When we moved further out in the Texas Hill Country in May 2020, our goals were to cut expenses in half, simplify our lives and do what WE want to do.
We’ve been successful–and it’s such a rewarding life. One of Dodie’s simple pleasures is to watch the red cardinals, various hummingbirds and our very own squirrels in the back yard. She can now identify the regulars and we’ve been thinking about naming each one.
Our dog, Mr. Beefy, is a constant companion and a super traveler. He’s been to 18 states and Washington D.C. with us on our road trips. Just yesterday, he joined us on a quick excursion to Lost Maples State Natural Park to enjoy the autumn colors and scenery.
Downsizing, reorganizing and getting rid of “things” has been rewarding. But we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way.
Clutter isn’t only physical. Mental and emotional clutter can keep you from doing what you really want to do.
Here are 10 tips for “unloading” the clutter in your life. It’s time for some seasonal cleaning!
1. Get rid of the human vampires.
Avoid contact with people who are energy drains. Even if they’re family members that you can’t avoid altogether, make a decision to limit the time you are around them and what you will allow them to engage you in.
2. Learn to say NO.
It’s the first word you learned when you were two. Use it! It’s your life, time, and resource and you have the right to use it as you see fit without comments from the peanut gallery.
3. Take time for YOU.
Time is short for all of us. Make a decision to set aside down-time that is just for you, even if you can only start with 15 minutes a day. Lock the door, turn off the phone, send the kids to the neighbors’, but do it.
4. Have a garage or sidewalk sale.
Getting rid of physical stuff you don’t need frees you up mentally and physically. Make room for writing that book, sewing that quilt, or whatever it is you have always wanted space for.
5. Pay cash.
Credit card bills equal bondage and lack of freedom. Free yourself and create choices for the things that really matter to you. If you can’t pay for it, you don’t need it.
6. Limit tradition.
Most tradition is senseless and a time-waster. If it doesn’t make sense, forget it!
7. Embrace quality time.
Schedule time for the things and special people in your life and then FOCUS only on them without distractions. You will both enjoy your time together more if you know beforehand that nothing else will get in the way.
8. Set priorities.
It’s impossible to do EVERYTHING well. Develop a pecking order of priorities and streamline it until you have only those things on the list that really matter.
9. Forget the Joneses’.
Even if you believe everyone’s watching you, the truth is no one’s paying that much attention to you.
10. Live YOUR life.
What works for someone else may not work for you. Take direction from your inner instinct and go with it!
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.