Occasionally, someone in my life says to me “You’ve got to live a little”, after learning my rationale for never playing the lottery, hearing about how I use Beeminder, that I go to bed pretty early, or that I hardly drink anymore (and that, when I do, I track exactly how much alcohol I drink and rate-limit it with Beeminder).

The thing I find ironic about the concept of “living a little” is that it seems to be more about giving into someone’s default hedonist life script than it does about actually embracing what gives me in particular joy. My favorite hours of the day are between four and six AM, when I have quiet, a cup of coffee, and can read, write, and think intensely about what ever I please. Drinking alcohol only interferes with enjoying that time the next day.

For me, instead of living a little by making the default set of hedonistic choices on display in my adjacent culture, I’d rather live a lot by embracing my own weird intensity.