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Live Simple: Five Steps Toward A Simple Life....Installment Three

Updated on October 25, 2012

IN THE BEGINNING

Well, in the beginning, we were in diapers, right? Then as little children we ran and played, collected toys, ran and played some more, and collected more toys. For most of us, our childhood days were pretty darn good. We had few cares, we had few responsibilities, and we really had a good life.

The teen years came and things changed just a bit. School was getting tougher and we were studying more and playing less. Our parents, God bless them, expected us to do chores and, heaven forbid, get a part-time job. Many of us liked those part-time jobs because that meant some disposable income and we could buy a few “luxury” items. We had a few girlfriends/boyfriends during these years (well, this author didn’t but most of you did), and we began to understand that life was about more than just having fun.

Early adulthood and the responsibilities started to increase. Maybe we got married early and had kids; maybe we just got a job out of college and started to accumulate the trappings of adulthood; whatever the case, life began to get a bit more complicated. The bills started piling up, we were working more hours to pay for it all, and we discovered the joy of credit cards.

The later years found us barely above water, or holding on for dear life, as cutbacks were being made at work and prices were rising faster than our income. Those credit card purchases that seemed like such a good idea five years ago are still being paid for, and creditors are calling on a daily basis. That new home and car aren’t new any longer and, in fact, will be needing repairs very soon, and where the heck is that money coming from? Carefree? What’s that? It seems like you are going 100 mph and still not catching your dreams.

Family time? Well, it’s getting less and less, as we are pulled in ten different directions all at the same time. Do you remember when everyone used to sit down for a family dinner? Those times are few and far between; both parents are working, the kids have their own interests, and round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows.

Does any of this sound familiar? Well, for many of us it does, and it was the impetus that led to a lifestyle change. We call that change Living Simple!

Living Simple is about regaining control of your life. Living Simple is about returning to a simpler lifestyle where you have a chance to smell the roses and get back in touch with those things that are most important, namely family and loving life.

What follows are five suggestions that just might help you regain that which has been lost.

Henry David Thoreau: The Father of Living Simple
Henry David Thoreau: The Father of Living Simple | Source

Let's Take A Look At Your Needs

Which of the following could you easily live without?

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ADOPT A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE

When did it all start to go wrong? Modern society seemed to suck the life right out of us. Buy more, accumulate more, add to the possessions until the possessions owned us. It was dizzying and exhilarating while it was happening but now….now it is starting to weigh us down. It’s been life in the fast lane for so long now that no matter how powerful our personal engine we can’t keep up with the traffic.

Living Simple is all about stripping away the b.s. and getting back to basics. It is about shedding the extra weight of that which we do not need and adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Conveniences are just that….convenient. They may have been okay when we could afford them and had the time for them, but suddenly neither applies.

Minimalist living is about getting rid of the physical, mental, and emotional clutter so you can concentrate on that which should be most important.

LEARN LIMITS; WHAT IS NECESSARY AND WHAT IS FLUFF?

This writer has friends who have a 6,000 square foot home and practically every square foot of that house has clutter and stuff. Mind you, only two people live in this home, and yes, they can afford all of the extras which pour out of every spare space, but seriously, what is the point? I have entered their home for a visit and felt my blood pressure instantly rising. I can’t imagine living in such a manner.

What is necessary for living? Food, shelter, and love are the Big Three. After that, it is all fluff! Learn to set limits! Learn to budget! Learn to do without extras that are purchased for no other reason than the fact that they make you feel good.

Be very clear on this fact: to de-clutter one’s life requires a commitment. To de-clutter one’s life requires a complete psychic change in how you approach life. We have been hard-wired over the past several decades to buy, to collect, to accumulate, and sadly our self-worth has been attached to those possessions. We have come to believe that there is security in ownership, so by extension the more you own the more secure you will feel. Wrong!

Amusing Video About Frugal Living

FIND SPIRITUALITY

Do not confuse this with organized religion. This writer has nothing against the religions of the world, and millions have found peace and comfort within a church’s four walls. However, spirituality is not confined by walls nor by a set of beliefs.

Spirituality is putting yourself back in touch with that which is important in life. Say hello to who you are; say hello to nature! Delve into the very reasons for living and prioritize what is most important in this thing called life. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and envision the basics of contentment.

When we peel away the skin and get down to the core, life is not about possessions. Life is not about the bling and the other adornments that we are surrounded by. Spirituality is about learning to be happy with the person within. It is about finding a sense of community with others, and that community learning to live in concert and harmony.

Spirituality is about inner-peace, and you won’t find that in the latest catalog from Land’s End or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Cat's In The Cradle

ESTABLISH ROUTINES

For many, the year 2012 is synonymous with hectic. There are too many things to do. The list of daily chores is big enough to bring Atlas to his knees and leave him floundering on the ground, hopeless and lost. How can we make all the responsibility go away?

Well, we can’t, but we can simplify things a bit by establishing routines. Set up a daily schedule and then refer to it daily until it becomes second-nature to you.

There was a song back in the 60’s called “Cat's In The Cradle” about a father who was too busy and he couldn’t find time to play with his son. That song was written fifty years ago and I suspect it still applies in today’s world.

Remember, we are trying to prioritize so that we find time for that which is important. If we have to schedule time for the important things, then do so. Establish a routine that allows for family time at the same time daily. Establish a routine that allows for quiet time between you and your significant other. Establish a routine that allows for exercise and relaxation. Once you have established those routines, make a commitment to stick to them. There will always be distractions that can take you away from routines; it is up to you to ensure that those distractions are not allowed to do so.

A Funny Video About Living Simple

WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU VS WHAT YOU CONSIDER NECESSARY

This is such an easy concept to grasp, but an amazingly difficult one to live. If you were to ask anyone on the street, I am willing to bet most would have a good idea what is best for them, but saying it and living it are two different things.

Remember, those things that are truly necessary are food, shelter and love. Some may think that a high-paying job is necessary because it is needed to pay for a certain lifestyle, but that is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. Some may think that owning three cars is necessary but in truth, it is only wanted, not needed.

What is necessary is survival! Period! It is our backwards, convoluted thinking that adds other things on the “necessary” list. As for what is best for you, we have now arrived at a new address in our journey. What is best is to satisfy our need to spend time with loved ones? What is best is to find time to relax and enjoy life. What is best is to become part of a caring community where values and principles are practiced. What is best is to do everything possible to find time to enjoy life at its most basic level.

CHANGE YOUR THINKING

One of my favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau. He said,”As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” How true are those words?

Living simple does not happen overnight, and it requires a willingness to make some rather drastic changes, but the rewards are amazing. Millions of people are now living a much simpler lifestyle and because of that they are happier than they have ever been.

Remember when you were a child, before the mortgage, before the fifty hour work week, and before the mountain of debt? Do you remember what it was like to live each day as if it were the most precious gift? Do you remember the joy that each day brought? Do you remember?

You can have that again! It is up to you! It just depends on how badly you want it.

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I remember that song "Cat in the Cradle" and when I listen to it I am grateful I always had time for my kids, because we cannot go back. I try to keep a routine especially since writing for Hub. I make a list everyday to include everything I want to accomplish. And the things I must do!..I find myself really organized that way. We also equate things we want to be things we need. There is a major difference...What do we really need? A roof, bed, table, food and a loving companion...How simple that would all be. great up..Voted UP.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I too have a daily routine. It is truly a necessity when having two small children, because children need this and actually seem to crave this. When we veer off their schedule such as nap time ever so slightly, we end up paying for that later on with our girls, such as their meltdowns and grumpiness. So I can totally say I am doing that much so far as for living a bit simpler. I also don't use credit cards and only use what I have in my bank account. So too can relate to that part of simple living. I have of course voted up, shared and tweeted too!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Carol, once you do it...it is simple. It's in the original doing that is tough. Bev and I live this life now, and we can't imagine going back. Thank you for a great comment.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      There are many people who are living with all the extra fluff which is not only unnecessary, it's living beyond their means too. They end up getting into a lot of debt and eventually face bankruptcy. The fluff costs way much more than it needs to! An inspiring write, Michelle

    • purnimamoh1982 profile image

      purnimamoh1982 4 years ago

      Wonderful hub, Yes one needs to plan out what one can do away with. Enjoyed reading your hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thank you! I agree, with little kids, a routine is crucial, and nobody likes those meltdowns, especially mommy! :) Thank you my dear; you are always greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle; yes, the fluff is expensive and no, it is not necessary. We need to get away from that way of thinking and the sooner the better. Thank you my young friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you purnimamoh; I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      After a busy day at office, when I come back home and switch on my laptop, I come across your hub about installments about way of life and thinking pattern, then I feel so relaxed. These motivating hubs by you have become a source of wisdom for me.

      It makes me smile, the smile being the gesture of gratitude, makes me reconnect to myself.

      Thank you, Bill.

      May the God Bless you. And have a great day, filled with PIPO. :-)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Definitely a must share!!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is an awesome continuation of this series Bill, Your writing provides incite into a subject that is import for the survival of society.

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Your writing is intoxicating.I am getting addicted .

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hmmm... I think I like THIS one best so far...although they're ALL great.....I especially appreciate pondering the BIG question: What's necessary and what's FLUFF? Good one, bill......because the answers are so different from one individual to another. But, we NEED to find what really works for us! I volunteered giving up the stove...voted down!

      I also always appreciate learning something new...adding to my "after dinner Facts"........Henry David is the Father of simple living?? OK...!! Goooooooooo Henry!

      Keep these awesome hubs coming bill.......this ain't no FLUFF!!!! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, you brought a smile to my face at the end...PIPO to you as well my dear. I am so grateful to you; thank you for bringing me happiness and satisfaction this morning. Rest well my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Spy! You are greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I believe something needs to help society....if my writing does in some way then I am happy. Thank you, Mark; you are a good friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Pooja, I'm not sure what to prescribe for that addiction. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Paula! Thoreau was a wonder....one of those people in history that I would have loved to have met. He was concerned with over-population and materialism in 1830.....1830!!!!! Can you imagine how he would do today? LOL Probably just as well he died when he did.

      Thank you buddy; I'll keep them coming since you asked so nice.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Great thoughts, Bill! While reading your Hub I was reminded of a time in my life, only 3 years ago, when life was very simple for me. I was divorced and leaving Venezuela to move back to the U.S. All of my earthly belongings were packed into 3 suitcases and 4 boxes. I had NO keys-no house key, no car key, no storage unit key. Just 3 suitcases and 4 boxes. I thought about the fact that my siblings all owned homes, cars, and were "living the good life". I even felt sorry for myself: "Here I am at 50 years of age with nothing to my name", but I was reminded by a gentleman (who is now my husband) that all those lucky people who are "living the good life" really don't own anything, the bank owns them. He reminded me that there is a freedom in owning nothing...freedom to move wherever I want to move, do what I want to do, without worrying about bills or taking care of properties. He helped me gain a new perspective and is now my companion in living simply.

      Thanks for writing about this new perspective on life.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, that sounds VERY familiar!!! Now, before purchasing anything, I think about it and decide do we really need this or not. Also, I have not been to a mall in many, many years, as there is no need to purchase the expensive clothing and shoes when you can get the same thing elsewhere. We have learned to downsize in vehicles to save gas and in the size of our home since our children are grown. Well, our homes have never really big huge anyway. If we do not have the cash, we do not buy it. It is said to save at least three times your monthly bills. You can start off slow by saving at least a thousand dollars for emergencies, so you do not have to go into debt when an emergency happens. Then slowly pay off each credit card, then the cars and then the home. Be thankful for what you already have and learn to love living the simple life, as the simple life is the best life ever, as you have describe here, billybuc. Lovely and insightful hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, what a great story. Thank you for sharing that! Bev and I are exactly that way. Nobody owns us at all, and in three years, when her daughter has graduated from high school, we will be free as the birds and boy oh boy, are we ever going to fly!!!

      Thank you; I love your story.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Isn't this an AWESOME community?!?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      billy I miss my childhood very much. I told my father how tough it was to be a child. Wow what a mistake! The song " The Cat's In The Cradle" is perfect for this hub. Not that I don't love my husband or daughter very much. Miss some things in the past, but love some things in the present.

      Isn't that life?

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Great Hub Bill, I think---hold on my Iphone is buzzing---okay, I think you make great points about the clutter in our lives. It's need vs. want and want is winning big! Voted way up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it is, Debbie, and you are a great part of it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, it is indeed! There are so many things I miss about the old days of simplicity. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change my world.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pete, I hope you got that call...could be important! LOL Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I think you should be writing these hubs instead of me. :) Great suggestions my friend. I can tell that you and your husband have your heads on straight and understand what simplicity is all about. Thank you and peace to you always.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Lovely advice as always Billy. I think recognizing the difference between what is necessary and what is fluff can be quite difficult, but very helpful to reduce time wasting and focus on what really matters.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      Another Great Hub! I actually had the pleasure of meeting Harry many years ago. The radio stations I was a jock at sponsored his concert. I interviewed him on the air, and then, at the concert, he called another jock and myself to the stage as we joined in singing "Circles." What an experience with a treasure of a gentleman!

      Many of the items you list are already missing from our household. My wife is the dishwasher, most of the time, and I think this is one piece of fluff I'll keep for now. Great Job, my friend, as always!

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

      A great hub about living smart and happy at the same time Bill!Now that I think back, Yes, i do feel we have been missing out on actually living our lives and doing what we are meant to do isn't it? We do waste a lot of time on things that give us temporary happiness. Well said, wise words indeed! :)

      Enjoyed as usual and voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, if can be difficult for sure; it's all about re-training our mind to think in a different way. I love my simple life now but it did take some self-convincing. Thank you my dear!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      I would like to spend more time with my kids. I was fortunate to stay home with them the first years after they were born thanks to something called "child home care allowance" that we have in Finland.

      We have that big mortgage on our house, but I always hear my dad's words in my head saying: "If you have a mortgage, you have something to work for". He meant that you know where to put your money when you have them.

      We could live a happy life with less things, but I could never give up my dream of living in a house. I'm longing for that space I've never had. On the other hand, I'm sure I will remember these years of living in a garage as very good years. Life's good now and I enjoy every minute of it.

      I like your new series. You're still teaching people so many things - things that are important in life, like "Livin' large and lovin' life". :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, that would have been a very cool experience. I worked backstage for a summer at Filmore West and met some incredible musicians in 1969. Great memories!

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shruti, what a lovely person you are, and so wise for someone so young. It is a pleasure getting to know you, and thank you very much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, you bring a smile to my face every single time you visit. That is a gift that I thank you for!

      I don't blame you for wanting your own home; I think that is wonderful that you now have it and that you are happy. You have love in your life and that is the most precious commodity to have. Blessings and peace to you my dear friend; sending hubs your way.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      Are you sending me hubs now? I was hoping for hugs. Well, I'm sending YOU hugs. Lol! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, you have no idea how many times I make that mistake...here is a big HUG to make up for it. LOL

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am one of those living as simply as possible. No car to pollute the environment, and no bills to go with that scenario. I love going to the lake for pictures and writing my stories. I'm just so grateful that the lake is across the street.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Back at ya Billy! Things came up on a hectic day. So some tune up was needed before coming to comment. Believe or not, we live already a simple life. Not a luxurious one, but the brain is there to dictate the steps to have a joyful day. Sometimes we get the laugh of our lives for a simple action from people. That's why we write some funny hubs. We might look like anyone else, and we get away with things. Actually if you look at our picture... seems that we'd never grow up. Life has been rewarding in all corners and we enjoy our staying in here. Peace and thanks for taking the lead! You've got good points... and we feel sorry for the credit cards and its purpose. Sniff, sniff!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      You are so right - all we need is food, shelter and love. Today my boss made me a counter offer to stay - 7 weeks after resigning with 7 days left mind you.... I had to weigh up a little more money that they offered, lots of stress and a job that I didn't like at all, against earning hardly any money, but being more relaxed and doing what I am passionate about, as well as having more family time. Guess which option won?

      I am with you - simple living is for me. I don't want to look back on life one day and realize I worked myself to death, and all hours of the night and day - only to miss out on the simple pleasures like quality time with family and friends. The more you earn, the more you spend. Sometimes it's good to be brought back down to earth every now and then.

      Great hub! :)

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      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Well said, Bill. Mahalo for such a wonderful handling of this topic. I was just recently introduced to the philosophy of minimalism through the website becomingminimalist.com (although the concept has been gnawing at me for years), and this hub of yours really hits home.

      Just yesterday I had to get at the tv cable in my mother-in-law's room, but there were literally stacks of...stuff...as tall as I am blocking the dresser that her tv rest on. It was such a massive project to simply disconnect one little cord from the wall.

      Looking around her room, I saw that her closet was also impossible to reach because of the huge piles of...stuff...blocking the closet door. It was depressing, because when I walked upstairs to our bedroom, the scene wasn't much better.

      Just how much stuff do we need to be happy? As Joshua Becker states on that website (and as you so clearly express in your hub)...

      "The best things in life aren't things."

      Thanks, Bill...and Aloha! Gonna share...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Avain, I knew I liked you for a reason! :) I think the concept is foreign to so many people, and they can't conceive of living like you and I do....and that's fine I guess...I just wish they would quit complaining about not having any money or not having enough time. That's what drives me nuts. There is a solution!

      Thank you my new friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, Bev and I live on very little...and we've never been happier. I wouldn't trade my lifestyle for any other. I'm so happy I found you on this site; we are kindred spirits and I greatly appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mel! It is a pleasure to know another simple traveler. Life is so very good for me now that I have pulled the plug on the insanity. Peace be with you and be happy today and always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aloha, Chris, and thanks for the great comment. It is insanity pure and simple, and yet oh, so hard to break the grip it has on us. Conversely, once the grip has been broken, it is incredibly easy to live a simple lifestyle.

      I appreciate you dropping by again; take care over there and enjoy the tropical sunshine!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      Very interesting and thought provoking. Of course, most of us could like with much less, although I didn't see the laptop on the list. :) My husband and I have simplified our lives in many ways and we made a decision several years ago to live without going in debt. I have been in the position of drowning in debt and am so grateful that I have the peace of mind that living a debt free life gives us. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, I was drowning the same as you....that was the motivation to begin this journey and I have no regrets about taking this step. Thank you my friend; I always greatly appreciate it when you stop by.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      I just love the quote by Thoreau. Transcendentalism made a big impact on me during high school. I love your thoughts on having a routine. I try to have one and whenever I find myself veering I have to go back to my notebook. It's a great way to keep the day in perspective. As always thanks for sharing your wisdom with your hub friends ^_^ Voted and shared.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I had been looking all around Bed Bath and Beyond for spirituality and could not find it... aha now I understand!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy....LOL...great line! Nope, you aren't going to find it there. Thanks for the laugh and the visit my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, I do the same thing. I have to constantly check my notes and read my own articles to remind myself of this stuff. LOL I have a built-in forgetter when it comes to some things.

      Thank you my new friend; I like your style!

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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      And then along came social media. I'm serious. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, soon Pinterest, not to mention HubPages. I feel overwhelmed that I HAVE TO spend so much time on these various sites just to play the game. Simplifying life also means somehow trying to simplify the growing "demands" of the social media sites we get involved in.I feel guilty taking a vacation - how weird is that?. Looking for backlinks? Just sign on to this or that forum, we are advised, but most important - be involved! Great, there goes another half hour a day. Great Hub, as usual Bill. Please train your keen eyes on the social media explosion.

    • hazelwood4 profile image

      hazelwood4 4 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      Billy, you are so right living the simple way is the best way to go. People always seem to try to live above their means, and they would be so much happier if they didn't try to always keep up with the Jones's. Thanks for sharing my friend.:)

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      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Like the gentleman in the video stated, the beauty of being frugal is "Nothing is wasted." I believe I like that aspect of being frugal most of all. In retirement, I live a very frugal life - growing food, exchanging food between all the other neighbors who are farmers/frugal lifestylers like me. There was a time in my life when I would have felt "poor" to have to grow my own food as a way of saving money, but now I actually enjoy it as an advanced lifestyle. I enjoyed your hub on living simple and look forward to the next episode.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you bring up an excellent point. Living a frugal lifestyle has now become a challenge to me, and an enjoyable challenge at that. I love the garden; I already have next year's garden planned out. I love sharing the produce with family and friends; it's a way of life that has gone out of style and I, for one, am going to do everything I can to bring it back. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hazelwood my friend, how are you? Good to see you as always! Yes, the insanity in my life has ended. I have embraced this lifestyle and there is no turning back. Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      rfmoran, I hear you! What you mentioned is unavoidable for a writer....part of the job I'm afraid. Until I figure out another way, I have to play the game right along with you. Fortunately I have met some great people along the way, so that softens the edges a bit. Thanks for the great comment, one that a lot of people can relate to.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      AWESOME JOB!!!!! I completely agree with you and I love the song you used; Cat in the Cradle is one of my all time favorite songs!! In my 20's I was guilty of wanting a high paying job etc. and worked way too much and at that time we really didn't have family time. I gave up the high paying job because family is way too important!!

      I have to admit, I would still love a dishwasher (6 people accumulate way too many dishes...lol) but instead we put the money towards needs instead and try very hard to avoid using credit card...we only use those for needs and not wants.

      Voted UP, Interesting, Useful, Awesome, and Shared!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, good for you! We don't have a dishwasher and we actually enjoy doing dishes together after meals....more togetherness time and it's part of our daily routine now. I'm liking you more every day. :) Thank you for the great comment and the share.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Getting back to basics and avoiding the fluff is not very tough, provided we actually want to do it. No doubt, living a simple life brings along happiness and joy reducing countless worries about bills to be paid off. Great thoughts and ideas in your hub with useful tips and pointers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, you hit on the key point...provided we actually want to do it. Thank you for seeing right to the point of the matter.

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      Anan Celeste 4 years ago from California

      As always a Gem of a hub,

      Billy As a fellow minimalist/frugal living nut, I find your article a must read for young people. You would be surprised with the things that we go without, and we don't miss. Is an amazing feeling to know how simple and fulfilling life can be, when we stick to the basics. Love and blessings.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      I think the message is slowly getting through, people are beginning to think, to hell with the Jones, I'm going to live my life the way I choose. We have to learn to live within our means.

      As callous as this may sound, our current economic predicament is probably what the world needed to remind us that we are not masters of the universe.

      The party is over, and unfortunately, we're all left with the bill. You're so right when you said a country is only as strong as it weakest link, maybe one day the penny will drop. Once again billy, very good work. Take care now.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tobusiness, I love the fact that I'm not the only one who realizes that the downturn in the economy was a much-needed wake up call. I don't think it's over, either,and I hope you are right, that people are finally starting to get it. Thank you my friend and happy gardening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ananceleste, thank you so much! You somehow have slipped through the cracks...I have not been getting all of my notifications when hubs come out, and I didn't realize it about you until this comment. I will try to rectify that situation. In the meantime, thank you for a great comment, and I love that you are a minimalist.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Loved it again! I love the song "Cats in the Cradle" and I remember my youngest boy, around 6 years old said, "mom is that song about a dad who forgot to be with his son?" I thought even a 6 year old knows what's most important in life better than I do, at times. It's a struggle to work, be a mom, daughter, sister, friend, community volunteer etc. Today we are expected to do a little of everything, when in reality many times we aren't doing much of anything that has a positive lasting impact on others. Now off to put my kids to bed. Voted up! Kelley

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, you might have just said it much better than I ever could have. "Expected to do a little of everything"....reminds me of another old saying...jack of all trades, master of none. :) Thank you for a great comment and hug that youngest boy tight...he's a keeper.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It's ironic, I've been thinking about this subject matter lately. I used to think i had to have the very best, today i feel differently. I think the knowledge comes with age. I also have learned that when i give instead of buying, I feel great. I don't need that high i used to get when i went shopping. This was a fantastic read..Thank you..

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      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      I'm quite laid back in many ways - bit of land, couple of pet cows who make me laugh, bush garden and birds - although being fairly isolated I do have the ability to procrastinate! I also travel - it's been part of my work although nowadays I often long to come home.

      I've visited a couple of islands in Indonesia where I'm always impressed by the friendly warm people where food, shelter and love say it all. They have so little but give so much. Many times I've been impressed listening to the laughter of children echoing around me , just being kids - no toys or technology, just sheer enjoyment of life. It's striking. However, they so want to emulate the visitors, us. I get torn thinking about it - yes, for survival I imagine they have to evolve technologicaly.. They could not imagine how much I envy them in many ways. -Silly I guess but...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      A friend came to visit me today. A reminder of a complex world I can no longer participate in. He asked me questions and before I could type out my answer he asked me another one.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. I do love living the simple life. My best days are doing what I enjoy and not even leaving the house. Sometimes I draw some silly pictures just for myself to unstress. Love nature that makes me happy and just living every day. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, there is a definite high from giving.....thank you my dear; you are a good person!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trav, I don't think it is silly at all, and I hope, against hope, that they will not be overrun by technology as we have been. There is much to be said for their way of life and their principles.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, it is a mad rush to get to the next point....never savoring the point of time we are in.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, my life is so much different than it once was. I have no chains on me at all any longer, and I love the simple life.....as you do.

      Thank you my friend and have a wonderful weekend in Latvia!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Good hub and good topic! I am into simplifying also. It feels good!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, just another reason why I like you. :) Thank you!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great suggestions for living simple. A few years back I began to rid our home of household goods, furniture, etc. that we were not using. Just felt like simplifying our lives. The donated items made other people thankful and we enjoyed blessing them. It's funny what you can live without when you put your mind to it. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, those are very true words. Once we don't have an item, and live awhile without it, we don't even realize it is gone. Great point and thank you; have a great weekend.

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      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Once again you created a sensible & wise hub in this series that could help many others! Through this hub, you rightly said that the key to peace of mind and happiness is leading simple! I have observed that people gave utmost importance to money and their own life and is indifferent to friendships, good relations with relatives and all. Seems that money is creating barriers in human relations! (What I mean is that love is far more important than money - money is quite important for one's living but not number one in the world!) Just like you said, my grandmother said that long ago, many people used to sit, eat and chat in groups happily. Now, times have changed and people are busy with making lot of money and their own life and all, which is really a upsetting trend! Thank you for creating an eye-opening hub that could gradually change the world! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Socially Shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, what a kind person you are! I love what you wrote, that money is creating barriers in human relations. I agree completely! My hope is that we can change things, one person at a time. I am proud to know you and call myself your friend.

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Your hubs have me thinking maybe I should put together something about the really concrete ways I make my life very basic. I've already written about bike commuting, not watching TV, and not owning a car, why not compile a hub about my crazy, over-simplified life without lots of things most people consider 'normal.' No microwave or toaster - I didn't even have a bed for years. What do you think? Can I convince people their appliances aren't necessary and they will have more kitchen space and eat healthier if they ditch em?

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Billy, this is a hub I could have written, but nearly as thoughtfully as you have. It is exactly where I am now, at this point in my life. It's almost magical to be in this place of detaching from materialism. What a wonderful, wonderful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, I think it would make a great hub! I'm writing a series of these and yours will just raise awareness....I have ten tips of frugal living coming out tomorrow, and we will see how it is received. Thank you young lady.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irc, it is almost magical...and incredibly liberating. I literally do not have a care in the world...isn't that remarkable?

      Thank you my friend.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Remarkable indeed. I am happy for you and hope to soon be there too.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irc, I wish you well and look forward to hearing about your progress.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the Thoreau quote, Bill, and I'm enjoying reading your suggestions for how to live a simpler life. It certainly sounds like this way of life would be liberating!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, Thoreau was a fascinating man, such a forward thinker, a modern day philosopher with an incredible view of the future.

      Thank you and have a fabulous weekend.

      bill

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Great thoughts on living simple! I have always loved the works of the transcendentalists. Even more than Thoreua, Emerson's Self Reliance really made me reconsider materialism and living with a purpose. I think this recession has made everyone re-think everything. In my 20's I was pretty materialistic. I had a poor childhood and when I finally had my own money I bought, bought, bought. When I'd run out of cash I'd put stuff on a credit card. When I was left with 3 kids on my own, I realized I couldn't do that anymore. Now, I will never use a credit card like that again. I have never had less "stuff" but by freelance writing and doing things I love since I work at home I feel more fullfilled than I ever have. Your series is very inspiring!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly Tammy! I, too, ran up big credit card debt, until the day it was impossible to do so any longer and then wisdom came to me. I respond to pain and uncomfortable situations....they are often the impetus of my actions...and I will not return to that lifestyle. I, too , love the transcendentalist...tough word to type by the way. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend and thank you.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      (omg..i'm exhausted from scrolling down here..lol) I adore your approach to life Billy - you've evolved and learned so much since those dark days when alcohol controlled and clouded! When i was diagnosed with ptsd 5 years ago - i - minimalized my life. It's not that i didn't have my priorities on pretty straight beforehand - but - something like that(or any 'ism') causes one to value what one has, and want for very little other than peace and calm...ya know?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, thank you! It was the dark days that finally turned me around to set priorities, and I ain't going back to the old days. One time around was enough for this boy.

      Thank you my friend; you and I have a mutual admiration society of two. :)

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      Eddy Jones 4 years ago from Wales.

      I just get lost in your hubs Billy and I can relate every step of the way , especially with the part on spirituality.

      Beautiufl/interesting/awesome/useful and of course up up and away.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ah yes, Eddy, spirituality! Where would I be without it? I really don't want to imagine my life without it. Thank you my dear friend; I will be by to visit you shortly.

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      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I love your message, Bill! This is a great series, and a great hub. I can attest to the fact that life is better when it's simpler. It can be really hard to let go of the things that we think we need, but totally empowering when we do it. The TV, the six-disc changer, the giant stereo, the newest iPhone, the big house in suburbia... all illusions. I hope there are people who will take to heart your very wise advice :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachel, I always enjoy having you stop by because you and I are on the same wave-length. If I could I would be on a farm right now, but that is three years away. In the meantime, I'll simplify, simplify, and simplify some more. Love your attitude young lady, and thank you!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      True, If you want to enjoy your life, it should be simple, practical and without show off. A very good message in your hub, God bless you, Voted up.

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Bill, I really enjoyed this hub the first time around, and here I am enjoying it all over again. We just donated several boxes of clothes and books and decorative who knows what this past week. Taa-Daaa! We have a living room again!

      Sharing this hub...again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you as well, girishpuri, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, that brought a smile to my face. Who knows what wonders await us when we de-clutter! Thank you Sir and enjoy your weekend in the tropics!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hi Bill,

      Simple living is a great idea, in current times when living has become very stressful due to the innumerable material things that we have acquired. It's not very difficult when we really put our heart into it. De cluttering the home should be the first on this list and then getting rid of the wanted acquisitions and sticking to those needed.

      Great set of ideas.

      All the votes, my friend. Sharing this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! It really is a state of mind and being; once you change your thought process then it becomes rather easy to do.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Each of us needs to examine our conscience and decide what simple and frugal means to us. Retirement affords us the time to take time! We can actually smell the roses and not only spend more time with our families but be there for all their needs.

      I like your idea about spirituality being inner peace! Religion or no religion our own inner peace shines through to others as well.

      "The Cat's in the Cradle" could certainly be the theme song for living simply!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, it's funny, but when I first heard that song I laughed and said it would never happen to me.....duh! And then it did. Thank God I'm older and at least a little bit wiser.....and thank God for semi-retirement, so I have the time to truly enjoy my remaining time.

      Thank you my dear and have a great Monday!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      One can be truly happy when is able to differentiate between his needs and wants....

      needs are limited... basic and sustainable in every situation... whereas wants increase once you wish for the first...

      Your initiative is great... great Sir Bill... I learn a lot from each write of yours..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rahul; as you may be able to tell, I'm pretty passionate about this subject. Thank you once again; you are greatly appreciated.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      You are correct Bill--it is a change in the way you think that allows this shift to take place--Liked this a bunch!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! Much-appreciated! Best wishes to you!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Great hub on a wonderful subject. Living simply and with less does create less confusion in ones life. I am finding the older I get the less I want or need. It almost seems frivolous...beauty is found in the most simplest of things. I wish I had learned these lessons in my younger years. Thank you Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heck, Sunnie, I knew these lessons when I was younger, I just didn't live by them. LOL Such is the way of youth I'm afraid. There is a certain amount of wisdom that comes with being more mature, or at least there is for you and I. Thank you my friend; I hope things aren't too hot in Texas!

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      billybuc, almost two years ago, my husband and I lost our home. For awhile it devastated us. I had worked so hard with the mortgage company to try to save it, but nothing worked. Now, we live in a rented mobile home in a new town, where we found a church family who is loving and caring. We've never been happier. Sometimes, God finds a way to simplify our lives for us if we just trust Him enough. And sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom before we see the top of the hill. Look what happened to Job.

      Great advice and an excellent topic. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Ann, I understand that so well! I hit rock bottom so hard I probably suffered permanent brain damage, but I sure love life now. Every single negative has the ability to become a positive. Thank you for a wonderful comment and blessings to you and yours this weekend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Very sage advice, my friend. I'm sorry I'm so late in reading this, but I'm sure you understand. One of the items that needs de-cluttering is my derned inbox! haha!

      Seriously, words of wisdom are contained in this hub. I especially relate to the segment on spirituality. You epitomize what that means. I consider myself spiritual; not religious. It all has to start within yourself.

      I couldn't find a single rebuttal for your 5 tips. You hit the nail on the head!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! I'm sorry things are so hectic for you right now. You are so right on the spiritual.....I just need to live as the best human being I can be....I'll let the others sort it all out in the afterlife. :)

      Hang in there my dear! Sending a hub and love

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I always feel your love, Bill. When you don't see or hear from me it's 'cuz I either have a deadline to meet or I'm a month behind in my hubmail - or both!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Sha! I just worry about you sometimes. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      No need to worry. I'm fine! Just trying to fit all my eggs in the basket, is all!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Just don't to juggle t hose damn eggs! They break you know!

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      Raja 3 years ago

      In Morocco, we say : "he is satiated, he is content then God will give him wealth" it is said that way for the meter and rhyme and means in contentement is wealth and I say in contentment is happiness ;)

      Thank you Billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raja, I love that saying. Thanks for sharing it.

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      Raja 3 years ago

      You are welcome Billy !

      Take care

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You too Raja!

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