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Living Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life....Installment Six

Updated on October 25, 2012

LOOKING BACK, AND FORWARD, AND IN THE MIDDLE

So many of my readers are so darn young; good thing I like them all or I would have a resentment! The point, though, is that those born in the computer age, or the heightened technology age, are lacking a certain amount of perspective. Those of us who were born way back when, and you know who you are, have a different perspective for sure.

We can remember back to rotary phones and typewriters; we can remember back to pre-cable days and pre-microwave days. We can remember when families ate meals together, and we can remember when neighbors sat on their porches in the evening and listened to a ballgame on the radio.

It is an interesting time that we live in. Debt reigns supreme, more is better, and our entertainment is provided by strangers on the internet who air their personal laundry on a thing called Facebook. The most popular shows on television are those that claim to be reality tv, although none of us who watch those shows live in a reality that even slightly resembles that which we are watching.

We have become a convenience society, gaining weight, gaining stress, and gaining so many obligations that we don’t have time to eat or sleep properly.

As hard as it may be to believe, there was once a time when nobody owned a cell phone; families had one car, and in many households only one spouse worked a job. There was once a time when families had meals together, when life was not so hectic, and when values had meaning.

Those of us who embrace the Living Simple way of life have made a commitment to return to those days gone by, and we are rewarded daily with a bounty of happiness. It has happened for us, and it can happen for you. However, it requires a willingness to try, and it requires a willingness to toss out many pre-conceived notions that many people have followed all of their lives.

If you are ready and willing, then happiness awaits. Let me share with you five steps that can help you regain some important things you have lost.

A sample schedule
A sample schedule | Source

ANALYZE YOUR ROUTINE

Here is a fun exercise you can try any old day of the week. Make a chart that details exactly what you do in a day, and include the times that you did those things. You need to be as specific and detailed as possible….and you need to be honest, no matter how much it hurts.

Now, the point of this exercise is to see just how efficient you are with your time, but also to see just how many times you cross the same bridge during the day. I have known people who make three and four errand runs during the same day. Run one errand, come home, run another errand, come home, and on and on, in a dazzling characterization of a cat chasing its tail. There are only 24 hours in a day; if you are getting the seven hours of sleep you should get, you now only have 17 hours to do everything that needs to be done. Do you really have time to waste?

Well, the fact is that you do have time, but it’s not a waste if you organize better. You will find that by organizing your time, you will have more time to enjoy life, and that’s the whole point of Living Simple.

Family and Friends....#1 priority for me
Family and Friends....#1 priority for me | Source

GAIN PERSPECTIVE

What is really important? This question should be the guiding light of your life, from this day forward. What is really important? Once you shave away all the things that are not important, you will be well on your way to Living Simple.

Make a list of the things in your life that are important, with most important at the top of the list and then going down in lesser importance. What’s first, family? What’s next, health? What comes after that? Job? Comfort pleasures? I don’t know because I can’t speak for you, but I do know most people would put family and good health at the top of their list.

Now, let me ask you this: how much of your daily time is devoted to those most important items? Do you see where I am going with this? If you have named your priorities, but most of your time goes to something further down your list, then you have life backasswards as my dad used to say.

And I can hear people saying, “but I have to work twelve hour days to provide for my family,” and again I say you have life backasswards! Ours is a society that is constantly on the go; where we are going is up for debate, but by God we have to keep going!

NO WE DON’T! What has happened is that many people have bought into this nonsense and it is nonsense. So many things that we claim have to be done in fact do not have to be done at all. We have simply chosen to let those thing eat up more and more of our time.

Again, what is really important? I’m reminded of a movie with Bill Murray; I believe the movie was called “Meatballs.” In it, Murray plays a camp counselor, and in one scene his team of kids is just getting the crap kicked out of them in a basketball game. He gathers them all around him at halftime and starts a cheer….It just doesn’t matter….I just doesn’t matter….I just doesn’t matter!

Do you get the point? What truly matters? Everything else is fluff!

EMBRACE IMPERFECTION

This is a tough pill to swallow for many people, but you do not have to be perfect. In fact, perfection is highly overrated. Modern man is awfully busy trying to reach perfection, and the amount of time spent in that quest is time that could be spent enjoying life. It makes no difference what task we are talking about; everyone wants to do it perfectly.

We have to have the perfectly manicured lawn; we have to do the laundry perfectly and we have to clean the house perfectly. Well, no we don’t! We have just chosen to live out our lives like being perfect really matters and you know what? It just doesn’t matter!

This writer has learned to embrace imperfection. I find great joy in it! I do just enough of a job to get it done and then I walk away from it, perfect or not. Our home will never, and I mean never, be the centerfold for Better Home and Garden magazine. Do you want to know why? Because we don’t care! I would rather go for a walk with Bev than make sure the dusting was done perfectly. Let’s see, walking with my lover, or dusting???? Hmmm, tough choice, I think…… I’ll go for the walk!

I was married to a woman once who would spend hours and hours on housework. I asked her once why it was so important. She looked at me like I had part of last night’s dinner stuck in my front teeth. She said because if someone came to visit she wanted everything to look perfect. I’m laughing as I type that….IF someone came to visit…..well, enough said! What is truly important?

SPONTANEITY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Do you remember when you were a kid? Spontaneity ruled the world back then, didn’t it? A friend would call up and you would drop what you were doing and off you went. It seemed to happen daily and it was so much fun.

When was the last time you were spontaneous? I mean goofy, drop-dead whacky spontaneous! When was the last time you danced in the rain, or went skinny-dipping? When was the last time you made love out on the lawn, or pulled a prank just for the hell of it? Hey, when was the last time you called in sick to work because you just didn’t feel like working?

Back in the day, when I was raising my son as a single parent, we would go on a two-week vacation every summer. We would pack up our clothes, fill up the car with whatever we thought was necessary for the tip, and then we would choose our destination the day we were leaving. You read that correctly; we had no idea which way we were going until we were ready to leave, and then we would spin a bottle on the ground and head in the direction it pointed.

With no particular destination in mind we were free to stop at any sites we were attracted to, and we had no need to rush to a place. Every part of the trip was the destination, and we loved every minute of it. Our only rule was that when one week was over we had to turn around and head home. Pretty simple rule, don’t you think? Now that, my friends, is a spontaneous vacation!

RECONNECT WITH VALUES

If I had to choose the one area in our society that has changed the most since I was a kid, I would have to pick values. It is like a snowball that starts rolling down hill, and as it picks up more snow it gets larger and larger. That’s how it is with the loss of values, or so it seems to me. It starts out small, like not saying “thank you” when someone does something for you, or telling a little white lie, or cutting corners on a job you are doing for someone. Once that door is left open, it is darn hard to close it again.

There was a time in this country when a job well-done was in fact a job well-done. There was a time when courtesy was more than just a three-syllable word. There was a time when rudeness was not the norm and when helping your fellow man was something you just did rather than something that meant a tax deduction.

In fact, there was a time when family was the most important thing in life, and compassion and empathy did not have to be taught in school. Where has that gone, and more importantly, why has it gone? We appear to be a nation of 300 million ADHD sufferers, going hither and fro at warped speed, and pity the poor slob who gets in our way.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it better than I ever will:

“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”

It does not have to be the way it is today, but we are the only ones who can change it.

ARE YOU READY?

It can begin today! Whatever has happened in the past is just that, the past! Mistakes have been made, plans were changed, visions were bartered for comfort, but it can all change starting today.

Again, it all comes down to willingness! If you can honestly say you are happy working ten hour days to pay off debt, then for goodness sake, continue! If you can honestly say you are happy being exhausted at night, and unable to sleep because of stress, then more power to you and have a wonderful life.

However, if you are tired of being unhappy and harried, then the alternative is right before you. Reach out, embrace it, and get on board the Living Simple train. It really is a very smooth ride!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

A Funny Word About Simplicity

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

      Pearl, thank you! I love that you did the chart and list, and I hope it works out for you. We all need focus and a reminder of what is important from time to time. Heck, I write about it and still forget. LOL

      Thank you and best wishes this stormy weekend.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I have done the daily chart and the priorities list, thanks to you. It is amazing how many unimportant things grab my time and eat it up! You have such great ideas and a super way of presenting them. Voted Up across the board my friend. Thank you for this.

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

      Thank you Paul! I not only remember it but I'm returning to it. :) I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Billy, This is a great hub which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Being around your age, I do remember how better family life was years ago. I remember having a great time as a kid without a cellphone, video games, and the Internet. Time management and setting your priorities correctly are so important for a simpler life. Voted up and sharing.

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

      Jamie, I admit it to the world...I love The Waltons!!!! :) Now that was a family that understood about old-fashioned values.

      As for your husband.....Bev and I make a perfect pair; we are always going for drives and just doing spontaneous stuff, and we have so much fun doing it. :) Maybe one day your husband will see the light! We can only hope, right?

      Thank you Jamie; I really appreciate you commenting on two hubs today.

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

      Mel, I should have you as my publicist! :) Thank you for the glowing praise. I feel better as a writer because of your comment, and I'm being very serious when I say that. I believe strongly in this; people have lost sight of that which is most important, and I'm going to keep shouting this message until more people learn. :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Ditto, Ditto, Ditto and DITTO! Love everything you have written here.. so true. I can't help it, The Waltons still come to mind. My little one and I were watching it every day on Hallmark. It's one of the few things that I don't regard as garbage on regular TV. Sadly, the other day when my little one and I tuned in, they had taken if off without warning. I actually cried and am praying the channel will bring it back. I like that you mentioned rudeness- sadly, it's become the norm. Also, I LOVE how you would take your son on a road trip just following whichever direction and seeing where it takes you. Now that's my idea of a vacation!! I often get irritated with my husband because he never takes a detour, when we go somewhere it's always right there and back, no spontaneity and the fact that he complains about slow drivers.. I often wonder why he is in such a hurry all the time and why he won't just slow down to enjoy the scenery. When I try to talk to him about it, he looks at me like I have an extra eye on my forehead. Oh, anyway... Thank you for another great hub :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill! You are speaking my language here! I'm going to share this all over - it's that important. I said in reply to a comment on my job stress hub that no one is going to stand at your grave one day and say words about what a good worker you were, or how your projects were always on time and that the office will miss you. No! Your family who you didn't spend enough time with because you were pulling all those crazy hours is going to miss you. I never want that. I go out once a day when I need to if I have the car, and do all my trips in one go. What a waste to make all those trips! And embracing life and imperfections....yes!!! Great post friend, loved it! :)

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

      Klavdija, it is so easy to forget what our priorities are. Maybe that's why I write about it, so I won't forget. :) Thank you!

    • Klavdija Frahm profile image

      Kendi 4 years ago from Slovenia

      Great hub! I find if interesting so I voted up of course. You know what are you talking about and you're right, we live to hectic and fast lives, we forget sometimes what really matters. Thanks for reminding me to think about priorities in my life and spending more time for good things and my loved ones.

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

      Tammy, it sounds like it's time for some spontaneity! I look forward to hearing about it when you shake things up.

      As always, thank you Tammy!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Awesome hub and advice! I need to take this advice seriously. I have been feeling like I am in a rut. I would love to shake it up a bit and do new things. Love it!

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

      Ricky, thank you very much my friend! Yes, perfection is highly overrated, and once I came to that realization my life became much simpler. :) I wish for you a wonderful day buddy!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Bill, I am left too ponder. Great writing on everything. Very meaningful article. Your writing is very inspirational and this has been a great series my friend. Words of wisdom:) It is true, so many people try to be perfect. I know it can be very hard to confront imprefections, but we all are perfect in God's eyes. Another very informative and inspiring article Bill. Well done. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared. Best wishes Bill and see you soon.

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

      Beckie, I have no trouble seeing you attempting five jobs at once. In time, maybe you can whittle that down to three, or four, so you can smell the roses while you are multi-tasking. :) Thank you Beckie, for visiting me three times this morning.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - I struggle with the prioritizing part and tend to drift towards multi-tasking. But I am not giving up and continue to attempt a mind cleansing with a prioritizing list! My problem is I try to do too much at once.

      Regards

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

      Glimmer, hooray for your beautiful daughter! And hooray for you; I really get excited when I read something like this. Fantastic and oh, yes, thank you so much for reading and your kind words.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Love love love this hub. You are right, the older we get the less certain thing seem to matter. I find myself saying more and more that it just doesn't matter! I think the fact that my beautiful daughter is so much more laid back than I ever was has something to do with my newer perspective on life. She's what matters, not having the biggest or the best stuff. Thanks for another incredible hub!

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

      Ruby, you and Bev and that perfection thing. That is the hardest thing for her to give up....she is worried that someone will say she didn't do her best.....silly to me but oh so real to her.....and so it isn't silly at all if that makes any sense. :) Thank you Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a great hub and very true. The older I get the more I realize how much I do not need. I am still working on the imperfection thing. I was born a perfectionist and it's difficult to change..Cheers

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

      Stephanie, again, welcome to Hubpages, and then let me say congratulations on almost being debt-free. That is fantastic, as is your attitude about debt and the simple life. It's exciting to see someone so young understanding the importance of this lifestyle.

      I do think we are slowly making progress as a nation; it will pick up steam in the years ahead because I don't believe the economy is going to rebound in the near future.

      Thank you for the visit and I wish you best of luck on HubPages. If I can be of any help just ask; that's how we all learn here.

      bill

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Totally agree!!! I love living a simple life! In two weeks my husband and I will only owe on our mortgage (currently have two mortgages because we bought a piece of land in 2005 but will be paying that off). We will be saving money like crazy to put towards paying off the house as soon as possible. I can't wait until the day we are 100% debt-free. When we first married, we were under the illusion that it is the "normal" to have a loan for everything. When I realized it doesn't have to be that way, things changed. It is an amazing feeling to not be tied to so much debt.

      I follow the Money Saving Mom blog, she once shared the quote, "Do not keep anything in your house that you do not love and is not useful." I follow that rule and it makes things simple. I am not constantly looking for things for the house and spending more money (less stuff to clean too).

      I, too, am hoping that eventually our country will work towards living simply. Money Saving Mom has at least 250,000 followers on Facebook and who knows how many on her blog. Having read her blog for over a year now and the comments, it seems as though that's at least 250,000 people that are working towards living a simple, debt-free life. I think we are slowly making progress as a nation!!!

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

      Paula, I was hoping you could give me some tips so I can increase my views. I get so discouraged when nobody comments. lol you crack me up!

      Dinosaurs? Oh yes; every once in awhile I will come across someone in their twenties who sees the wisdom of the Boomer Generation, but that doesn't happen often. These kids todays....can't live with them and can't shoot them. What are we going to do? :)

      Thanks buddy; life is good for this boy, as I know it is for you, and you are appreciated on the west coast by little old me.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill...Since I'm in the habit of reading all comments under a hub (and I insist I do this!)...I see I need to come up with some kind of alarm system, so I get to your newly published hubs, a bit sooner. I believe it was sometime yesterday I started reading. Let me say how sorry I am that no one reads your hubs. Hang in there, bud, it gets better!! Jeesh!

      Great installment, as they all are. You know I'm right there and "into" all of this "simplification!" Had I been aware all along I was making the process more difficult, I'd have started simplifying long ago. I echo Tillie's (Mary) comments. I'm so stuck in my belief the Boomers had it RIGHT.....sadly, it will never be duplicated. I think our views are seen now as "dinosaurs? You think so too?

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

      Thank you again, Sandy! I appreciate your visit!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great hub on living a simpler life.

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

      John, thank you for a valuable addition to the discussion, and you are so right! Education is all about change, and an inspired teacher will learn to adapt and become relevant.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi Billy, and what an insightful hub this is.

      Yes, in fact I remember when I first went to college back in the early 80's and there were little to no computers around. I still remember them making a big deal of the new Apple's that were introduced to the library. So I'm with you in saying today computers have taken over and young people have lost much of their introspect. However, teachers today need to tend to children's needs and be more introspective themselves. I believe this will change the minds of much of our youth today....

      Voted up and away

      John

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

      Justgrace.....technologied??? I love it....now that was a spontaneous use of a word for sure. :) Thank you!

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

      Thank you Mary! I'm glad you enjoyed it because I enjoyed having you as my guest at my humble site. Wishing you peace and happiness, today and always.

      bill

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

      Audrey, you as well dredged up old memories for me. Car trips and yes, the food always tasted better. I can still taste my mom's fried chicken. Great memories indeed.

      Thank you my spontaneous friend. :)

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

      Dexter, I say yes indeed! Bev and I have spontaneous weekends each and every week, and I love them. Thank you my friend; wishing you happiness in the Midwest.

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

      Thank you Eddy! As always, you are a shining light in my morning.

      love, and hugs,

      bill

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

      Martin, that is truly spontaneous! I admit, I was much more so twenty years ago, but Bev is teaching me once again. Thank you!

    • justgrace1776 profile image

      justgrace1776 4 years ago

      Love this hub...a lot of us remember those days, and they were indeed fun. The other day, I was asked why didn't I have Facebook on my phone. My response to this is we are already technologied (should be a word) to death. Favorite part of this hub? Spontaneity!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      You are talking to a person who is older than dirt, and I remember "the good ole days" when life was simpler. I grew up poor, but wealthy in so many ways.

      I think time is like money: we should use it usely, because once it's gone, you can't get it back.

      I enjoyed reading this, and I voted it UP, and will share.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Wonderful, refreshing hub Billy. Spontaneous is my middle name. Always has been. My parents were that way. We'd through a few things in the old family car and off we'd go with sandwhiches and fruit packed in case we got hungry.

      No drive thru fast food for us. For some reason everything tasted better on a car trip. You've helped to stir up some fun memories Bill.

      You mentioned values. I was taught to embrace high standards and values. I took pride in whatever I did because I always did my best. My children have those same values and it brings me happiness.

      Thank you Bill for this magnificent reminder of how simple is better. Voted up and across and sharing!

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

      Biilybuc! As usual, you make some excellent points. You may recall my hub "Enjoy the Beauty of Nature." We all get caught up in all the superficial activities that we forget about what is right in front of our eyes.

      Of course, work is necessary and some stress is a part of life. But so is happiness, restfulness, play and enjoying our family and friends.

      Doesn't life seem much more fun when we can get together and go to a ballgame without weeks of planning? I say yes! Great hub!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Oh yes Billy wonderful, hub once more and I vote up plus across the board.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. by 1995 I was a master of spontaneity It is easy to be spontaneous with just your family (and I encourage it). Try the illusion of it for 200+. The image I use was taken when I took a caravan of 3 buses to Charenay vineyards.

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

      Pooja, thank you so much my young friend. I have great hope for the future because of people like you.

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

      Dianna, maybe I do have Hispanic blood. That's the beauty of being adopted; I can choose any nationality or race that I want at any given time. :) Thank you, as always, for your friendship.

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

      Faith, as always, I smile when I see you appear. I hope you are enjoying that new grandson of yours. I celebrate, with you, a new life filled with possibilities. Let's hope he grows up with an appreciation for all that life has to offer, and the importance of love and family. I have no doubt that he will.

      Thank you, thank you, and thank you! Your loyalty to me is greatly appreciated.

      Peace and happiness always,

      bill

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      An utterly useful hubpost, buddy! Prioritizing the tasks is the most important aspect in day-today life. Thanks for another dose of wisdom. Really grateful to you. :-)

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Bill, I think you may have some Hispanic blood in you, we just throw up the shoe and which ever way it points -- we head in that direction. I love your simple living series, but I am an oldie that knows the value of it as well. Wise words and wisdom here and I hope readers take good note of it.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, I know who I am, an oldie but goodie, and feel the same way dear one!!!

      I remember as a child, we would play outside all day long, and we never had to call someone the whole day long. Now, it seems we HAVE to constantly be on the phone or emailing, texting or something to get the answer right then or tell someone right then.

      We have become those of instant gratification I'm afraid . . . don't think they/we know now what it means to wait, as everything is now at our fingertips. All the world's knowledge floods into our brains all at once, and we do not have time to just enjoy this beautiful gift of life in slow mode anylonger it seems.

      The family dinner each night together at the diner table is most key in the stability of the family. Yes, something as simple as having dinner together each night!!! I believe it was part of the beginning of the downfall of our country when we all started going in a million different directions - then where is the family left ----absent!

      You are right, we can all make choices, but I am afraid that all the young ones will just put us away as we will become obsolete in their eyes if we do not stay on top of all this technology. Heck, I am so not tech savvy, that I haven't even figured out how to implement SEO - that's how sad I am. LOL

      Really insightful and thought-provoking hub. I sure do miss the days of long ago ---the simple times to cherish each whole day and each moment . . . sigh, sigh. "These Times They Are A-Changin'" as Bob Dylan sings or Peter, Paul and Mary.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

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

      Mark, I think I'll stay stuck in the past; it suits me well. :) Thanks my friend!

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

      I used to think the same thing bill, "I am just old and stuck in the past." And ya know what I was right! and proud of it.

      Great thoughts here that more people need to take into their hearts!

      Mark

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

      Guitar, thank you, and as far as the change goes.....it took me a long time to get with this program, so anything is possible. Thank you my friend!

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      Walter Holokai 4 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      Billy,

      You're such a great writer and this is such a great subject. I'd love nothing more than to simplify my life. I just don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. My family isn't with that program. It's a nice thought though.

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

      Cyndi, it's a tough cycle to break, and for some families, the spending cycle will never be broken. I don't even know what to say about that kind of thinking. To me, this is the only thing that makes sense, and unless I'm dead wrong, things are going to get worse and not better in the next few years. I get where you are coming from....you know I do....I just don't know of any other solution that makes more sense. I hope your family begins to see the wisdom in this kind of lifestyle....at least you and I, and our spouses, will be fine. :)

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      When I decided to try to live a little more simply, the biggest thing I was up against was my own family: my brother went through bankruptcy, my sister did, too. My other sister has been in foreclosure (until she borrowed money from my bother to get her out of it). My mom and dad regularly have money problems; they're 75 and still working full time with three - yes, THREE - mortgages. I often thought, my god, there has to be a better way. They do not get me at all, though. When I have made gifts for them that are handmade, I have found them in the trash, the attic, or otherwise forgotten. So, I don't really do anything for them for the holidays. I might send a wreath or a box of chocolates to my parents, but I know those won't really be welcomed - my mom will give them away because they're not "wealthy, upright" presents. Sigh. Yeah, sometimes I air some laundry on FB - hehe, Ninja anyone? - but I don't believe in revealing the personal details of my life. Um...I left my job to work online...it's fun, I LOVE it, I'm happy, but I'm also finding out that if you're not careful, it can take over your life and make it as complicated as it was before. So...I'm working on that. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You got that right, Deb! Thank you my friend!

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This kind of life works for me. I'm happy that I don't have a car or TV(most of the time). I love going to the lake and taking photos. The simpler the better!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzette, my son is 28 and I don't want to know what he is doing. lol For God's sake, could we all just loosen up a little and learn how to enjoy life? This kind of stuff drives me crazy if I let it. Social media is just another way to say "I have no life of my own." See, now I'm ranting! lol Thanks Suzette; I'm glad you and I are sane. :)

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      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Another great article, Bill. Yes, less is more. I have certainly learned that and downsizing is not a bad word. (unless it is associated with the job) I am of you generation and I remember when life was unencumbered. There was life without cell phones. Somehow we all survived. Today, we are over-connected. As you say, I don't need to know what my friends are doing 24/7. There is no mystery to life anymore. My sister's kids check in with her about every half hour - call, text, facebook, tweet - and they are all adults - its' crazy if you ask me. This series is a good one, Bill.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Vicki, it's always nice to see your drop by; thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, great addition to the discussion. Thank you! The nice thing is, that train has brakes on it. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, we were listening to NPR yesterday, and they have radio programs like the old days, like a radio theater, with actors doing a play on the radio....it was just like when I was a kid growing up, and it was so enjoyable to listen to it.

      I am glad you are happy, Ruchira! Thanks for a great comment.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you are a joy!

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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Well said. Your hubs always make me think. I need to read more of this series. Loved it!

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      chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

      Yesterday morning, my wife and I were cruising on the couch when our 11-year-old son mentioned, "Dad, out of our whole family, we have the biggest house, yeah?"

      I said that he was right, and I added that we also have the most stuff. He nodded.

      Then I asked, "And does having the biggest house and the most stuff make us the happiest ones in our family?"

      He just stood there, and my wife chimed in, "More like the most depressed."

      Sigh. Like so many other families in America, we got on the wrong train...

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      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      I love spontaneity 'cause there are no expectations from the other side but just plain laughter and fun from our side.

      We tried it a couple of times and surprisingly we remember that the best part of any week!

      I am also from an era where TV, Microwave was not around and when it came it was a luxary. Radio was my best friend thus, music is still my passion.

      Simple living sure can bring lots of happiness and is bliss!

      voted up as awesome, Bill

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Yep!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peggy my friend, I hope you have been well. I am living the fine life and I will, indeed, keep writing about that which I believe to be important in life. Thank you for the share and the kind words. Best wishes to you and yours, today and always.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, are you howling at the sun again? LOL That's okay if you don't answer those questions; I already know the answers. :)

      I'm fine living in the past and I know you are too; never fear, a great many people are going to be joining us in the next few years. We will have lots of company and then we can teach them the way of the new land.

      Thank you my dear friend; time to write my next sermon.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Good golly Miss Molly. You unloaded a ton in this one. Some might say we're livign in the past but hey, I don't care. I can't answer all the questions you asked in the paragraph about spontaneity because if I did, the little men with the white jacket would come for me but suffice it to say, I'm fearlessly spontaneous and hope I never change. Dusting? What is it? I'd rather have a house that people visit and feel like it's fine to put their feet on the furniture. That's a real "home". Another awesome piece of writing and great perspective on what really matters. You'll have to excuse me now though. I'm going outside and scream "YAHOO" at the sun.

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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      All kinds of up votes and shared! I can so relate to what you have written. Yes, being born before cell phones, personal computers, microwaves and other things considered indispensable today probably makes it easier. The lack of courtesy and morality is a shame. It affects everything! Keep writing, Billy. You have given many people food for thought about what is most important in life.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kris, I'm glad to hear that; it is kind of fun to just go with the flow and try a spur of the moment activity. Thank you for the visit.

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      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      Another great installment! I've been working on spontaneity and I have to say that when I do engage in that, it feels good:)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pete, I appreciate you stopping by, and believe it or not, Bev and I do that spontaneity thing all the time. :)

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      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      Another great one Bill, I especially like the spontaneity part, who does that anymore? Your vacations sound like fun! Voted up and awesome!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you so much! I am so encouraged when I hear from someone saying that they embrace these kinds of things. I have no doubt that you and your family are happy; perspective is the key, keeping things real, understanding what is truly important in life.

      Thank you my friend; I think you have a new hub I need to visit soon.

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I love it! You already know that I am a big advocate of the simple life but I have to say you hit it on the nose with 2 of my other favorite things: embracing imperfection! Hear, hear! If we could just do that, a lot of time and energy would be immediately saved! and spontaneity. There was aforum asking what our favorite family activities aer. Ours is spontaneity. The special things that happen when we aren't looking for them.

      Ooh amnd I forgot, the most important of all..Perspective!

      Thank you for a great hub! You always make my day, validate my feelings and add new nuggets of thought. What more could a person want in a good piece of writing!?!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Giselle, that was a great example of spontaneity, and thank you! I love your comment about planning things and they seem like an obligation. No fun at all. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I am laughing my ass off. My first wife wanted white carpets and baby blue furniture....OMG....you couldn't walk into the house, or sit down, without feeling guilty for the dirt you were bringing in with you. I will never live like that again; like you, our house looks a bit crappy, but we don't care. We love it and we are comfortable. Bev bought a chair for the bedroom this weekend for $2 at Goodwill and she is so happy with it....that is living simple!

      Thanks buddy!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, I don't thing it is too late; if it is then I'm a fool and I'm not ready to believe that. :) Great comment buddy, but then I have come to expect great comments from you. Love the line about values being thrown to a sweatshop in China. Love it and quite accurate! I'll keep preaching from the soapbox, looking for the next convert. :) Thank you!

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      Giselle Maine 4 years ago

      A great hub. I agree with the need for more spontaneity. My friend called me up last week at the last minute to see if my son wanted to have a playdate with her son. It was fun! Whereas when we schedule stuff, it doesn't always seem as much fun, because it then becomes just one more thing that we have to do. Thanks again for this very helpful hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, my heart soars when I read comments like this one; it shows me that there are other people out there who see the wisdom in this way of life. Good for you and good for all of us who embrace a simpler lifestyle. Thank you Sir, and have a wonderful week.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, the first time I did a schedule I was shocked. Nowadays I would not be shocked. With a writing business and HubPages tugging at me, I have to make sure I don't waste time unnecessarily. Thank you as always and wishing you a glorious week.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I no longer know any other way to live, and I love it! I have no doubt that you understand what this is all about. Thanks buddy; how about dropping me a line and letting me know how your business is coming along?

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, I can't even imagine you watching television. :) You have so much energy and such a need to learn and try new things....nope, no reality tv for you! Thank you young lady!

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      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      Good read, my friend! I remember our first phone didn't even have a dial. We were on a party line of four other families. We'd pick it up, and if there wasn't anyone on it, the operator would answer and ask what number we wanted to call. I was amazed when my uncle got their phone with a dial. I also remember an aunt that wanted her living room to be a showplace. White carpeting and white furniture, with red walls and curtains. Couldn't walk in there or sit on the furniture, but it looked good. Maybe that's why mine looks like crap most of the time. I at least want to enjoy it and use it before I die. Great Job!

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      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Interesting comments, and I'm glad I was born as a babyboomer, along with so many writers in here, especially you Mr. Holland. Wow! that sounded like a principal up Northwest in Olympia! Come on Billy you are laughing like the kid I saw in Charles city in Floyd County Iowa back in 59. Amazed how things have changed in front of my eyes. Like a titanic intro, a hand held two way radio transmitter got changed by an IPhone5; my morals and values got changed to "Jersey shore" big banging theory and keeping up with the "WOLFdazzians." My dad's Minolta camera, got changed by my cellphone's incorporated camera. I mean, values and the real feeling of life, was thrown to a sweatshop in China, where our new IPad is being made for 35 bucks. You just said it like it is Billy, and we appreciate every hub of yours. Maybe we will change one citizen at a time. Is it too late? I don't think so!

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

      Bill what a wonderful article. Sure you made me go back in time to those days when life was full of simple pleasures like eating together, conversing as a family, going on picnics together and the rest. None of these present day distractions to make life complicated.

      With the increase in comforts has come the time when we find ourselves rushing to complete 1 job or 2 or 3 jobs so that we can buy more material comforts not realizing that comfort and satisfaction come from within and not without.

      Your Living Simple hubs are a shout out in the right direction and from the many comments I see, it is taking effect.

      Bravo my friend. I'm all for it.

      up & beautiful. Sharing it too.

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      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Writing a schedule of what I do might scare me I think! I know I could be using my time more efficiently. My life is better now that I am not working though and the last few months have been all about re-evaluation for me, I'm learning every day.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      As usual, great tips, Bill. When I have errands to run, I start at the farthest point and make my way home. All done in one neat little swoop. You are so right about priorities. To me, cleaning the house spic and span is way down at the bottom. Keep it picked up and put stuff away as you finish with them and - bam! - clean house! As for spontaneity, I can't tell you how many times I called in sick to work just because I didn't feel like working! Living simply makes much more sense than simply living!

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Hey, now! We had a rotary phone when I was a kid! Why we had a rotary phone, now that's a different question. They were old, even then. And we got an answering machine in about 1992. It had these tiny little tapes you had to rewind and nobody calling knew what it was!

      I'm right there with you on your last comment - I really don't know what to say to people who seem content to sit at home watching TV. It's just not something I can be happy with. I'm not satisfied with a day unless I've made something.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      mperrottet, I think we all fall into those little traps.....and some people will say "well what's wrong with watching too tv if that's what I enjoy".....and I seriously don't have an answer for them. To me, it is a waste of time, but to others, it seems to be the only entertainment source that they have. :) Thank you!

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      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      All great suggestions on how to improve the quality of life. I really like the first exercise on figuring how you spend your time. I found out that I spend too much time watching TV in the evening, and that I could use that time more wisely reading or writing - both things that I value. Another great hub voted up, interesting and useful.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you are one of those young pups who actually understands what I'm trying to say, and that is encouraging. Thank you for always being here for me.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, at first I thought I was just a guy stuck in the past, but slowly it dawned on me that no, that's not it, the past was just a simpler way to live with more principles to live by. So now yes, I am stuck in the past, and I'm not leaving those simple principles.

      Thank you for the share my friend; have a great week!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tips, I have done the same thing....as a teacher and as a salesman....and it was not until six years ago that it dawned on me that it might be advantageous in real life. lol I'm a bit of a slow learner.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, you were being funny about the Hub score, but I'll bet you can think of several people who worry about that. I know I can! Life is much too short to fret over the mundane. I'm glad you realize that. Thank you for the share and for being such a great follower.

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      We've to let go of that need to see things perfectly....the perfect lawn, the perfect wife/husband/child or even the perfect hubscore! LOL! Seriously, if we don't, we can never, ever be free. Thanks for this write, which I share, Bill.

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      tipstoretireearly 4 years ago from New York

      Interesting exercise! Its amazing to see what we actually do with our time when we stop to analyze it. I went through that exercise many times in the corporate world, but never thought to apply it to my personal life.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      How funny it is that we of that "certain generation" all think alike. I'm aware every generation thinks theirs was better but as you so aptly point out things really have changed...important 'things' have changed and 'values' have changed. Wouldn't it be nice if things went back to the way they were? When a family dinner was a daily ritual? When we cared about each other and not Snooki? God help us all. I am one of the lucky ones with family that still puts family first. I hope your hub helps others to do the same!!!

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. Shared so others can see the light!!

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, you always make us think of what is truly important in this series and for that I thank you my friend. AfterI read your articles in this series, I am truly left with great food for thought and how to try to incorporate some of your great ideas into my own life. Wonderful as always and have of course voted and shared all over!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you can ramble all you want because your comments are quality and intelligent. Thank you and I so totally agree. This isn't about living in the past; it's about adopting some principles from the past that will work today. I do not like what I see in this nation and I'm trying to change it one person at a time. Foolish? I hope not because it feels right. :)

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Loved this hub. It is amazing how life changes right before our very eyes. People are always in the "be perfect" mode as you mentioned with perfect decor, homes, lawns etc. We went to a garage sale in the neighborhood the other day and one woman had four tables of jewelry claiming they were hers when she was in the fashion world. I would say there were probably 2 to 3 thousand pieces. I used to have a walk in closet filled to the brim..now I have one closet bar of my total wardrobe and there are spaces. I love being as minimal as possible..I do remember fun entertainment with just playing outdoors with no fancy toys. Payphones and all the things that went with the generation. I love your comments about reality TV..Who cares what the Kardashians are doing???? I remember when there were about six TV stations...And life was simpler and good..And it is not just about looking back at the good old days. We are becoming a physically and mentally unhealthy nation. Great job and besides voting up I am sharing around the board. I did do some rambling this morning...Well I seem to be first on your list so I can. Thanks for everything Bill..Your friendship is so appreciated.