You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Healthy Living: Make a fresh start playing by your rules
What is the No. 1 regret of hospice patients in their dying days?
“They wished they would have lived life the way they wanted to, not the way others wanted them to,” said Kathie Truitt, author of The Hillbilly Debutante Café, quoting an article by former palliative care worker Bronnie Ware.
Truitt changed her life by necessity after a devastating series of events led to the loss of her home and career. Like many Americans who lost it all in the recent recession, Truitt decided to go about things differently the second time around.
“I got rid of the socialite sweater sets, the business suits and pumps, which were not me, and went to what is me -- vintage dresses and cowboy boots,” she said. “I live in the Washington, D.C., area because I have to. But I don’t have to conform to how other people look, dress, and behave here. I surround myself with the things I like; I have a country-style house, I drive a pickup, and once a month, I take a ride out to one of the places featured in Southern Living magazine.”
You don’t have to have a lot of money to live a life truer to your spirit. Truitt offers some suggestions:
•Make location a state of mind. Does your heart yearn to be somewhere else? You’re in Kansas, but you long to live on the beach, or you’re in the city but you’re a country person, like Truitt. If you can’t follow your heart, bring that place to you. If you love all things Paris, for instance, decorate a room or your whole home Parisian style.
Instead of going to the grocery store once a week, find a market and stop in every day for fresh food, the way the French do. Ride a bicycle; put a picture of the Eiffel Tower on your desk at work; eat lunch al fresco. Take a French class and maybe you’ll meet some like-minded friends.
•Turn your passion into a career. You don’t have to give up your day job to pursue a career doing what gratifies and satisfies you. If you love playing music, set aside time to practice and write songs.
Pursue opportunities to play at local events; create video recordings and upload them to YouTube (it worked for Justin Bieber!); offer to perform at your place of worship. Whether you dream of writing a novel, designing jewelry, or being a race-car driver, working at it even part time will help you feel fulfilled.
•Take the plunge and start your own business. In 2011, entrepreneurs started 543,000 new businesses each month, on average, among the highest startup rates in 16 years, according to the most recent Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity.
With all the tax breaks and incentives being offered to small businesses now, it’s a good time to open that restaurant you always wanted, or launch that graphics design studio. You’ll never know until you try!
As for Truitt, she would love to be back home in El Dorado Springs, Mo. Since she can’t be there, she wrote a novel set in the small Southern town, which is struggling financially. She hopes to fan interest in tourists visiting the town to meet the business owners described in her book, and see the sights.
To that end, she also organized an Antique & Book Festival there on April 14, preceded by a Hillbilly Debutante ball -- featuring vintage prom dresses and plaid tuxes -- the night before.
“There are many ways to live your dreams,” said Truitt. “You’re limited only by your imagination. I don’t want to be that person looking back on my life and regretting that I lived it by someone else’s rules.”
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Hear John Muir music at San Antonio Missions (April 27, 2016)
Judy Bolton Mysteries (April 27, 2016)
Kendra Scott Trunk Show in Poth (April 27, 2016)
Merle Haggard tribute to highlight Opry (April 27, 2016)
Mother’s Day Bake Sale (April 27, 2016)
Musical Club hosts a Bealls style show (April 27, 2016)
See ‘Shenandoah’ at Night in Ol’ La Vernia (April 27, 2016)
Suspected bank bandits charged (April 27, 2016)
Sängerfest brings German choral feast to Floresville (April 27, 2016)
Theatre Arts students plan variety show (April 27, 2016)
Treat Mom to a play May 8 (April 27, 2016)
America needs old-fashioned values (April 20, 2016)
Boy Scouts will mark 105 years April 24 in Floresville (April 20, 2016)
Cowboy Breakfast will benefit families in need (April 20, 2016)
Dance to the ‘Countrymen’ April 24 in Geronimo (April 20, 2016)
Davy Crockett lunchbox (April 20, 2016)
Enjoy Parish Festival May 1 (April 20, 2016)
Gospel Music Association plans convention (April 20, 2016)
Historian’s archives secure the past for the future (April 20, 2016)
Jazz Festival to feature Grammy winner (April 20, 2016)
Lions seek vendors for upcoming Car Show (April 20, 2016)
Paper Clover Campaign continues (April 20, 2016)
Road Runners group run April 23 (April 20, 2016)
See Johnny Rodriguez at Texas Theatre (April 20, 2016)
Shop books and more at Falls City library (April 20, 2016)
Annual Cowboy Breakfast set for April 23 (April 13, 2016)
Cutting the cord on sugar (April 13, 2016)
Free Grafting Seminar (April 13, 2016)
Free movie night at El Mesias (April 13, 2016)
Hanging out at Hangar 9 (April 13, 2016)
Match Safe (April 13, 2016)
Play Texas Hold ’em to help children (April 13, 2016)
Powerful illustration takes top prize (April 13, 2016)
Register your ride for the Lions Club Car Show (April 13, 2016)
Saddle up for Poth’s Ride to Remember (April 13, 2016)
St. Hedwig church feast is April 24 (April 13, 2016)
Suspects taken to jail in Floresville (April 13, 2016)
Aggie Muster is April 21 (April 6, 2016)
Beauty hides work to save historic county courthouse (April 6, 2016)
Blue Bonnet Club supports SISD Hope Day (April 6, 2016)
Bluebonnet Festival of Texas is April 9-10 (April 6, 2016)
Celebrate the Burton Cotton Gin Festival (April 6, 2016)
Enjoy free jazz concert in Kerrville (April 6, 2016)
Find out the many uses of native plants (April 6, 2016)
First Baptist to host Bible Conference (April 6, 2016)
It’s not just complaining (It’s about justice) (April 6, 2016)
It’s Swing Dance time in Seguin (April 6, 2016)
Jump-start SA party at Fiesta Fiesta (April 6, 2016)
OLPH plans tour, wine tasting fund-raiser (April 6, 2016)
Pilgrim Opry set for April 9 (April 6, 2016)
Playhouse 2000 features ‘forgotten’ Mark Twain play (April 6, 2016)
Ruby Glass (April 6, 2016)
Service Through Music benefit (April 6, 2016)
Shoot skeet, play washers for ACTS (April 6, 2016)
Witness ‘The Gospel Side of Elvis’ (April 6, 2016)