. Tomorrow’s Constitution Day, after all. Or Immaculate Conception Day.

One of the two.

Spain has a lot of holidays, and it seems like half of them have something to do with the Virgin Mary.

I google it.

Tomorrow’s Constitution Day. Friday’s the Immaculate Conception.

All these holidays have me confused.


Ok, ok. I did it. I sent a potentially money-making email to my list.

And in record time.

Copywriting FTW!

Well, actually, we’ll see if copywriting is winning over people’s hearts and minds in a few hours. My online courses are pretty good. But it’s sometimes hard to stay excited about English grammar and vocabulary after all these years.

I put my lentils and bacon on the stove. Fiber and cholesterol – my other two food groups.

While they cook, I could meditate.

If there’s a way to escape the delusion, meditation’s it.

When I do it regularly I get all kinds of clarity – mainly about the fact that everything I’m worried about is only a “problem” in my imagination.

Maybe I’ll move to Costa Rica and start doing yoga.

I’ll meditate every day. I’ll become ultra-spiritual. My aura will be purified and I’ll be able to work on my tan.


But what about now?

Should I meditate, or should I fix myself a drink and then go back and edit this article?

Tell me, deterministic universe.

Reveal the answer…

Give me some sort of sign.

21:11 – third-life crisis narrowly averted?

Ok. Sign received.


All in all it’s been a pretty good day. And now that I’ve written these 1500 words, I feel even better about it.

I have a lot to be thankful for. My grandfather Welsch, by this point in his life, was happy just to have some of his own teeth left.

A few decades later, my problems involve creating passive income streams and whether or not I’ll live long enough to see my own abs.

Guess I’ll be clicking publish any second now.


Mr Chorizo.

P.S. I just made up the idea of a third-life crisis to have a keyword for this article. Thankfully, I found that it already exists – at least online. So if you ever make it to age 35, write me a comment to let me know about it. And if you’re in a midlife crisis, quarter-life crisis or any other kind of big existential moment, well, leave me a comment about that too. I’m always happy to hear from you. Thanks!

P.P.S. [Click.]

P.P.P.S. Update, March 2019: It’s been a while. In the meantime, I’ve published the article about tourists vs travellers, as well as part 3 of my life story, entitled: Wherever you go, there you are. You should read both, in my humble opinion. Have fun…

P.P.P.P.S. Update, 2023: Now I’m 40, and I have a new article about the virtuous life and cheap dopamine. I guess the crisis never really stops around here. Oh yeah, and I’ve got a mortgage, too. Oh well.

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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  1. Congrats and happy birthday!

    Rest easy: Absence of free will does not = evidence of a deterministic universe (that would require that the universe or a maker of universes has free will).

    Far from it.

    Free Will also doesn’t eliminate the role of choice and/or selection and the concept is all too seductive in making us think there is no responsibility for what happens.

    But there is responsibility, and getting all that traffic certainly has a “universe maker” behind it. Keep blogging!

    (Oh, and as someone on the cusp of 41… Well, let’s just say that I’m still doing the Dan Sullivan thing and choosing to live as if I’m doomed to see 150 and want a body to support it. Is age just a number? Probably more and less than what the human brain can conceive.)

    1. Yeah, I know the absence of free will doesn’t necessarily mean “just eat the chocolate”. But that’s what my amygdala (or whatever) is telling me these days… Thanks for commenting, Anthony!

  2. Another fabulous post! Happy birthday and welcome to 35. I just had a mini 3rd-life meltdown a few weeks ago before coming back to the U.S. Alcohol, the heat, good food, and a bit of Texas have seemed to be the cure…this time. 🙂

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