Some of the Things I Don’t Do, So I Can Do the Things I Want to Do

how-to-do-what-you-really-want-freedomSometimes I’ll get comments on twitter and facebook like, “I want to be Amanda Tinney when I grow up”.  So I wanted to show people how they can…

At this point in my life I only do things that I want to do. How is this possible? I’ve structured my life that way.

Here are some things that I don’t do so that I can do the things that I want to do:

I don’t watch the news. EVER!  Have you ever heard the term “If it bleeds, it leads”? The news media pushes stories of death and destruction because it’s human nature to want to look at those types of stories. Feed us more disaster so we have to come back again and again to see if it’s gotten any better. Granted it won’t because the media will just dig for some other horrible story to burden us with. My take on things…if it’s really important someone will tell me about it. I’ve functioned this way for the past three years now and I’m still alive.  Want some good news? Check out UPWORTHY

I don’t set an alarm clock. Light sleep, deep sleep and REM (dream sleep). These are the stages we go through every night. We function best when we awake naturally in light sleep. If we are jarred awake by an alarm clock during the deep or REM phases of sleep we awake with a shot of adrenaline and then tend to move through the rest of the day in a fog.  I get 9 hours of sleep a night. My body needs it. It’s how I wake up happier than most. How I can function without coffee. And I can do this because…

I don’t have a nine to five job.  The last job I had was right after my daughter was born. She’s almost 15 now. I haven’t had a regular job since then. I’m self employed. I started a Disney blog four years ago. I worked for free.  I wrote every day, day after day, for free.  I’ve built it up and have enough traffic to be considered media by the company.  As media, I get press invites to some pretty cool things. Over the past four years, my family and I have had experiences that money can’t buy.  If you are a regular to my Disney blog, “Thank You”!  You make my life better. As I was writing for free on my Disney blog, I spent time building up another blog and then sold that blog for $36,200.

I don’t own a house. I lost my home to foreclosure. I made bad decisions with my finances. The main one being that I bought a house in the first place.  Home ownership is part of that American Dream that Fannie Mae propagated to sell government backed mortgages.  Do you own a home?  If you’ve said yes and you have a mortgage then the bank owns your home and you own debt.  I don’t have mortgage debt so I don’t have to have a steady nine to five job (see above). I also don’t have debt stress. But it’s a good investment you say. Is it? It’s illiquid and you have to put almost all of your cash savings into it as a down payment.  Then you have to pay taxes on it. Then insurance. Then maintenance. Then interest. It’s a good investment when all of the houses in your neighborhood are selling for $300,000 and you buy your home for $100,000.  Think back to how happy you were with that down payment in your bank account. Cash on hand equals happiness.  But we’re establishing roots you say.  Are roots good? When you want to move, you can’t. Your J.O.B. (just over broke) likes your home ownership too, because now you’re not mobile. You’re stuck.  If someone tells you that buying a home was the best decision they ever made, consider the source. They probably have commitment bias. They’re already locked into their mortgage.

I don’t own a car. This is probably the hardest one for people to wrap their heads around.  My kid is homeschooled and I work from home. What do I need a car for? My husband has a vehicle and if I need to go somewhere he shares. But it’s rare that I go somewhere without him.  He is also self employed so this scenario is even more easy.  I turned in my last vehicle (it was a lease) in April 2012 and I haven’t had a vehicle since.  This gives me an extra $800 or so a month since I don’t have a car payment, insurance payment or fuel bill. Not to mention all of the money I save by not going places where I used to try and cure boredom. Shopping, eating out, etc. I’m thinner and I have more disposable income because I don’t have a car…which we all know is probably the worst investment on the planet.

I don’t engage with crappy people.  Same theory for people who disagree with me. I’m not going to argue with them. I’ll never change their mind. They have their opinions and I have mine. I especially don’t engage with crappy people. My friend James has a great saying. ‘If you get in the mud with a pig, the pig gets happy and you get dirty.”  Crappy people are crappy for a reason. It’s not your place to try and figure out why. Let them be crappy and unhappy. Move on. Don’t give them another thought. If they try and engage you, just ignore their attempts. This will infuriate them even more and they will move on to another person who WILL engage them.

I don’t watch TV. OK…I watch a little bit of television. Survivor and maybe Big Brother. I don’t sit for hours on end watching mind numbing TV. What do I do instead? I read. I read things by people who inspire me. I read blogs, eBooks, physical books. I read every day. For hours and hours.  And then I’ll write.  I love to read and I’m really starting to love to write. I hope you’re enjoying reading what I write.



  • I still want to be Amanda Tinney when I grow up… :)

  • Kristin Long says:

    Three things about this post:
    1. I KNOW I’ve made that comment to you but I really do wanna be like you! :)
    2. I don’t like crappy people either. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
    3. Survivor and Big Brother are the ONLY shows that I will DVR. Reality tv junkie!

  • Kristen Kirk says:

    The whole dream of growing up and owning a home was one of the worst things that I was ever taught. What a crock! Amanda – this whole piece just makes me love you even more. But then, it’s coming from a non home owning, one car family, no 9-5, unschooling mom, who recently decided not to hang out with people she hates any more. You got me on the TV/News though, I watch a lot of it. However, in the past two years watching the News has upset me more and more – so I find myself watching less and less.

  • Thank you Kristen. You are one of the most kind and selfless people I have met. I heart you too…

  • Linda Raymond says:

    Amanda I have been reading your blog since your first Disney marathon ( seems like yesterday), and I have loved everything you have written, I have found some real bargains along the way too.( and I SWEAR, we are going to meet one day! ). I have enjoyed everything, BUT TODAY,,you opened my eyes with: “Crappy people are crappy for a reason , it’s not my place to try and figure out why!!! HOLY COW,,,I know it is so simple,, but it just hit me in the head,why am I even bothering ,,I try to be nicer, try to engage again and again, I wait a few mins seeing if I will get a hello, then I will say hi, and of course get the LOOK that’s says, are you ANYONE, can you do anything FOR ME,,OR I go say hi first all the time, hoping for a response instead of a forced smile,,,well that ends today!!!! They ARE CRAPPY for a reason, So thank you once again !! And Even though you are a beautiful lady I will let YOU be Amanda Tinny lol, I am happy with being me,,, but I sure as he** would love to go to some of those media events lol, oh yes and I do not watch new either,,,,:-). Keep writing we WILL keep reading.

  • Thank you for sharing. It’s nice knowing there are others out there with similar situations and thoughts. While our unschooling days are over, our family of five still currently uses one car.

  • Another winner of post! Less is more. Thanks for sharing more of your life.

  • ShelleyJ says:

    I have always been so impressed on how you carrying yourself, it is interesting to say that when people see a person having a happiness/ peace about themselves that person will want what you have too, but what is impressive about you is that this is the 1st time you have “opened” yourself up, you always have done more of walking the walk, instead of giving lip service. It is women like you that I find inspiration in, so I applaud you for listening to your innerself and walking to your own music!

  • And this is why I love you so much. Other than the news thing. xoxoxo

  • Jeanna C says:

    Insp”ear”rational! I have always loved your Disney blog and I think I like Amanda Tinney even better :)

  • Maria says:

    You amaze me!! Awesome all around. :) I am with you on a LOT of these!! I don’t watch the news or really any shows, unless Disney Jr & PBS kids count…..
    You really are an inspiration xo

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