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Embrace The Simple Life and Say Goodbye To the Madness

Updated on October 10, 2013

In the Beginning

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You love your family, so your want to provide for them. You work long, hard hours to provide a good home, some frills, a nice vacation, a new car, and maybe a few extra toys. More than likely you purchased some of those things on credit. Certainly the home has a mortgage, the car has payments, and maybe there is a credit card of two tossed into the mix.

A few years pass, and suddenly your buying power isn’t what it used to be. The kids are into sports, everyone needs braces, the vacations are costing more and the interest rates have risen. Maybe you miss a payment here or there, so you work some extra hours to make it up, or you rob Peter to pay Paul.

Welcome to the year 2013, and you are one of the majority of Americans who suddenly feels like a rat on a spinning wheel. Where did it all go wrong?

It’s all in the stinkin’ thinkin’, ladies and gentlemen, and that thinking must be reversed in order for you to have any hope of turning this mess around and finding some serenity.

The first two sentences of the scenario above were perfectly fine; then it all went to hell in a handbasket.

You love your family! Check! You want to provide for them! Check! Now, stop right there and let’s have a chat.

Simple times and the love of family
Simple times and the love of family | Source

Love Your Family and Want to Provide for Them

Yes, you love your family. No doubt of that fact. You are a caring, compassionate man or woman who is trying to do your very best for your loved ones, and you are to be commended for it.

Yes, you want to provide for them, but here we run into problems. What does it mean to provide? If it means to give them shelter, food, and companionship, that is all well and good….and as it should be.

However, if it means to give them creature comforts, entertainment, bigger and better, we have now entered the stinkin’ thinkin’ that I referred to earlier.

If you have a family, what is the most important thing that you can do for them, other than to provide shelter and food? If you said give them quality time then you are right on! What good is love if it is not shared with those you love? We do not live in a bubble; if we love then we must be available to give that love. Working fifty or sixty hour weeks to pay for bills that were accumulated buying stuff, all the while being away from loved ones, is backasswards thinking, and that is where so many in today’s world have taken a wrong turn.

The Error of Our Ways

Yes, I said our ways, for I, too, fell for this trap at one time in my life. We are a society in love with consumerism. Bigger is better! He who has the most toys wins! If I love my family with a twenty-inch television, then I must love them twice as much with a forty-inch television. If I love my family with a Kia sedan, then think how much I love them with a Hummer. Why own a 1,500 square foot home that is adequate and provides for our basic needs, when a 4,000 square foot home with all the modern conveniences will show my family I love them that much more?

And I say what is the point?

Or how about those who would say, “Hey, I work hard, and I deserve to live the good life with some extra possessions and toys?” To those I would say there is absolutely nothing wrong with it as long as it doesn’t require working extra hours, thus taking you away from those you say you love, or as long as it doesn’t require going into debt to do so.

Kick back and relax
Kick back and relax | Source

More Backassward Thinking

Whoever decided that it was a good idea to start working right out of school, work forty or fifty years, and then retire when you are too old and tired to enjoy life, obviously had their heads planted firmly up their…..you know where!

When I was teaching I was not one of those teachers who advocated that every child should go to college right out of high school. I often told kids that they should get out and experience life. Work long enough to save some money and then go travel. See the world…fall in love…get some life experience. There will be plenty of time for them to strap themselves onto the capitalism gurney and get sucked into the system. Why start right after high school when there is so much more to life?

Naturally, the kids would look at me like I had just beamed down from another planet, and their parents were sure I was a heretic. You see, most people buy into the Establishment. Conformity is the great equalizer in society; as long as everyone is dancing to the beat of the same drummer, society is happy. Heaven help those who dare dance to a different beat. We label them as oddballs, and we slowly shake our heads in sadness because they are obviously confused and in need of help.

Oddly enough, the oddballs and non-conformists seem to be having one hell of a fun time.

The burden of stuff

REFLECTIONS

My best friend in high school was Frank. Frank was a fun-loving guy, a very good athlete, and somewhat of a screwball. You never really knew what Frank was going to do next, or what he was thinking. Being around Frank was like holding your wet finger about two millimeters from a live power outlet. It was a heck of a thrill but at times it could be a bit shocking.

We roomed in college together, and while I pursued my dad’s dream and majored in Marketing and Economics, Frank majored in Philosophy. I remember laughing the day Frank came back to our room and said he had announced his major and it was Philosophy. I said, “What the hell are you doing? How do you expect to get a job with a Philosophy degree?”

Frank’s answer has stayed with me for forty-two years. He said, “Who cares about a job; I just like the subject.”

Oh!

After Frank graduated he worked on a tramp steamer and went to Europe where he travelled for a couple years. He worked on a ship again to gain passage back to the States, and then he worked odd jobs while he travelled around America. Finally, when he was thirty, he met a woman and they lived in a commune growing their own vegetables and selling them to locals.

Frank and his wife live in northern California now; they live in a 1,200 square foot home. They don’t own cars but rather prefer walking to and from work. Go into their home and you sit on bean bag chairs, and their home is comfortable and filled with love. They have been married now for thirty years and they smile constantly.

What’s the point? I think you are all smart enough to figure out the point of that story.

Is it possible to live a life like Frank? Of course it is! If your needs are few then you really don’t have to work that much to meet those needs. If you do not fall for the trap of credit you have to work less to pay your bills. If possessions mean very little to you then you need less money. This isn’t brain surgery but rather common sense.

By the way: I lived life the way society says it should be lived, and I’ve never been to Europe!

Follow a new path to simplicity
Follow a new path to simplicity | Source

Sit with me awhile

Is It a Trend or an Anomaly?

I read an article online on Yahoo the other day. The article stated that more and more professionals i.e. lawyers, doctors, executives, are leaving their professions by the age of fifty because they are burned out and tired of the rat race. They have worked long, hard hours, and they are emotionally drained. Many of them stated they needed to drop out and spend more quality time with their loved ones.

Midlife crisis or an awakening?

Only you can answer that question. I know what my answer is, and I am living that answer. You see, like Frank, I finally figured it out. I dropped out of the rat race, paid off my debt, and quit my job. I now do what I love doing, namely writing, and I spend gobs of quality time with my loved ones. My needs are taken care of, as are the needs of my loved ones, and I do not have to work fifty hours to meet those needs. I am as close to financial freedom as I have been since I graduated from college many decades ago.

My blood pressure is excellent, my heartbeat is strong, and there is a smile on my face daily.

You see, I am no longer confused by what it means to provide for my family. I provide shelter….I provide food….and I provide love!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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

      Deb, wouldn't that be lovely if it were to happen?

      Thank you my friend; you are appreciated.

      bill

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Billy what a trap life can be if we let it.. I just wish everyone would realize what it means to be happy and not get into debt... .. what a great hub

      sharing

      Debbie

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

      Susan, you are right where we are...mortgage and car payment. That's it, and it is a great freedom.

      Thank you cousin, and have a great weekend.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Some of us do get caught in the trap of materialism. My mother and grandparents lived by a rule that has helped me as an adult: Don't buy it if you can't pay for it. Of course, I have always had a mortgage and/or a car payment, but once I got out from under credit card debt, I have never gone back.

      Thanks, Bill, for another great common sense hub! :-)

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

      Glimmer, you are the poster child for doing things right in life. Hooray for you! Thank you for the visit and keep on doing what you are doing. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Love this. Follow your heart. I never in a million years dreamed I would be a stay at home mom who gave up a great career in her late thirties, but I did and I have never regretted it. More people should heed this advice. Nice hub. Thanks.

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

      Dianna, happiness does exist, and it is right in our homes at this moment. How cool is that?

      Thank you. I think I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and I'll keep getting what I'm getting. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It's funny how we do not realize what life is all about until we have make the mistakes (hard knocks) that bring reality into view. If only we could turn back time, as Cher sings. It is very simple: live within your means and don't covet what you don't need. Happiness exists!

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

      Nancy, I agree completely. Luckily in our neighborhood, everyone is in the same financial situation, so we don't have to live up to any standard. :) Not that I would anyway.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      This is really a life lesson for many people. And why can't we pick the things that make us happy, not what the neighbors have.

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

      Moesky, Bravo! You are living the dream my friend! Maybe not everybody's dream, but a darn fine dream for sure. I was raised in a similar Catholic family; we never seemed to have extra but we always had what we needed. Those lessons do not leave a person, and I raised my son the same way.

      Life is good my friend. Thank you for the visit!

    • profile image

      Moesky 4 years ago

      Yes Yes Yes! I grew up as part of a fairly large working-class catholic family, in a street full of middle-class protestants. We had 4 kids, they had 2.2. They all had telephones, summer holidays, cars and tv's. We didn't. But we had the love of each other and learned to respect what my father and mother could provide us with...and that was freedom of thought, encouragement to think for ourselves, to be ourselves... and of course love.

      As a father I've been able to give my own son more material things than I had, but that's only because everything is cheaper and more readily available. But we've lived relatively simple, and within our limited means. Our time together was more important than money or things. Experiences, travel, creativity, have filled his needs. He doesn't have the feeling that he missed out on anything, and he's grown up now able to follow his own path, his own heart, free from the demands and expectancy's of the establishment or his peers. What more could you want for your children?

      And me? I've given up my job too to follow my heart, now that I'm no longer needed as breadwinner. Everything can go...just leave me my guitar and the clothes on my back... and a book to write in.

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

      Deb, thank God the rich have garage sales! LOL That's where I get my best stuff.

      Thank you, Deb!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Realistically, the less one has, the better. You are living proof. I think if others think about it, they will finally come to the realization that their sanity is more important than too much in their lives. That's why so many people have to have garage sales for all those extra things that they don't require any more. Paring down is healthy.

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

      Ruby, I love that line...processing the in-between. You must be a writer. :)

      Thank you; I do appreciate you visiting once again.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Processing the in between, learning to live within our means. It is a wonderful challenge to live a frugal life, thanks for another uplifting hub to get me from here to there. Very thought provoking, thanks.

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

      Lea, it is so nice to see you back with us. I have missed you. There has been quite a bit of nastiness of late over gun control issues, and people have been downright mean in remarks. Thank God for people like you who are positive and supportive. I appreciate you greatly!

      bill

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billybuc:Love the story of your friend, Frank. What an inspiration!

      THANK you for reminding us of how wonderful it is to live by the basics. I totally agree.

      During my morning walk today I was so full of gratitude for LIFE that I wanted to hug every single tree. I said to God, "I have NO needs." Just to feel healthy is like winning the lotto. To have energy, to have an appetite, that is all I need, ever!

      Anything else in my life is a bonus. Life has so much meaning and purpose when we live SIMPLY. This year my goal is to get rid of stuff.

      I have told all my friends, relatives, DO NOT BUY ME STUFF. I don't even want to bring a toothpick into the house!

      You are so right! I personally think consumerism has taken over the country. Your hub testifies how so many of us buy/own what we don't need.

      Your hubs are thought provoking, inspirational, profound, and, most important, genuine and sincere. God bless you real good. Sparklea :)

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

      Patriot....LOL...good for you!

    • Patriot Quest profile image

      Wayne Joel Bushong 4 years ago from America

      ........by the way I lived the trend they say you should live and I've never been to Europe.......I loved that! ............but I still live that trend and I want STUFF........I also enjoy living that way.......I don't want a stinkin bean bag chair...

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

      Becky, although I do not wish that on anyone, for like you I know the hardships involved with losing everything, I oftentimes believe it is necessary to truly appreciate life. It is a bitch of a lesson to learn in that manner, but for many it is the only time they truly learn it. :)

      Thanks dear lady; i'm sure glad you are my friend.

      love,

      billy

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      It sounds like you buddy Frank had his finger on the true pulse of life before the rest of us did. Sounds like a truly magnificent fellow who knows how to glean the best out of what really matters.

      I said it before and I will say it again. Sometimes all the fine articles, words and advice just don't sink in. Although I was always someone who understood the truly important things in life were family, friends and enjoying the short time on earth we have together, I lost everything. It continued to put into perspective what I already held and continue to hold so dear. Maybe these folks need to lose every possession in the world for an ultimate understanding of what sustains us. It certainly won't be the big screen TV, vacation to Mexico and the designer clothes.

      Hugs Billy

      Beckie XO

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

      Phoenix, I love that your children are finding their own way. I also love that you wrote I have pointed out the obvious...it really is....and yet so many just don't see it.

      Thank you my friend, and have a wonderful week.

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

      Vellur, thank you! Life will remain being good for me as long as I keep doing what I am doing. :)

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

      Lindalou, I hope that your dream comes true in 2015. You deserve happiness and it sounds like it is within your grasp my friend. Thank you and best wishes!

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

      DDE, your words are true; without love what do we have?

      Thank you!

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

      Gypsy, it isn't easy, that's for sure my friend! If this helped you at all then I am very happy. Hang in there and follow your heart; it usually knows the way better than our mind ever will. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've never advocated university to my kids. I felt it was their life and that kind of decision should be made by them not me. (However, I always told them that if they didn't want to go to college then they would have to go to work as I wasn't going to give them money they could earn themselves.)

      My oldest daughter didn't go to university and went straight into work. It was a bit of a rough ride for her but she has landed on her feet. She works as a carer and is looking to train as a paramedic. She has moved into her own flat with her fiancee and is getting on with her life.

      My youngest daughter had a stab at higher education but it just didn't work out. She just isn't hard-wired to conform and follow the crowd. She has a job and has expressed interest in becoming a writer.

      My son is finished secondary school this year and is looking forward to going to the local college to study computer hardware and support systems.

      But I have always advocated travel. I think it's some of the best education going. Whenever an opportunity arose for my kids to travel, I would move Heaven and Earth to make sure they could.

      Once again, Bill, you've pointed out the obvious. As long as you have a home, food, family and love...life is good.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub and a great way to live life. You have won the race, hats off to you. Voted up.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 4 years ago from Texas

      I read the title and knew this was your hub before I saw your name! I am right on track with you about spending more time with loved ones. My grandkids live within 20 miles and because of my work and their school, I feel like I hardly see them. If my plan is the same as His, by the time I graduate in 2015, I'll own a small place, wont have rent every month and won't have to work so much.... then I'll get that quality time I so look forward to! Thanks for another great up! Voted up & shared.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Living with basic needs and off-course love and by just having a happy life can make things much easier and free of craziness so true.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Bill this is perhaps even more lovely than any poem could be. I've got a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. I do what I enjoy everyday but sometimes it is so hard not to worry about things economically. We are doing very badly here so I keep hoping for that one miracle that finally slowly but surely the things I do online will start trickling in at least a bit of money. Give it up? Of course not but you already knew that would be my answer. Thank you for the inspiration and passing this on.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary....livin' and lovin'.....now that is a great phrase. You must be a writer! :) Thank you my dear friend; have a great week ahead.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      It looks like all the cool comments are taken, but, the best part is the good, sound advice. I wrote this big, long comment about how I was following your advice before I even knew your advice. But deleted it because your point here is what matters. Livin and lovin! Pay the bills and take care of your family then enjoy them and your life.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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

      Thunder, that is a very sweet thing to say. Thank you so much; if I have done those things for you then I am a very happy writer.

      bill

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      bb, I loved this hub, it spoke to my soul and to what I am trying to live out in my own life. It's strange to me how some people see not living for the all mighty buck as being counter culture. I appreciate your continuing message of love and happiness as abundance. Your writing fills me with both of these things.

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

      Blond, you just described heaven. I love the life you are living; it will be mine in three years, but until then the life I have is pretty darn good. :) Thank you! I'm so happy that you and I appreciate what is important in life.

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

      Efficient...I love your attitude....very positive take on it. It is a good thing that we have learned; hopefully we won't forget the lesson. Thank you for your visit; I'll be by shortly to see your new hub.

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

      Kim, I love the simile of the quicksand....it is endless and it is hopeless, as long as we insist on wallowing in it.

      Hopefully many will learn this lesson before it is too late.

      Thank you!

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

      Barbara, your last line is perfect: you have earned the right. Bravo my friend; wish I had thought of that line. LOL Thank you!

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

      Thank you Ruby! I have no regrets, but if I had it to do over again, I would have held off on college until I had seen the world and was ready to choose wisely.

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

      Vinaya, it is indeed necessary to rid ourselves of madness and move forward with sanity. :) Thank you my friend.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Firstly I love the word, "Backassward"! I had never seen it until your article.

      Here in Brazil, we are living about as simply as it gets. No air conditioning, no heating, no glass in the windows. Fruit from the trees and chickens from the pens. No property tax, and the coconuts pay for the electricity.

      We wake with the roosters and sleep when we are tired. No alarms, no bosses, no TV.

      When you take away the unessential things, you appreciate what is important.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I do remember the pressure to conform was very great when I got out of college. Reading this insightful article reminded me of a saying I have heard recently: Whoever created the 40-hour work week in a cubicle must have been a sadistic SOB.

      Since the economy tanked, I am seeing that it's now okay to admit to living within your means and to say No I'm trying to save money won't get looks like you're from another planet.

      Now it's okay to not want to spend money and to be frugal. Well good for us!! At least that is one thing good that comes from the economy tanking. Voted up and across. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kim Grbac Diaz profile image

      Kim Diaz 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      touche, Bill. It's like wallowing in an economic quicksand....sinking faster and deeper, and the branches extended to you (home equity loans, high interest personal loans, and paycheck/bene gouging, just to name a few, snap and break just when you think the "band-aid" will help. What you say is true. May we all eventually, be like your friend, Frank, and do it "his way".... :)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 4 years ago

      You are so Inspiring Bill. A very Enjoyable read and Video.

      Life is Not aways what we want it to be...But I think as we grow older, we do get a little wiser as we slowly turn another corner...and as Peggy Lee once sang, "Is that all there is"? Thank goodness NO!...We do have choices, and in order to make them, we need to step BACK and take a Good Long look...and stop following what Everybody else is doing.

      We are Downsizing, and in the process Simplifying our Lives, it can be done. We Have earned the right.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I did the opposite, got married young, went to college later. Frank's story was an inspiration to read, happy-go-lucky and ended up blissfully happy. Way to go Frank! Your philosophy about life is bound to reach a young person and give them pause to ponder. Like Vinaya said, " Madness surrounds us. " I agree. Great lesson today. Thank you.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      I see madness all around, more evident in the society I live. Madness will take us no where, it is necessary to toss our madness.

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

      Reba, I love that you advised your students to do the same. Such a waste, to look back over decades, and realize that you really haven't lived yet. Oh sure, there are some who love what they are doing and took the established path, but for those who missed out on a thousand experiences, I say, "there is still time!"

      Thank you my dear!

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

      Michael, you hit the nail right on the head. Our parents did buy into it, and their mantra was a better life for our kids. Man oh man.....great mantra but the cost was pretty damn high!

      Thanks my friend!

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

      Paula, your comments are always among the most creative....love the Piggy bank idea....I actually have one. LOL And it is filling up rapidly. I know, it doesn't surprise you at all now does it?

      Thanks buddy; enjoy your Sunday!

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

      Thank you Cam! We are all a work in progress, are we not? The day I stop learning is the day I need to be covered in dirt. Thanks for the share my friend!

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

      Sarah, I believe that to be true. Add a little willingness to change and I think you have a winning recipe. :) Thank you for the visit.

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Well said, as usual, brother Bill. I think many of our generation, myself included, were brainwashed into the rat race by our Depression-era moms and dads, who willingly sold their souls to be sure we had it better than they did. "Wanting the best for our kids" becomes a very harsh taskmaster indeed. Thanks for writing, amigo. The world needs to hear this while there's still time.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Poking my Simple-Living Head in, on the conversations here. Bigger IS better....Bigger Piggy banks, full of the coins we retrieve, transform and save...by ...clearing out, cleaning up, selling, trading, re-adjusting, making the promise....organizing, rationalizing and liberating......

      The bigger your Piggy Bank...the happier, better off and more comfortable we can be....with plenty of room, FINALLY....to dance!!...

      Listen to our Simple-Living Guru, bil.......UP++++

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thanks for the tune up Bill. I'm actively working on just this issue right now and hopefully very soon it will be history. Great job. I posted this on my FaceBook Featuring Freelance Writers page. Not a big audience, but it is growing.

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      Beautiful. I think if we all search deep inside and live our lives as honestly as we can, we can find a life a wonderful (obviously not the exact same) as Frank's.

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

      whonu....I'm glad you like the picture. Definitely simpler times my friend. Thank you!

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

      Russ, without a doubt, this country is drowning in debt. I am free of it, but I do not know many others who are.

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

      Mark, I had a friend once who said that he knew people who could make a typhoon out of a glass of water. LOL I think there are quite a few people like that, don't you?

      Thanks buddy!

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

      Learning, then you chose well my friend. Well done! It took me a long time to figure this all out, but I won't return to the old madness of keeping up with the Joneses. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HL, that was a great comment about the drive. I love that, and it is so true! Thank you!

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      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, this picture looks like many of my family and the manner of dress and vehicle are all so familiar. Thanks for the memories. whonu

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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      I think debt is the key problem Bill. Freedom from debt is the beginning of true freedom

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

      It is amazing how the simple concepts like this get lost in the "Shuffle." We all need to take a step back, accept that simple is better, and make it so!

      Mark

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      Megan Sisko 4 years ago from SW Florida

      Oh if we could just get American society to agree with us! I work from home with odd jobs and I'm constantly judged for not having a "job". I provide for myself and my family and I'm happier than ever. I just wish people would understand what life is really all about. I can die rich and tired and lonely or I can die happy and financially comfortable. I chose happy a long long time ago!

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      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Dear friend, once again in your heartfelt, inimitable way, you have eloquently spoken about what I hope that many people are feeling today: we must change, or continue on our path of being unfulfilled, unhappy, and for many, depressed. I embrace your sentiments and rationale wholeheartedly, and so appreciate your enlightened point of view.

      I pray that this article reaches many, and that they heed the wisdom and power that you have so generously shared with us.

      Thank you once again for saying what is needed__what is imperative__if we are to experience true peace and joy.

      By the way, I also used to advise my high school students to give themselves a break before college or the rat race__until they were absolutely sure as to what they wanted to do with their lives. Further, I urged them to travel and experience life. It is so good to know that you and others here have done the same!

      Blessings to you on this wondrous Sunday,

      Reba

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      HLPhoenix 4 years ago

      Every word is not just good advice... every word rings true. A roof over their head, sustinence and love, that is what children need. Every screwed up person out there was made that way by some lack in these basics or some twisting of the meaning of love.

      Time to be with your loved ones is of more value than anything else you can give them. Teaching them positive, loving attitudes will make their whole life better. There is nothing wrong with having drive... as long as you know where you are driving, and are careful not to leave anyone important behind.

      Great stuff.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sha! Frank will always be special to me; I haven't actually seen him in over ten years, but we are still in contact with each other. I've always admired him for his lifestyle choices. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bizarrett, it is possible; like you said, you just have to find the way. :)

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      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Good luck to you! That is my dream to somehow get to a point where I can be completely self sustaining to the best of my abilities.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      What an amazing story and equally amazing message, Bill. Your friend Frank has more cajones than anyone I know! The article about 50-somethings becoming burned out and tired of the rat race is so very true. And look how much time we've wasted?! Now we have to spend the rest of our lives undoing the damage we've done as the result of our misguided conceptions of what it is to provide for one's family.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bizarrett, I will be there in three years. We will be buying some acreage and living off the grid and I can hardly wait. :) Great freedom! Thank you!

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      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Awesome read. I would love to live like your friend Frank! What freedom it would be to have your own land and grow your own food and just go back to simple times.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, it is always nice having you visit. You have such a practical outlook on life, and I have no doubt that you are happy and content. Oh, if only more people could figure it out like we have! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly Kathryn! it appears to me that you have your head on straight. Debt creates worry and stress, and I will never return to that. We live debt free now except for our mortgage, and that will be gone in three years.....so I'm feeling pretty darn good about the financial future. :) Thank you my new loyal friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      onegreenparachute....you finished your comment with my favorite phrase....Life is good!

      Thank you for that reminder!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Kindred! I hope you are having a peaceful Sunday! I know of several professionals who have pulled the plug and said "ENOUGH!" Life is too short my friend; it's time for many more to stop and smell the roses before the damn things wilt. :)

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Always my inspiration. This is awesome Bill. The yahoo article was on target. I watched it happen in health care. The new doctors of today are very different from those of twenty years ago. They do not work around the clock and yes, they are leaving medicine earlier. I am sure it is true in those other high profile professions. A shift in all our attitudes is necessary if we are to enter our "golden" years in good health and with healthy attitudes. Duly noted pal!

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      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      What a great Hug - oop Hub. Just what I needed today. We used to have lots of expensive stuff. Then bankruptcy got in the way. A while ago I was snuggling into bed for my afternoon nap. I looked around our newly painted bedroom which is in a newly painted but very old manufactured home (I refuse to write 'trailer' - guess I'm still a snob) and felt how comfy and serene it is. I'm proud of our home and the work we did on it. Couldn't say that about the 4200 sf mansion. Life is good! Thanks for reminding me.

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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      That was absolutely beautiful. The story about your friend was inspiring. I wish I had gotten out to see the world when I was younger.

      I used to have decent credit card debt, but I paid it off when I was in my 20's, and have not touched one since then. The day it went down to a 0 balance was the day I felt true freedom. Debt is a burden, and it was constantly over my head, tainting the experiences I did have. Since then I have tried to live within my means. There were times I didn't have much, much less creature comforts, but when things got a little better I didn't have debt to worry about. And I always had my needs provided for: food, shelter, and love.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      This is great, Billy! My father was very disappointed when I didn't want to attend college. I did well in school, but I was bored silly by the curriculum. I stuck to my guns and decided to find out what life was about. Getting a job as a legal secretary opened my eyes to the world in a hurry! I have never regretted my decision. We live life simply and with the best interests of the Earth in mind. So I am totally on the same page with you on this. It really doesn't matter at all to me if I have the biggest TV obtainable, or the fanciest truck. And that is true happiness! Voted Way Up across the board. Terrific as always, my friend.

      Pearl

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it is such silliness to think there is only one way to experience life. My God, there is a huge world out there....once you get trapped in the system it's real hard to get out of it....as you and I well know.

      Thank you my dear; enjoy your Sunday!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, in many ways the Brits are much more enlightened than we are....no surprise there. It is so common place here to follow the pack without thinking. There is a big world out there; I'd like to see more kids experience it while they can.

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Randi! College is a great choice for many, but I think some kids get dragged into it because they think that's the thing to do.....and there are so many other things to do that could be great experiences.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Billy, you always have a way of putting it just perfectly. So true about living life to the fullest and not conforming to society. I like you wish I would have known then what I know now, because I also never traveled to Europe and conformed pretty early on to what society deemed normal of going to school and getting a job right out of school. Funny that you also say what you told students, because I thought I must have sounded like a nutter too when would tell my former students to do exactly what you where saying you told your students, too. I just felt and still feel it is important to enjoy life and there is always time for the rest to fall into place. Thanks for sharing and I of course voted an shared on my end, as always!!

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      A lot of Brits take a 'gap year' before attending college, but it is very frowned upon here. You're right - people look at you like you're nuts when you suggest taking a break from the rat race!

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Another great one, Bill! Not that I ever doubt you! I am happy that you didn't advocate a college degree immediately. Both of my kids chose college and I am sure it is mainly because of our original thinking. I am much more geared to have them learn a practical skill. Thank you for these great ideas! We are also warming up here!