Anxiety & Over Scheduling Of Our Lives

Wicked Busy

Why do we do it? We ‘over schedule’ our lives. Thus leading to anxiety and other problems.

Our modern lives and our modern lifestyle has changed from decades ago. You can’t even recognize our way of life compared to a century ago!

The following are some random thoughts on the subject while considering the public at large:

 
Most every aspect of daily life is filled with technology, both seen and unseen. We use it to speed things up. To be more efficient. To get more things done.

There is more on our plates.

There is less ‘quality time’.

More people appear to be angrier than ever before.

There are more people than ever before.

We feel that our kids need to be just as busy. We sign them up for all sorts of activities while we drive them to and fro.

We rush around. We cram our lives full of whatever we can. We over schedule our days.

Why?

Does modern society force us to? In a way I suppose it does.

We have been pushed into being busy little worker bees. No longer can one worker support a small family. (Can you even imagine that this used to be ‘normal’?)

We have been tricked into believing that modern material living is the way to be. Debt enslavement is now okay. In fact it is expected of us.

Why can’t people just slow down? Why must we have the pedal to the metal all the time?

Even people’s vacations are over scheduled and crammed with activities to the max. Must be busy all the time you know…

How many people actually have the time (take the time) to make a home cooked meal?

How often are families together these days or doing something together? Even with just your spouse?

Maybe our definitions of success have been manipulated and changed to the extent that our measuring sticks look different than before.

Maybe the purchasing power of the dollar has eroded to the point where we must work longer hours comparatively. So both spouses must work. Things cost more. Less bang for the buck. Leading to more anxiety.

Maybe we have become too envious and jealous of what others have.

Maybe we compete too much with others while keeping up with the Joneses.

Maybe we let technology control too much of our lives. Our time.

Maybe we’ve changed the meaning of what really matters.

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168 Comments

  1. Ill catch up later, got to go to work then do chores then we have to go to Costco and maybe dinner out then have some stuff to do in the shop to prep for tomorrow then take a shower and get some sleep,
    Ahhhh i get it

  2. I agree with Ken. The real question is do you have the discipline and self control to mitigate these issues? Living within your financial means is the number one issue to avoid enslavement to the fiat currency As for parents, my advice is to just say no to your kids. We allow for only one activity per season per kid. Pretty simple but all logic is lost when looking at the sheeple around us while they are trying to keep up with the Jones.

    -Blessed are the meek, for they make easy targets.

  3. Honestly, for myself, between the things i want to do, then the things i have to do in any given day, added to my need to sit and contemplate a cup of coffee or just take a moment to get off my feet so i dont fall over, there isnt enough time in the day! And im not even that busy or complicated, my sweety and i talk about it regularly how time just flies by and cant figure out why people cram so much into their kids days or their days, We have a routine, boring as hell to some i would imagine, but all good for us. That routine is enough, really dont feel the need to complicate things any more than i have to. So just want to give thanks for the life i have been given through the grace of the Lord. My best efforts would screw it all up so better to let it go

  4. There was a time when a family only needed one breadwinner. The weekly entertainment was the kid’s baseball game, the Sunday drive, and that ice creme treat. And they wonder why I call them the good old days. My life is routine and boring too Nailbanger – I love it.

    1. Yup, only thing that would make it better,
      If everybody else other than my sweety disappeared!

  5. Having too much anxiety in your life is a slow death. It leads to being very irritable and short with people. In the long run it’s bad for your heart and mental wellbeing and can lead to relationship problems.
    We did it to my parents. Football practice after school, soccer practice after that and all stops in between only to come home, make dinner, review homework and still got to find time to clean up. Now that I am older I can understand why some days mom and or dad were just too wore out for anything.
    It’s also sometimes kinda funny to watch how anxious people get when their little digital friend quits on them for one reason or another. They get so worked up they can’t even remember the simplest things, lol!

  6. Ken said, “No longer can one worker support a small family.”

    One reason is that we have so many more things to spend money on than we used to have. More than half of my net income goes to things we didn’t have in the 50’s — television, internet, cell phone, even health insurance. 60 years ago, you didn’t need health insurance because you could stay in the hospital for $7/day plus the cost of medication and doctor’s visits. Office calls at the doctor’s office were $6.00, house calls cost $8.00. We recently found a hospital bill for when my little brother was born — $87.12 — and they used to keep mothers and babies for several days. When I started college tuition was $140/semester. There was no financial aid, unless you had a scholarship. My scholarship was $100.

    In the 1960’s, the government started paying for health care and education and the costs went up about 10 times as much as inflation as a whole.

    So if we could get rid of government “help” and do without all the new inventions since 1950, we could all go back to the simple life.

    1. @ DaisyK… agree with your last paragraph completely. Problem is, most wouldn’t be able to cope without our modern “conveniences” to keep their lives simpler (not really, but they think so).
      Like the talk a while back about bread: how many different systems need to work in harmony to make bread and get it to a store? Is depending on all those systems really easier, or spending some time at home to bake a loaf or two? All that “depending” is just anxiety with a lid on it. Can’t buy a loaf and the lid comes off and not usually in the best of ways.

    2. When I was 16 years old back in the dinosaur days during the summer I worked on a logging job hooking and bumping knots. I paid for my own medical cost, dog food for my beloved German Shepard, bought a Chevy Blazer, paid my own way through college, and every other expense and saved money on top of it. There was beautiful cheap land for sale with lots of elbow room with low taxes, hunting and fishing licenses were little to nothing as well as insurance, power and fuel costs. We always had plenty of time to sled ride, hunt, fish, trap, pick huckle berries, morel mush rooms, and cut fire wood. Life was work but very enjoyable with time to live. There is no way I could do that today with comparable cost of today. I don’t think it is so much all the crap people tend to buy as much as the cost to maintain the same basic existence we use to have. Families today have little time for dinner,talking and connecting to each other while trying to survive. The crazy behavior of people today is a reflection of it.Those were the good ol days I do feel for the young people today who are trying to raise a family.

      1. Wolfgar
        How did we loose those good ol days? Too many people? Too much government? Loss of the work ethic? Or did we become to spoiled and lazy?

        1. It was probably a combination of many things you have mentioned. When families started to disconnect,” as in the community at large”, people lost what what was important such as, a sense of security, a feeling of achievement, being needed and belonging to a good family or community one could be proud of, and most of all, a purpose in life more important than ones self. They tried to replace it with material things, selfish attention and quick solutions which requires little effort. Needless to say it does not work.

  7. Over a period of generations we (using the word loosely) have made decisions about what is important, resulting in a loss of everything the human being needs, and we rush to fill the empty spaces. Silence and stillness panic people because it reminds them of what they’ve lost.

    1. Lauren
      Based on this post and many previous ones I have read, you are wise beyond your years.

  8. I never realized how stressed my life was until I lost my job. Then the stress changed. Stress about finding another job. Stress when the unemployment ran out. Finally settled in with a new budget, started collecting Social Security and now we are mostly stress free. We will never be stress free as long as money is needed (which it is, can’t pay your taxes any other way). My worry is that our property taxes will eventually go higher than our income. I think our government is responsible for most of the stress in the country today.

  9. There was a time when I was crazy busy. The DH worked long and hard to pay the regular bills and I worked to pay the dr bills and the credit debt. Then when I got done with work it was dinner, activities(1per kid, per season), homework, bed, then cleanup. I was exhausted and angry. Now the kids have cars and pay their own way(well the youngest DD finishes school in the spring) it helps. We have a little debt left then will work on saving for retirement and paying off the house. My DH and I like to sit by the fire and enjoy the peace. We have slowed down and I’m less angry and more happy. I’m sad the kids got the angry mom. I wish I had found peace sooner. I know it was rough on them and I hope they will forgive and understand when they’re older.
    We all need to work on being grateful for what we have and find peace within ourselves. Before life has passed on. There will always be work but loved ones move on too soon.

  10. I certainly suffer from stress, overwork, and worries that go along with being a small business owner. Had a semi-annual check-up last week, my Dr. and I talked about this. I raced to her office in unusually bad traffic (thinking the entire way about a couple of clients with serious deadline issues), had a blood draw from a nurse who managed to actually hurt me to take blood (she’s new), THEN had my blood pressure taken. No shock there – higher blood pressure than usual.

    Would I like less stress in life – you bet. But, I recognize that too little “challenge” can also take a person down. We have a friend who retired a couple of years ago from a very high stress position. She was determined to relax and enjoy life, but went too far. As her hubby puts it “She’s lost it”. She’s gone from being a sharp, clever, interesting person to someone who not only doesn’t know what day it is (common I understand) but actually has short-term memory loss, and acts like a ditz a lot (despite being highly educated and having a high IQ). When her daily challenges stopped it was like her brain function seriously decreased. No physical problems found in a series of tests – it was like her brain just started letting things go.

    So, I guess it’s finding the middle ground. Enough challenges and activities to keep the brain and body working without being so stressed that it causes damage. My goal is to find the sweet spot somewhere in the middle.

  11. I needed this post! Been several busy weeks. So tonight I’m not going to exercise class. Will leisurely cook and enjoy the cats, dog and chickens in the yard. Will spend time with the family too without being “stressed” mom.

      1. Thanks, Ken. This year I joined a gardening club. I enjoyed those afternoons away from the usual routines. Unfortunately, I have been asked to join the executive. What was once “play” would now become “work”. after today’s post, I am going to turn them down.
        Feeling relieved already!

  12. Timely Article.

    “Maybe we’ve changed the meaning of what really matters.”

    I’m sickened of what has happened to the “way of life”, “what really matters” society, or whatever other ‘label’ one would put on how we live our lives, our morals, our self-responsibilities. If this is the ‘wave’ of what is to continue, than in my humble opinion the Country and her people are lost.
    And to be quite frank, I could care less how others live, if one wants to live a life of judgment, than one had best welcome to be judged. If one wants to live the life of ‘Sin” than one had best expect “Sin” to infect themselves. If one wishes to live the life of a beggar/looter than one had better be prepared to be looted, AND if one wishes to live a life of solitude, than who are we to judge? Unfortunately from the viewpoint of a 64 year old fool, I just shake my head in disgust that life has become to a point whereas everyone is everyone’s keeper and yet will not keep their own lives.
    Just use caution telling me how to live my life as long as I live within the constraints given (remember the Death and Taxes thing); I have only two to be responsible to, myself and to my afterlife (just as everyone else), other than that it is my decisions what I will except, what influences my life, what I choose to allow into my life, and NOT be told how to think, live, and breath as many would like to do/doing. AND before anyone goes off their nut saying “What about the Laws” certainly we have to abide by guidelines, and use what little brainpower we have left. BUT we also have to use those 3 brain cells to know the limits. Each of us has this same responsibility to ourselves.

    One additional comment on — “Does modern society force us to? In a way I suppose it does.”

    Absolutely not, we allow and do this to ourselves, we are responsible for our own selves, and only ‘allow’ stuff to happen to ourselves, we allow “society” to alter who we are. We, all of us, need to start taking responsibility for ourselves, and stop blaming our illnesses, our mental state, and our actions on others.

    I had forgotten what I had just posted above until till a couple of weeks ago.
    Hence the reset, the time-off, the time Blue and I have spent lately meditating aka walking/thinking.
    The past few months here have been filled with quite a few that have been all out shocking to see here on MSB. Some of the comments are actually disturbing.
    I will absolutely no longer respond to that sort of conversation or participate in that sort of absolute disrespect. If some of the blasting comments of some seem acceptable, than even here on MSB society has truly disintegrated to a point of disgust.

    1. NPR, Your comments could not have been more spot on then that. You Sir are a very wish person. I want to thank you for your wisdom. God bless you

  13. Yes, spouse and I both worked for a number of years after the kids were in school. The kids were limited to one extra activity at a time and had to finish whatever they started. We taught them to work hard, stay out of debt, enjoy your family and friends, and entertainment was usually over a meal at each other’s homes. We eventually retired (me early) and spouse from one of his jobs. And guess what….we still managed to stay busy but now it is more on our terms. There will always be others trying to influence you into using your time for them, you have to be strong and pick what is important to you and your family. If you don’t slow down and enjoy the quietness life has to offer, you won’t stay healthy and you can’t hear God whisper to you.

    Another home run Ken! Thanks.

  14. We’re the odd ones out in our circle because we’re a one income family with a relatively quiet social life (besides music lessons for the kids). We eat supper together 6 days a week, with Sunday night being ‘mom and dad’ time to get subs from a local place after the kids are in bed (we do have a weekly family Sunday lunch with the in-laws so family time there). I also home school the kiddos and I’m around my kids ALL.THE.TIME. lol.
    No debt except for the mortgage on our new house (we did a 15 year on it and it will be paid off in our 50s). As for vacations go-we go camping. In a tent.
    We keep things pretty simple over here and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

  15. If you think your busy, stressed, anxious, and angry now, imagine a true grid down situation which would last long term. When the SHTF is when many will really fall apart, and that includes preppers who think their doing great but then when the SHTF for real they find out they’re not as ready as they thought they might be. Kaboom, pop goes the weasel! I try to just take it a day at a time now that I retired. It is what it is! The good old days are gone forever.

  16. Hey Everybody

    Ken, that’s a really good article. I have watched this take place. You stated and I paraphrase “maybe we have been manipulated.” I believe you would be completely accurate to leave the word “maybe” out. I am convinced we have been manipulated by MARKETING. Our society has been made to feel like “losers” if they don’t have the latest and best of “whatever”. The sad thing is most of the masses fell for the ploy. I have studied this very thing the article is about for many years. I won’t bore with all the thoughts I have on this subject. If anybody thinks all this is happenstance or just naturally occurred, I would encourage you to study much further. It all boils down to greed and the pursuit of MONEY.

    1. People today buy LOTS MORE BLING than previous generations. That is definitely part of it. Because they buy more stuff, and have more loans for that stuff, the entire household needs to work in order to pay for it. Lots of people live beyond their means – which is partly to blame why both spouses have to work and the kids are at day care all day…

      1. You are precisely correct, we have been conditioned to believe we “need” all that bling. We (the masses) have been convinced that we do. This is largely to account for what’s wrong with “little johnny”. Mommy and Daddy workin to pay for all the stuff they didn’t need and they no longer had time for kids and old people. Granny and Paw in lots of cases lived out their last years in a nursin home. When I was a kid that didn’t happen. They lived their last at home, bedridden or not……it was a “duty” to take care of em.

  17. It is obvious that anger and recrimination lay just under the surface for many people – even a few on this site. Is the reason that communication is much easier now, so the opportunity to express opinions are possible where years ago, we just never knew or heard many opposing views? Yes, discourse between people IS a two way street.

    1. Agreed, except when ‘some’ insinuate that “all cops are murders hiding behind a badge” or a few ‘aggressive beginnings’ disrupt into an often known “Flame War” and in the case I’m recalling was rectified by strong apologies. Of course there is always the Fly-By-Troll hidden in a well-meaning introduction.
      Those types of comments are what fester a contentment of some participants to a point of negativity.
      Additionally the insinuation (opinion) that some inferior/different linguistics techniques defect the entire Forum gets to the personal insult stage, than I would need to agree that “anger and recrimination” are prone to surface.
      When logic and reason fail, than insult seems the norm, even though the higher rate of language skills may seem prevalent, the meaning of lesser educated speaker at times is more meaningful and appropriate depending on the situation.
      So yes, opposing views, sure; insults, not so much.

      1. I agree that sometimes humor and sarcasm are misinterpreted and in some cases a person can dish it out but can’t take it. Perhaps stress due to sensitivities.

  18. I reflect back on my younger years while being raised in a one income household. My dad was the only one who worked and he was able to support himself, my mom, and 3 kids. We had two cars and lived in a house with a mortgage which he eventually paid off. His job, career, and lifestyle was middle class, and I look back and wonder how it was possible… This was back during the 60’s, 70’s when we all were in the house.

    Today the middle class has been shredded.

    1. Ken
      I have to put much of the blame on the easy availability of credit – a really big magnet for many or should I say a giant mousetrap.

      1. One time my parents had some bad luck and needed a few hundred to make the mortgage and bills – it was a fate worse than death when they had to go to a finance company for a loan. It killed their pride for a long time.

        1. Hey there Hermit

          The kind of pride you speak of is in very short supply in our present society. That’s the same kind of pride that made a handshake agreement a “done deal”. You don’t see much o that anymore…….

      2. Hermit-back in the day I got sucked into the ‘easy credit’ thing big time and ended up in BIG trouble. Ended up almost losing my marriage over it. We worked through it and nowadays I refuse to even have a debit card. I have several family members who are up to their eyeballs in cc debt and they’re slaves to it, like I used to be. It really is a giant mousetrap!

        1. I’ll bet that most ‘anxiety’ today does come from money issues. Either being in way too much debt and/or not having enough money (meaning they’re probably living beyond their means – although there are exceptions).

          Money problems (debt) is likely one of the biggest contributors to relationship/marriage issues I would suspect.

          1. Ken

            I would have to agree. I think it’s a very large contributor to our society’s problems in many different forms.

      3. Hermit

        BINGO on the easy credit. They want your money any way they can connive to get it and THEY WANT ALL OF IT.

      4. Great point. It is so easy to get credit today. Most people seemingly are not responsible enough to control themselves afterwards. The bankster cabal is to blame for easy credit. More profits for them…

        Also, there once was a time when you had to put 20% down on a mortgage or other big loans. Not any more… zero money down.

        1. Ken
          I’m no banker or financial expert, but Is it not true that when a bank gets your money, they can lend out ten times as much? Greed does seem to have any bounds.

          1. hermit us
            I have read that the banks can indeed cascade the amount of held deposits or “cash on hand” from depositors, to many of their other parent companies assets, and the parent companies can in turn use that capitol to loan out even more, all based off my $1.oo can load out up to $10.oo.

        2. Ken-we bought our house earlier this year (we lived in our previous one/starter house for 14 years but outgrew the location), at around the same time a family member also bought a house (same situation as ours). In our talking it came out that they were buying all new furniture, putting in a wood fence, building a deck etc. I know their money situation and couldn’t figure out how they were doing it. Then it came out that they were using the equity from their first house for the purchases,, which I knew was only a few thousand dollars. Come to find out they put the absolute bare minimum down and signed up for a 30 year mortgage. We went a different direction and rolled almost all our equity into our new house-put down 20% and did a 15 year. I’d love to have all new furniture and such, but I’m more excited to have our house paid off in 15 years and be debt free in our mid 50s :)

          1. @Svzee, You’re doing it right! This is the philosophy that we used too… we lived under our means, we did not buy the fancy upgrades, and we were able to get out of debt and pay off that mortgage. We’ve since moved on to another location and homestead, and are debt free (also in our mid 50’s).

            We are so much happier that we did not give in to the temptations of “trading up” to the bigger house those years ago, or leveraging our equity that we had to buy all sorts of expensive “toys” like everyone else was doing!

            I wish there was a way to convey this notion to younger people – to live UNDER their means. It is so worth it. But unfortunately people want their satisfaction RIGHT NOW. And the system wants them all to spend spend spend…

    2. We had the same setup but only 1 car. But when I was 12 my father died and my mother went to work. I was the middle daughter but my older sister was mentally retarded so I was in charge most of the time but second for handouts. It was difficult but was good for me.
      I remember when the first credit cards came out. Everyone got one, adults, children and sometimes animals! My mother confiscated our credit cards immediately!

  19. We pretty much have a simple life here, especially since I have given up all that cleaning and cooking every day! It seems like we go for a week or 2 and just shuffle along and then everything seems to happen all at once in the same week. Dr, appt, helping neighbors do something, forced trips to Albuquerque etc. all within a day of each other. We can’t wait to get back to our shuffling along.

  20. Money is always a stresser. A while back while looking over finances I realized that mandatory payments of various types of insurance take 40% of my income and it pi**es me off. : / other than that I’m good. My needs are few so I live pretty simple.

  21. One aspect absolutely, the dollar being worth less, requiring more of them to pay for the stuff of life. Thus requiring the average individual/couple to clock more hours. Notice how that the time saving devices require us to work more hours in order to pay for the time saving devices! Are we actually more busy, or are we just busy in different ways? Didn’t grow up on a farm, but I worked on few growing up. I remember heading out to the fields before the sun was up. And finishing when it was dark. Those loooong, hot summer days. Can’t say that all of the days on a farm are long, just the ones that I remember. I think that as we grow into life’s responsibilities, those responsibilities require more of our time. For the average retiree, the kids are grown, the house is paid for, etc., and life seems to slow down a bit.. Perhaps if you let it, that is. My Grandfather, who retired from rebuilding automobile, and truck engines, accelerated his golf game in order to stay active. He didn’t really start slowing down until he turned 95.

    1. ,CR
      The best part of those loooong summer days in the fields was when someone would bring out a lunch and you could enjoy the company. The work was hard but very satisfying. There was no stress there even when you had a breakdown – just got on with fixing the problem.

    1. ,CR
      as per Wikipedia

      “Fractional-reserve banking is the practice whereby a bank accepts deposits, makes loans or investments, but is required to hold reserves equal to only a fraction of its deposit liabilities. Reserves are held as currency in the bank, or as balances in the bank’s accounts at the central bank.”

      It’s amazing the graph that associated itself with commentary shows right at 9.5 to 1 loan to “individual deposits”.

      Money is worthless.

      1. CR & NRP,

        And, the FDIC only has a fraction of what would be needed to cover all “insured” deposits if we had a major banking crisis. I think the FDIC has billions available to insure trillions on deposit. So, the banks don’t have enough to cover all of us, and the insurance safety net is WAY too small to really insure all those “federally insured” deposits. I wonder how many people know this?

        1. So Cal Gal

          The FDIC is now a farce, the new depositors laws state that once you “deposit” $$$ in the bank, it is now considered a :Loan” to the bank, no longer do you have a right to claim the $$$, but must sue the bank to recover your $$$ if the bank defaults. Good luck with that.

        2. So Cal Gal
          ” I wonder how many people know this?” Dh & I, I try to keep as little as possible in the account. It does not always work that way. We are very aware one day we could have $$$$$ in the bank an then the next day -$$ as in zero dollars.
          My family has been told about this but is it like most things—in one side of the brain falling out the other side. One day they will be destitute because of no $$$ in their bank.

          1. @Antique Collector, Also it’s a good idea to be sure one’s $$ are not in a TBTF bank (too big to fail). I used to have an account at one of them but have since closed it out and moved to a credit union and another bank in good standing (more local). Additionally, I keep a good amount of $$ out of the banking system! Cash. (And gold & silver).

          2. We keep just enough money in the bank so everyone knows how poor we are. Large mortgage payments, high credit ratings because we carry just a small amount of debt besides our house and pay it off regularly. We don’t have safety deposit boxes because the banks control those and we don’t have enough to need one, at least that’s what we want folks at the bank and other places to think. Hopefully we are flying below the radar and will stay that way.

            Those that won’t see, sorry for them, NOT.

          3. Ken
            That is where the other family members money is at, not ours. We are still with the local bank that started back in the early 80’s. Slowly grew with the different communities, and did not over step financially.

  22. I have been all over the charts with work and money. Done without and had enough. Grew up with daddy making decent money until he was forced to retire at 39. His and momma’s drinking accelerated. Long story not for here. Died of a massive at 42.
    In the lighting industry I sold a million plus a year, but along with that comes many problems that have to be taken care of. Even if you are off something you forgot to take care of pops in your head! More stressful than people would imagine.
    My youngest said the other day, mom I know we did not have much back in those days, but I do not remember ever being hungry. We weren’t. Use to put my mascara in the dryer for very short time just to get it all out. Funny, Maybelline cost about 75 cents back then.! The small things add up.
    Well we can all count on change. Prep on…………… and be healthy……………..

  23. I started writing up a lengthy post to add to this discussion, but decided that it was giving TMI (too much information), and that stressed me out. So, I deleted my write-up, set down to my treadle sewing machine, mended three hip pocket corners and one belt loop on two pairs of denim jeans, grabbed a mid-afternoon beer, and kicked back to read all y’all’s posts. Stress gone.

    CD in Oklahoma

    1. CD in OK:

      A toast to you! Ice cold can of beer, clinked to the screen! I wrote up a lengthy TMI post too. But I don’t care. It is what it is. Cheers!

    2. CD in OK-lahoma

      I have read somewhere many MANY moons ago that the personality of a person can be “read” in the stitching of an artist treadle-machinist (yes I made that word up). So your OPSEC is diminished… :-)

      FYI, that stress reliever……. Beer.

  24. The wake up call for me came about 18 months ago. Blood pressure was spiking to 200/126. I tried over a dozen different medications and could not adequately control it. that’s when I had to take a full inventory of my life and sort things out. No need to get into specific details, but it became quite obvious on solemn reflection that my life has been stuck-on with full after burner, basically since birth. Parents disappeared at age 10. Naturally I got into trouble and was put away from age 12 until 15. Suddenly at age 16 I found myself involuntarily emancipated. Basic survival was taking a huge toll on my health. And that’s all I could ever really achieve was basic survival.

    I have a new outlook on life now. I’ve discovered that there are an awful lot of simply toxic people in this world. I had to learn to identify and avoid them. My last job for example, almost killed me. Locally my boss was a literal, diagnosed, bi-polar psychopath; barely controlled with high powered meds and totally unpredictable. Upstream from him was our European overlords. All they knew how to do was criticize, condemn and complain. Nothing was ever satisfactory for them. … So I quit.

    Now I am in the final steps of setting up my own business; quite a stressful endeavor in and of itself here in NRP’s favorite state. But at least the stress is not personal. And it turns out there are people who have successfully learned to navigate the morass of legal and litigious traps set out to ensnare and demoralize entrepreneurs. Will I be successful?? I don’t know. But I know one thing for absolute certain… if I kept up or tried to keep up with my old employment, I would not have made it much longer. With a BP like that, I was a prime candidate for a massive stroke.

    Toxic, evil personalities, energy vampires and narcissists are no longer welcome in my life. All have been cut off. I have two adult kids. One decided his life’s goal was to be a violent criminal. The other decided to be a model citizen. The former has been expelled from my life and the latter benefits from my full attention and love. I’ve changed my lifestyle in other ways too. At the end of a work day… my work is done. I sleep on a normal schedule and no longer try to squeeze more into a day than is healthy. I’m eating better, almost entirely home-cooked foods.

    I still have to watch the BP. But as of now I only take minimal meds, as-needed, typically when I lose sight of things and revert to a stressful mindset. I no longer give a flying rip in the wind what other people think about the clothes I wear or the vehicle I drive. I have a very dear friend who has been instrumental in helping me sort this out. This friend has a place right on the pacific coast, at the beach really. I spend a lot of time there now, because it feels good, and the company is loving and supportive. I’ve also dialed back quite a bit on my old habit of keeping up with every single breaking news story. The Texas massacre last weekend is a good example of the kind of thing that is senseless to get upset about or pay too much attention to. Nothing I can do about it anyway.

    This was a great topic Ken. I predict the replies will exceed your weekend free-for-all. This world is a seriously messed up place right now. I’m just visiting and passing through it. No one gets out of it alive anyway; might as well gravitate towards peace, simplicity and happiness.

    1. I like your reference to “energy vampires”. Most of us I’m sure know exactly the type you’re talking about. I too stay far away from such types. They bring you down. They stress you out. They sap your energy. Surrounding yourself with good people really helps while avoiding those who would have a negative affect on your life.

      1. They are REAL to be sure!!! I have had friends in the past with toooo much drama. One can only listen so much.

    2. McGyver,
      I’m very happy for you. It sounds like the change of scenery and getting out of your destructive workplace are already helping. And, there’s something to be said for walking along that great big ocean to help get some perspective. Having supportive, caring people in your life can also make a huge difference. Hopefully your new business will get rolling and while it can be very stressful, at least you will feel like you are investing in your own future, not just making some big corporation even richer.

      I am also pushing the takers out of my life – particularly the people who thrive on drama or who are always negative or needy. As I’ve gotten older I’ve lost my patience with constant sagas, complaining, the “oh poor me” syndrome… I’m just way too old now to put up with it. :)

    3. Great post, McGyver….thank you for sharing honestly from your life…
      I had an awakening too, starting last Dec to withdraw completely from abusive cruel people
      who sadly should be “family”…that in itself is a huge anxiety reliever…
      Life is hard, sad, and crazy….simple kindness and understanding are priceless…
      Thanks again McGyver and best to you in launching your business…

      1. Sheperdess and SoCal Gal:

        Thanks so much for the kind words. Your timing couldn’t be more perfect! I’m right at that break-over point where the money is spent, the legal stuff is cleared and I’m ready to launch. It’s a critical time, very easy for doubt and lack of confidence to encroach, if I allow it. Your encouragement is powerful and greatly appreciated.

        1. McGyver
          You are at the point dbil was when he started his business out of the commercial truck. He started a mobile marine service(boat engine repairs)on site, if not there he took the boat home pulled it into the garage. That is where he would work on the boats out of the winter weather. Then take it back to the customers home after completion of repairs
          It took a few years before they could locate the correct property to have their shop built. It is now to the point they will have it paid off in about 5 years or less.

          1. AC:
            Thanks for the inspiration. If BIL is successful with seasonal work, then I should be OK year round. I initially considered a fixed location, but the cost and debt load was overwhelming. I’m feeling better about this with each passing day.

          2. McGyver
            Know you can do it, he did with a wife at home(not working)with two little ones at the time. When the kids were old enough and they were looking for that piece of land she went back into medical field. She took care of the household bills & he paid for the shop. He also had an employee during the truck only years, which transferred to the shop. Now they have three employees. They are still booked with boat repairs, and the oldest child does detailing work on the boats, waits on customers-takes phone calls.

            The mobile service still goes one day a week to outlying areas, he has customers an hour or more away from the shop. He is book when he goes to the mountains areas.
            Hope this gives you insight that a start up business can be achieved with thinking outside the box. Yes dh & I were the beginning of his inspiration.

        2. McGyver, you’ve overcome so much already, you can do it!
          Just from knowing you here on this blog, you’ve got a good heart, a good mind, and a good plan, all systems GO!
          God speed and bless you McGyver :)

    4. Peace, simplicity and happiness, thats it in a nutshell bud,
      I just wish it wasnt so elusive at times.

  25. We are farmers who like to stay home, which is good, because leaving requires finding an able substitute to take care of animals and gardens. Although we have daily chores, maintenance, problems and projects, we have time for that afternoon siesta. We are both retired from other jobs, but chose this lifestyle for its advantages:
    – we are outside a lot (exercise, vitamin D),
    – we are not around crowds of people,
    – we are around animals (therapy),
    – our lives are useful and necessary for our animals,
    – we grow our own food and avoid toxins, preservatives and food coloring,
    – and growing our own food means that we eat together a lot as a family,
    but I do wish we would sit on the porch or around the fire pit a little more.

  26. You know SHTF is around the corner when you can call your refrigerator and ask it what you need to buy!

    1. Mrs. USMCBG
      Or you have to ask Cortina (the computer) what you own phone number is. So much is electronic info these days, no wonder AI can take over running our lives.

      1. I don’t have Alexa or Cortina in my home ;) Don’t trust that they’re not listening to every spoken word. In fact I would be shocked if they are NOT listening to every spoken word and uploading it to a data center somewhere…

        1. Ken
          Cortina is in this laptop I bought dh, an it always asking me if it can be of assistance. I hit the off button, now I find out it is a snitch, it has got to go.
          I do not care for Alexa or any other talking piece of machinery. Disliked the OnStar, but it was necessary for a few years. We had it discontinued last month since we no longer require it.

          1. I have turned off Cortina in all of my computers. (wonder if it’s ‘really’ turned off…)

            I have also disabled my truck’s ‘911’ GPS tracking service due to the fact that I discovered (years ago) that indeed we’re being tracked as we drive with these types of services enabled.

            Our lifestyle is being forced into further tracking (in all areas of our lives) and is something that I am very much opposed to. However it is seemingly inevitable that it will continue to worsen. Like fighting the rising tide.

          2. I was at Lowes a few weeks ago and saw a notification of a wireless tool set so your tools can talk to each other! Tape measure, saw, drill, the whole thing. All wireless. Really? The refrigerator, the thermostat, even the coffeemaker can be “remotely monitored” to make your life easier!

            But it doesn’t make anything easier, it just disengages the brain so people don’t have to think or plan ahead. When the brain disengages, it doesn’t turn back on easily.

          3. To test if Cortana is really off, disconnect your internet. As far as I know the only way to really turn it off is to go into the task manager and disable from there.

            I disconnect my internet unless I’m actually ON the internet.

    2. There’s no need to call it. Tap an icon and it sends you a picture of the inside of your fridge!

      1. Jon-Hermit us & Mrs. USMCBG
        When one needs to call the refrigerator to find out what you need while you are shopping…is TMI. I will stay with my caveman or in this case cave woman phone. It is old, it does let me send a text, take a photo, but is not the bells and whistles which everyone is addicted to BLING.
        Here is to living in the cave and being happy!

    3. Mrs.USMCBG
      But but your car can now keep you in your own lane and park itself. Soon we will have to ask it for permission to go a little faster :).

    4. I read the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald a long time ago, but he imparted a lot of in his books. In one book Meyer said to Travis, the best way to stay anonymous is to disappear into the 3,000,000 people in the US by having credit cards etc. – blending in. If you don’t have any trail you stand out.

      1. There’s a limitation to that, though. They use credit cards to track your spending–if you don’t spend, or don’t spend ENOUGH, you still stand out. In order to blend in you need to have high levels of debt, a college degree you never use but are paying for, a new car you don’t need, the biggest and best in cell phones, etc. Otherwise they look at you and say “Gee, what can we do to make her spend more? Time for Market Research!”

  27. Definitely agree with alot here
    Society in general and places of employment push us to the max.
    “Do more for less”
    GF and I only have the mortgage for debt. No credit cards no cable no auto loans. And we seldom eat out
    But higher priced general items, taxes, property taxes, healthcare lower paying jobs, insurances , etc. are the burden.
    When on vacation my blood pressure and blood sugar are both lower away from work. GF tells me go ride ur horse…ur tense….relax.
    The ex had always told me ‘the boy’ needs to get a job at the age of 14.
    Absolutely not. I’ve worked since i was 12. It got me nowhere. Let him be a kid.
    Things have changed so rapidly even since i was a kid.
    Nownstop reading and go out there and make money for those CEOs

    1. I agree. Let kids be kids. No sense pushing them into the mainstream so young! Problem is they succumb to pear pressure especially at that young age and parents give in to it too.

      1. Ken
        Yup i agree.
        So many battles we as parents had to overcome with our differences in child rearing. Different aspects on how we were brought up.
        Thank God for my folks. And how i was brought up. Didn’t like it, but i see it…then and now.

  28. Part of the problem is that wages have been stagnant, going on decades now. And as we all know, inflation surely has not been stagnant. As this has happened, our wages actually shrink. The anxiety this causes can be massive, and it doesn’t look to change any time soon. Our economy doesn’t produce actual tangible things anymore, it is mostly a service economy. There is no way to produce wealth without adding value to things, all we are doing is moving the money around from hand to hand and sending the actual profits overseas where they actually produce things. I personally think that we can place some blame on the unions for pricing the labor needed to produce “stuff” out of the global market. I know that many countries use slave or nearly slave labor, but it is a global economy and labor costs are a reality that helped drive the manufacturing off shore. I don’t have the answers, this is just my observations. I have been sitting here reading and re-reading this article, and the comments pondering how much to share of my own “situation”, suffice it to say, that I am stressed much of the time, trying to make $80 pay $100 worth of bills. I have given up as much as I can and am still trying to balance the budget. The next thing to go will be the cable TV, probably sooner rather than later, driving a 20 year old 200k plus mile vehicle… The only debt we have is our mortgage, and it is exceedingly difficult to keep going, but make no mistake, keep going I will! We have simplified our lives, gotten out of the city and are trying to live a more sustainable life, it is not easy, but it certainly is satisfying. If not for my having to work outside the home to service the mortgage, we would be able to do so much more. For now we have chickens for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat as well, gardening as we can, canning and dehydrating fruit from the grounds, pressure canning meats when we can get it cheaply, it is a lot of work, but when you can eat a meal from your deep pantry, and know you did it all, it sure is a happy feeling. We will persevere, but it could be a long hard winter this year.

    1. It’s also a “catch 22” with income… You get paid more if you work in “the city” but it costs more to live there. Difficult to find a good paying job if you live out rural (which is why so many ‘young people?’ end up leaving the rural areas and move to the cities and burbs – which in turn keeps the rural community at a disadvantage in that regard).

      Also, some regions pay WAY MORE than other regions. However their cost of living is pretty painful too. And you have to put up with population density and all the other BS (and systemic risks) that goes along with it. I lived that life for a long time and I’m glad to be out of it!

      1. KevinH
        Yes thank you
        Stagnate wages. The term i was looking for.
        Been with this one company for 28 yrs. Thought i was doing good for me and family when i hired in. But that being said the cost of inflation on goods, cost of my weekly medical costs, I’m making the same yearly wage as i was 28 yrs ago. Same wages, same department for the same A- who’s for 28 freakin yrs.
        Thank goodness for that 401k that saves these corps. Millions. Thanks to us employees. We will match 50 cents on ur dollar. Up to $300 per yr. But YOU can contribute up to fifty percent of ur yearly wages.
        But remember 50 percent of nothin is nothin.

      2. No doubt, I am glad to be out of the city, but there is a whole different set of challenges living rural, not to mention getting used to the limits of being near the end of the supply chain. I grew up middle class, Mom and Dad worked, but not over 40 hours for the most part. They made sure that us kids didn’t want for things, but we also didn’t have any extravagances either. It is a sad day when you finally realize that there is no middle class any longer, and to admit to yourself that you are actually the working poor, just lucky enough to have some real estate that you share with the bank. And with the .gov demanding that we pay more and more of our share to support those that wont. Like Margret Thatcher said, the problem with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples money! Forward we go, just please, Mr. Fed, let us care for ourselves!

    2. KevinH-our last mini van made it to 300,000 miles still going strong-we sold it for $800 and ‘upgraded’ to one that was only 10 years old/150,000 miles lol. Got that one at a wreck place-paid cash for it and then bought $300 worth of parts at a u-wrench place to get it running. It’s 3 different colors, which makes it easy to find in parking lots :)
      We’ve never had cable tv-Netflix is great and is under $10 a month (and it has Jericho on it, so worth it right there LOL).

  29. 66 this month, retire next June, who retires in the winter? ( not me). Hit my sixties and the light bulb went off: simple and few priorities-family, home (roof over the head), security (both personal and financial as best I can achieve), each day is a gift to try and enjoy, food, and my private beliefs. After that, it’s all noise to filter out unless it might possibly impact the few important items above.

    1. @Grey, “each day is a gift to try and enjoy”

      That statement is so true. Unfortunately most don’t come to realize it until they get older. Having that outlook (to enjoy today) is powerful, and anti-anxiety).

  30. I doubt the majority of the younger generation are even aware that a different lifestyle exists……..they have never been exposed to anything different. It’s gonna be mighty interestin if we have a big ole reset one day. I cannot fathom it gettin better till we hit the bottom and start the upstroke, and we ain’t near the bottom yet. Human behavior……. I view it all as part of the big picture, I don’t think it can be altered to any appreciable degree. Take that housecat from the apartment and turn him out at the barn, he’ll starve or be eaten. He doesn’t know any different and don’t wanna learn…………it looks like a lot more work than he’s used to doin………..

    1. I agree with you one thousand percent. I have the same opinion. There will be no change until we hit bottom. When will that happen? Who knows…

      1. From where I stand every little jostle, slip, bump, .slides us a little further down the hill………I look for us to reach a point where we will slidin downhill hangin on to our hats at max speed………

      2. August 14, 2023 at 9:24AM Eastern Daylight Savings Time

        Who is John Galt,

        But that’s the magical question now isn’t it Ken? 🙄

  31. Hard to make it on one salary nowadays? You betcha! As a single person with a college degree, in a professional job (teaching), you would think I would be fine. I have no debt (even the house is paid off), no smartphone, no television service, a 12-year-old truck, I haven’t been to the movies in over a year, spend only $50-60 a month on groceries and dining out, rarely buy new clothes, and I still can’t make my budget work well. (I budget every penny.) Insurance, utilities, and taxes take all of my money. I may never be able to retire because I can’t save enough. I can’t imagine what stress I would have if I had house payments or other debt!

    My parents raised five kids on one salary.. The only bill I have that they didn’t is internet. We started off poor, but by the time I was in junior high school, we were solidly middle class. One paycheck was enough, and that’s the way it was expected in the 1970’s. That’s the time, though, when more women started going to work–women’s liberation was huge. So, did more people in the workforce make salaries go down (supply exceeded demand), or was it that more people started needing to work as inflation rose? Probably a combination of the two.

    1. Wow, reading these posts make me realize that I have no idea how bad it has really gotten. When you live out of the loop as I do, with minimal expenses, you get insulated from the pain that the middle class is experiencing. I keep hearing about the horrific increases in health insurance, food, housing, … and I keep asking myself how do people manage these increases. I do not see riots in the streets or massive support for political change so I think people are doing well and absorbing the hits. I do see reports of more homeless in the warmer regions but attributed this to the drug epidemic or mental illness – my perceptions are obviously wrong. Fortunately two kids are engineers and one is a computer tech, so here again I thought everyone was doing okay. Good luck and prayers for those of you that are having a difficult time.

      1. Hermit-I have a different perspective-our family is one income, middle class and we’re doing fine. We have everything we need and money leftover for extras like music lessons for the kids (my girls both do piano lessons and then one also does violin lessons and the other does guitar lessons), hockey fees for the husband, a meal out here and there and then a steady supply of beer in the fridge LOL We don’t really have a savings on hand at this point, due to us cash flowing renovating a house that’s almost 150 years old (new furnace went in last week), but we have a healthy 401K and only a mortgage for debt. We also have several classic cars and a boat that we could liquidate for cash, if needed.
        We do run a tight ship with an ‘Aldi’ grocery budget, Goodwill clothes, humble Christmases and vacations etc, but I’ve never felt that we don’t have enough money or that we’re struggling.
        I think where you live is a biggie-our cost of living isn’t too bad here in the Midwest-taxes are reasonable and utilities aren’t bad (electric is around $140 a month and gas fluctuates from under $20 a month in the summer to around $200 a month in the winter-this if for a family of 5). We pay $40 a month for high speed internet, $20 a month for trash, and less than $50 a month for insurance on our van. And I like to gripe about our health insurance, but it’s decent and once we hit our deductible it really kicks in and covers a lot. Wish our dental insurance was better but even that I can’t complain too much because it pays out a lot more than what we pay in.

        1. Svzee
          Great to hear. I was beginning to think that the 30-60% insurance increases and other rising costs were sinking all middle class families – it is good to hear that some responsible people like yourselves are still doing okay. Sounds like you are looking ahead as well to the retirement years with assets.

  32. Hermit us, amen! Something about workin’ the ground that just seems so natural and relaxing. With being outside in the air and sunshine. Or maybe even the wind and rain. And amen on enjoying every day as a gift. Someone said that you may as well enjoy life, because you’re not going to get out of it alive anyway!

  33. Ken
    A further comment on the sophistication of electronics in our vehicles – got the DW a new GM truck with extra winter tires on rims. The dealer charges us $55 to change over the wheels (no balancing or anything) because they had to re-calibrate the computer system for the pressure monitoring of the tires. Why the heck do we need a computer to tell us if a tire is low – I must be getting old.

    1. Hermit,

      Do you remember the Ford problem with roll-over accidents about 15 years ago? Low tire pressure was to blame for the tread delamination that led to their SUV’s rolling over and killing occupants. Ever since then TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) has been a very high priority, especially for high CG trucks and SUV’s.

      That said… every TPMS system I’ve ever come across will auto-calibrate within a few start/stop cycles. Even systems requiring manual calibration years ago involved nothing more than pushing a button in or near the glove box. I think they basically charged you for 0.5 hours of shop time. Fair? yes. Best deal for you? Perhaps not.

      If I may offer a suggestion – I am a long-time customer of “America’s Tire”, big presence here in the land of fruits and nuts; the name suggests they should be nationwide. They are super competitive on new tires and very fast at what they do. More importantly they will switch over, balance and repair punctures for free, in between new tire purchases. It’s been suggested that the technicians appreciate a tip for this service, but it is certainly less money and faster than what the stealership will charge you.

      1. McGyver
        Thanks for the info. This whole TPMS crap is another reflection on how stupid people have become – what, we can’t check our own tire pressure?
        The economic death spiral started years ago – remember when you went for gas and have someone fill gas, check oil, check tires, check washer fluid, … how many jobs went out the window with the self-serve move. This was not off-shore move of labor but our own greedy corporations sticking it to us. .

        1. Hermit,

          I used to be of the same mind as you on TPMS. But modern, multi-stage variants have proven quite useful. For example… 4 years ago I was humming along at around 80 mph in the far left HOV or #1 lane of I-10, a 6-lane freeway by me. All of a sudden I hit some debris in the lane. I got about halfway through my thought: “Gee, I wonder if the tire…” DING! TPMS throws a code, “low tire pressure”, a split second later my phone lights up with a similar warning. I immediately departed the #1 lane and bled speed quickly as I crossed 6 lanes trying to get to the right. Just as I crossed #6 for the right shoulder my whole screen lit up: “TOTAL PRESSURE LOSS – STOP DRIVING NOW!” I barely got off the nearest ramp when the tread started flapping. Had it not been for that TPMS system, the best I could have hoped for would be stranded in the center of the freeway. At worst, the tire would have disintegrated as I was decelerating and expediting lane changes. It could have been a disaster. The newer systems are quite slick indeed.

          1. McGyver
            Luck and the technology was with you. I don’t travel that type of highway nor do I drive at 80. I guess I measure my tech requirements based on my lifestyle.

        2. Yea, self serve, but the fuel didnt get any cheaper, did it,,,,
          Sorta like the DMV, sure you can do everything on line, so WTF do they need to have 6 offices with huge staff in each of them? And it still takes hours when you go there.

    2. When you take 2 tires off and replace with 2 others, the tpms system needs to be reinitialized. Each tpms sensor is assigned a position, With 2 different tires the system has 2 sensors missing and 2 others it doesn’t know are there. With some vehicles you can do this yourself via series of switch activation to put it into programming mode, usin specified starting point and sequence, others can only be done with proper scan tool. Most will recognize if you pump up a tire that was low and activated the light, and compensate in a given distance or drive cycle. There is no means of the system recognizing and assigning a different sensor without initialization.

      That bein said, I have always thought if you’re too ignorant to know you have a flat or dangerously low tire, you’re just too ignorant to be drivin. It’s part of that “failure to take responsibility” thing in our society.

      1. wood56gas
        My F350 has winter tires on rims as well but no sensors – I just put up with the idiot light on the dash in the winter. I had one rear proximity sensor malfunction and the dealer wanted $100 to diagnose which one was out and another $300 for a new one – you don”t want to hear what I told them. The truck has a backup camera and I have perfectly functioning neck to look where the heck I am going.

        1. It is obscene at the amount of people’s hard earned money wasted on such “luxuries”. when their “planned life span” is up. Another scheme to separate people from their green……

          1. You mean there is intentional planned obsolescence – na, couldn’t be. I have full faith in the auto industry just like our government – NOT.

          2. I know it’s a real shock to think any american corporation wouldn’t help you get a good value or even help you keep some of your money………….hahahahaha………..instead they have oversized legal teams schemin on what they can get away with…..

        2. Thats why i got the bare bones F350 with the roll up windows and rubber mats, still has the tire sensors but everything else if for that power stroke and working it. Even though it still had a ton of ridiculous electronics. Oh well, baby still is balls to the wall horsepower so will deal

  34. I was originally hatched in a family where the father went to work and the mother stayed home with the young kids. Vacations were to the cottage, camping or by car staying at very basic motels en route. Fast forward to my young adult years and divorce was rampant. I did not want to put a baby into daycare, there was a lot of reported desertion by spouses, so I actually remained single and celibate. Fast forward again and with menopause, terrorism, the cost of living, Fentanyl, etc. I am grateful that I do not have children, teens, or young adults to worry about. When I die in 30 years or less I will not care about anyone left on the earth. By then society will be pure evil and oldsters will not have a chance. My goal is to drop out of this evil society with crime and political correctness that ignores the needs of older people. I truly believe that the Government may try to exterminate me. Good people cannot run for office, there is no common good only special interest groups, so I want to form a separate society as an older person. I am more rebellious in middle age than I ever was as a youth.

    1. Hi Lady
      They have that organization, I see advertised, that is to benefit seniors – guess what – nothing but a insurance pitch. You were wise because the support for seniors in a multi generational family unit is long gone. I don’t think we are being unreasonably negative but facing reality.

  35. Yeah, this post cut a little close to the bone, and not just with me if the amount of comments is any clue. I noticed the added stress was taking a toll a few days ago. Our lives pretty busy with two kids, home school, my work, my wife’s part_time at-home work, house work, budgeting, shopping, and whatever running around we had to do to get the kids to the various things they have to do. Then we signed ourselves up for the NanoWrimo program for writers with the goal of 50k words written in the month of November. I noticed around the 5th that I was both depressed and pissed off all the time and I had to take a step back and realize just how much we had piled on our plates. I have been practicing/teaching myself the mandolin and I hadn’t even budgeted in any time for that which added to my self imposed burden of bummerhood. Had a talk with the DW about budgeting in time to unwind (there is an opening next Sunday for half an hour) and say screw it to self imposed goals. We even ditched hosting the big family Thanksgiving dinner in favor of just a small intimate one that is easy to plan for. It was like there was a huge weight taken off my shoulders and the sun started shining. We’re both still quite busy but realizing it and making sure there is time to do something fun really makes a big difference. I’m even making time to start making snarky comments on here from time to time again (next scheduled snark will be Friday around 1pm PST).

    1. I too am guilty of often piling too much on my own plate. Setting out on too many projects at once. Or incorrectly estimating the amount of work to get things done which ends up conflicting with other commitments, etc.. Then the pressure builds.

      One solution is to just say no once in awhile. Like you said, weight is taken off the shoulders when you ditch some of the over scheduling!

    2. I’m doing NaNoWriMo right now. :) I do it every year (since 2004). But I’m one of those odd people who has to write or I go absolutely nuts, to the detriment of the people around me.

  36. Been a tad busy (common note here I see) just catching up on my MSB fix.

    Where is Bill Jenkins Horse? I miss his excellent comments…. Hopefully a Ninja AntiFa did not get him :-) Nov 4th.

    And to stay somewhat on the thread even God took a day off (On the 7th day…)

  37. Money, or the lack of it causes a lot of stress, i get to live down my personal choices, theres no money because i chose to be John Galt, but that makes it real interesting at times because i cant really trade with the power company for electricity.
    Its a vicious cycle. We are almost entirely at the mercy of the system no matter what. It takes money to accumulate all the stuff you need to be self sufficient, solar, tools, land etc. but when your like me i really dont have any $, theres no secret stash stuffed away, am just lucky my significant other is plugged into the system, and that our family had the land we live on, without that i would be forced to be plugged in as well.
    But there it is, stress, i think this is the thing that stresses me out the most is the realization that we really are not free, we are under the thumb of government, moneychangers, etc weather we like it or not and theres no way out of this cycle.
    Its all exhausting, seems that the only way out lands you either dead or homeless if you buck the system. Ive seen it before, again and again and again, im cool with the end,
    Money, greed, lust, sloth, the PTB need to be sent straight to hell, the fact that nobody can really truly be disconnected from the rest of the world and just be left alone pretty much just sucks. Thats all, just left alone. But no, theres going to be some bureaucrat or such with their laws and lawyers and banks trying to take, take, take until they get it all.
    People think im off because i dont want any part of it, i say bull sh-t, the reason why were here is because every generation is full of people who did nothing to stop it and so here we are.
    Free my azz, we are no more free than the guys locked up in a prison, most just dont realize it

    1. Good morning to you Nailbanger
      That is the reason they call it the treadmill of life. For many, it requires that they run faster and faster until something gives.
      I have experience some of what you mentioned and can only tell you what enabled me to off load that stress. Simplifying my lifestyle made a difference. Not accepting the pressures of society regarding all those money grabbing holidays – a few we celebrate as personal days and give thanks. Taking the “me” time has made all the difference – that walk in the woods, that quiet time before the fire, that good book, ….
      But, finding that one thing that you love, do well, and can give you some revenue to fight off the grabbers is what really made a difference for me. I know several who have found that sweet spot. One sustained his family as a potter, one focused on his music until he got enough gigs at weddings and parties to make a living, one built a large cooler in which he hangs game after doing custom butchering – he did it for himself because he is an avid hunter, so he talks with other hunters and does what he loves, one does beautiful engraving on “sheds” ( antlers dropped by elk and moose) using a Dremel tool, …. It is different for each person. For me it is talking on design projects that many reject as too complex or problematic – renovations of older buildings, achieving the desires of the owners while still adhering to a budget – sometimes impossible but the successes and people’s happiness make it all worth while.
      You have a talent that you can focus on, I’m sure. Some of the craziest ideas are the ones that work sometimes – maybe sell custom woodwork to the tourists for outlandish amounts of money. :) Take care.

      1. At this point its just treading water to not drown, we really dont have debt, just the truck payment because my older ones were falling apart,
        Finding that sweet spot is the tough part, being that im sorta anti social doesnt help. But luckily i lack not for talent, be it anything construction or wood related, to welding and then the farming and such. Ive pretty much done it all and am proficient enough to be dangerous.
        Where ive been helping out has been covering the bills, garden and chickens cover the food, I need to just keep it simple whatever that is. Seems i know simple but TPTB dont like simple folk

        1. I know one anti social guy that loves the bush – he uses his chainsaw to carve stuff out of logs – grizzly bears, fish, …. also makes garden benches out of smaller logs. He found a store that will display them for a slight cut. It works for him.

        2. I even know a wife of a guy that does worm farming in conjunction with his rabbit raising – sells live worms in lots of ten, in plastic bags to sporting goods shop. Does okay in season.

        3. Nailbanger,

          I need your advice on welding gear. I think this is on-topic, because it is causing me ‘anxiety’ LOL. I need a mobile welder that can handle mild steel, SS and AL. MIG with mix gas is preferred. But a TIG unit with mud stick capability, with a reasonable duty cycle will also work.

          Miller and Lincoln have generator units in the $3,500 – $5,000 range. That’s a lot of money for me right now. As an option, I have a couple of stand alone generators that I could put into mobile service. Harbor Freight has come out with what looks like a rather high quality (for HFT anyway) line of welding machines that run either 110 or 220, for well under $1,000. Would you advise getting one of those for now and run it with my existing gennies? Or is that a bad idea?

          Thank you Sir.

      2. I know a guy that collected a group of treadle sewing machines that cover a wide variety of clothing mending and gear sewing repairs for the public. It doesn’t cost him anything for electricity and the treadling helps him keep his stress level low.

        CD in Oklahoma

        1. CD
          I think we heard from him before. He is renowned for his good work with all kinds of fabrics, leathers, …. he obviously found his sweet spot.

          1. hermit us – Yea, you probably heard about him. He said he doesn’t make much money at it, but he’s not stressed out about it, just lives a simple lifestyle, and has more cash flow now than when he used to race rats for a living.

            CD in Oklahoma

        2. I like the treadle idea, been trying to find hardware to set machines up on a battery powered DC drive, the small machines will work fine on the treadle but the Cobra for sewing leather i think might be tough to run that way, in light stuff it would be fine but if doing saddlery i think not enough torque to punch through thick layers of skirt leather etc,, lots ofbthe heavier stuff is all hand work anyway though, but some of it goes way faster just running it through the machine.

          1. Nailbanger ,,,,have you thought about useing a inverter and not messing with DC on the sewing machine?

          2. Nailbanger – I don’t even have a motor on my Adler 205, just a heavy spinner knob from a forklift that clamps onto the existing heavy hand wheel. No modifications to the machine at all, just mounted the knob to be at tdc when the needle is up at tdc. The weight of the knob descending adds to the punching power when I sew. I just have to always stop at tdc or bdc (needle completely up or down) before turning loose of the knob. I’ve sewn some thick layers of leather with it. FWIW – I have the same setup on my Singer 111G156 to make it people-powered too.

            CD in Oklahoma

          3. CD
            Cool beans!
            Would love to see a picture of that, is the Adler a flatbed? Or a round?

          4. Nailbanger – It’s an old 1980s cylinder bed, needle-feed, jump-foot, large barrel shuttle, model 64 that takes up to Tex346 thread. Won’t stop for a finger….or even a hand.

            CD in Oklahoma

        3. CD and Hermit,
          That seems to be the tough part, finding that sweet spot, it takes time, people just dont want hand made stuff over here, or if they do they dont want to pay anything for it. Thats been a tough one, like with leather, the hides are expensive, then theres all the other items you need, some folks are cool with it being a bit more expensive than the store bought mass produced stuff, but most folks want you to beat the price on the mass produced stuff, im just not into doing it for free, rather go pull weeds in the garden if thats the case. Ran into that more than not, sorta frustrating. Same thing with cabinets, lots of folks want the cheaper mass produced knock down boxes you can buy now, just not interested in one off shop built cabinetry. And honestly theres no way i can beat the prices, so im searching for the sweet spot, its out there, i just have a feeling its going to take some sort of event to get people to realize that the local guy doing this stuff is better than the cheap stuff they can get,

          1. Nailbanger – You’re not the only one getting frustrated with buyers for hand made stuff. That’s why I do very little production and concentrate on repairs.

            CD in Oklahoma

          2. Nailbanger
            That is exactly why I do custom plans for renovations and additions. I can’t compete with the millions of “of the shelf plans” that are available on line. People expect you to take that discount plan and modify it (customize) in so many ways for next to nothing. When word gets around about your good work, you can start to be more selective in the clients you work for.
            So, the bottom line is find the tough or dirty jobs that the lazy or greedy do not want to do – but ones you are good at with little effort.

          3. Hermit,
            Thats been whats been covering expenses, custom sash work and turning old and ugly into eclectic, i tried doing design, am proficient with AutoCAD, its funny how people think you should be able to work miracles with that

          4. Ya, like all the good ideas just come out of the computer automatically. Nope, sorry client but you have to pay me for my brainpower.

  38. We only have 1 person working off the homestead, bringing in 1 income. I stay home at the farm, growing our food, and food for other families. The only extra activities are 4h projects, which in return are animals raised on the farm…

    No credit cards, we pay for everything with cash, minus the farm, it is mortgaged. Right now we are saving for a garage. We are very conservative with our money and look for good deals all the time. Ex: we buy grain from a feed store that has free delivery, no matter how much you buy, that saves me time, money, wear and tear on my vehicle.
    We are the only family in the extended family that has 1 working ( out of the house) but we are the only ones in the family that everyone asks to borrow money from. But that’s the only time they visit us also, when they need money.

    1. Jan
      I’m sure you smile when you say “yes I will loan you the money just as soon as this work we need help with is completed” What, you can’t see them of dust as they leave in a huff? :)

      1. ha haaa I just asked one to come help me yesterday because they needed some money for a bill. I didn’t hear from them again till this morning and then left the homestead when I started the project.
        At least when I want to be alone I know how to get them to leave. LOL

    2. I keep a “savings plan” for several of my siblings. They give me the money, I save it for them. Even have one sister that set up direct deposit into my savings account. :) I think it’s hysterical. I stopped loaning money to anyone years ago.

      “Never loan out what you can’t afford to lose.”

  39. For those who mentioned concern about being tracked and or recorded by On-Star (GM vehicles) simply check the underhood or dash side fuse box and remove the fuse. 2007 and older I know for sure this works on.

    1. New poster,long time reader

      If I may ask a question….. and I’m very serious.

      Everyone has valuable information to share, what toom so long to comment???

    2. Ken
      Tracking, monitoring, spying, …. are so pervasive that we can’t control it ourselves unless you do the hermit thing – they can monitor my truck all they want as it sits in the garage day after day, week after week, …. sometimes goes for a few groceries. The only exposure I have is here on this site where my subversive opinions might get me into trouble. :)

  40. We have no debt except for a golf cart payment. Our bills are the normal utility bills, electric, gas, water, cell phone and sat. TV. Our biggest expense and cause of stress is medicine/health. I am OK with me and DW quitting our jobs. I could make enough on odd jobs in the garage to keep the lights on but we would have to cut the cell and sat but DW really enjoys them. But she is diabetic and has insurance thru her job. We could not afford her meds without insurance. I am old fashioned enough that I will not send my wife to work and me not work as well. I have a bad back and the work I do now is not as hard on my back as working in the shop but some days I would give my right arm to quit and go home. DW is diabetic, stage 3 kidney failure and her feet and legs swell as big as a soccer ball most days. She still works full time. She is an amazing woman. I spend much of my time trying to help her as much as I can. We do get our grandkids on the weekends we are off work. This is one bright spot of our lives but it can be exhausting tending to a house full of kids. This may sound like I’m complaining but I don’t mean to. My life is good and I am grateful for all God has given me.

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