The Fast Life: Slowing Down, Living More

by Texas Homesteader ~

It seems we all get caught up in the rush-rush-rush part of life.  You know the one, where this task is hurried through in order to rush to that next task which is already behind because that other task had to be done?

Maybe the ability to live slow is being pushed out of our lives and replaced with ‘busy’ to the point where all we want to do at the end of the day is plop down onto the couch & watch tv.

I hear ya – we feel it too!  But is the push to cram more & more into our days shadowing our ability to live slowly & more purposely?

Are your days packed, leaving you feeling like a hamster on a wheel? Us too! See how we've taken a hard look at what fills our days & made changes - for the BETTER! #TexasHomesteader

Younger Years Busy Life

When our kids were young my days were filled with school events, PTA meetings & soccer practice. There was a corporate career to pursue and a home to maintain, relationships to nurture and all the busyness that is involved in starting a young family.

Of course as each season of life changes, so did my goals. I went from a goal of raising our children, pursuing a career and making a home to other goals as my life’s seasons changed. Now RancherMan & I are self-employed empty nesters. We’re still busy, just a different kind of busy.

RancherMan & I Review Our Lives

RancherMan & I noticed that our lives were picking up speed to an uncomfortable level.  So we made a purposeful effort to slow things down.  Maybe you’ve found the same thing happening in your life?  Here’s how we’re determined to do less while living more.

Are your days packed, leaving you feeling like a hamster on a wheel? Us too! See how we've taken a hard look at what fills our days & made changes - for the BETTER! #TexasHomesteader

So many things were pulling at our time – volunteering at church, community volunteer commitments, agriculture classes, beekeeping association meetings and much more.  We felt there wasn’t enough time to just ‘be’ or to fill that time with relationships.  So we decided to push back. We had to learn when to say ‘NO’.

Places We Cut Back

We started limiting the number of church committees we agreed to sit on.  It was hard because this cause was something we felt was important.  But we had to do what was best for our family too.  We had to prioritize. We still serve on committees, but fewer of them now.

And volunteering for our local food pantry is important to us and we’re dedicated to continuing our commitment there.  But this particular volunteerism seemed to have one project stacked upon another.  So we limit our responsibilities there as well.

Yes we attend the board meetings and the physically-hard work of warehouse muscle as well as semi-monthly community food distributions because it’s just that important to us.  But we’ve pulled back from additional food pantry projects & duties.  Yeah, we felt guilty because we know someone has to do that work, but we had to make it work for us too.

And those beekeepers association meetings?  Sure they’re only once each month but it’s over an hour’s drive away!  Previously we were pigeon-holing that meeting into our day whether we had time or not.

Now instead of making sure we’re at every meeting & cramming in time to attend, we started attending only when it worked for us.  For now our dues are still paid but this is a chunk of time we’re looking at freeing up in the future.

Replacing The Busyness With Relationships

We’re not afforded the air conditioned workplace we enjoyed with our corporate jobs.  These days our work involves hot, sweaty, physically demanding work at the barn or in the pastures.  And our bodies are more tired at the end of the day because of it.  Temptation is certainly there for us to plop on the couch in the evenings and watch TV until bedtime, I’m not gonna lie.

But we want to live slowly while we live MORE.  So at the end of the day after we’ve had our supper, RancherMan & I often retire to the back porch swing with an icy-cold drink instead.  We swing gently as we talk about our day, our plans, our excitements and disappointments.  Sometimes we say nothing at all as we watch that gorgeous Texas sunset performing its beauty before our eyes!

But we connect.  We share. We spend time together. This has been a good change for us and one we look forward to each evening.

Are your days packed, leaving you feeling like a hamster on a wheel? Us too! See how we've taken a hard look at what fills our days & made changes - for the BETTER! #TexasHomesteader

Connecting With Family

We’ve also freed up a little more time for connecting with our children.

You see, when we moved out here to the boonies our dream of being out of the concrete jungle we hated was finally realized.  But there was a drawback.  We felt we weren’t able to be with our kids or grandbabies as much as we wanted.  Oh that must change!

Now that we’ve freed up a little time we filled it with special time for them.  They each live between 1.5 and 2 hours away from the Homestead.  They couldn’t find time to come here, so we decided we’d go there instead!

A Monthly Bonding Tradition

Once each month we travel to one of our kid’s homes to share supper and spend time with the family. We’ve told the kids it’s not meant to be a fancy meal, but just what they would be making for supper anyway.  They make enough to share with us and I’ll bring a side or dessert.

It’s often requested that I bring a homemade Blackberry Cobbler or fresh Banana Pudding, or maybe Fudgy Iced Brownies or some other dessert.  But sometimes it’s a side dish or just a bottle of wine.  Hostess’ choice! We spend the afternoon with family, enjoy supper, spend more time with them after supper before finally heading home.

Then the following month we make the same arrangement with the next child until we’ve spent time with each one of them and their families.  We then start over with the rotation.  This has been very valuable time spent for us – and for them!

Scrutinize Your Days

So if you feel like you’re on the hamster wheel with not enough time to actually enjoy your life, take a step back.  Look at where your time is spent and where you might cut back, painful as it may be.

Are the obligations clogging your calendar important to you? If not, nix them & free up some space. Then fill that space with things that ARE more important in your life. Maybe now you have time to spend one-on-one with your kids throwing a ball, taking a walk with your spouse or just sitting on the porch swing talking.

So I’ve shared how RancherMan & I made this important transition.  Now it’s your turn to share – we can all learn from each other!  What have you done to successfully cut out the ‘noise’ in your days and how have you replaced it with something better?

~TxH~

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10 thoughts on “The Fast Life: Slowing Down, Living More

  1. Amanda

    I grew up with a giant garden, and want to grow my own food, but for me it is an energy issue. It takes me 50-60 hours of work a week to keep a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach. I’m not a young kid anymore, and my energy levels are dropping. By the time I get done working to meet my basic needs, there’s nothing left for my dreams and hobbies; I typically have three hours a day at home awake, and that’s all of the time I get to eat two meals, shower, clean and do anything else I want to do.

    I want to do so much, but I don’t have the time to do it in, and if I do have the time I am so tired from work that it doesn’t happen. My work isn’t overly physical, but there’s just so much of it at the end of the day I don’t have anything left to work with. I have discovered the hard way you can’t really garden successfully with an hour or two a week, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I totally get that not everyone has time to garden, Amanda. Heck not everyone even WANTS to garden. The garden question was just the springboard to my conversation about life’s busyness with RancherMan. This post is more about us looking at our lives and feeling it was too crammed with commitments. We readjusted some things very purposefully and it’s been game changing for us. I’ll admit from time to time when things get crammed we need to re-evaluate and perhaps adjust again. But with the adjustments we’ve made in our lives, we have more time for things that are really important to us. Things that always seemed to get pushed aside for the busyness that smothered it. Our family relationships are stronger and even our connection to each other is stronger. ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. Sandra ONeill

    Adjusting and finding balance is important at all stages of life. Thanks for pointing that out. I used to have a small container garden ( the only place that got Sun in our city lot was our driveway) but now that we are retired and rving, I no longer do. Just another phase.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Indeed Sandra. We move from phase to phase in life to what works best for us. My phase looked very different when there were small children at home, and different still when we were empty nesters. Now that we’ve been empty nesters for a while we found that other commitments had crept into our lives. Commitments that were important to us, but one stacked upon another until there was not enough time for those familial things that are important to us. We’ve slowed life down so we can live MORE! ~TxH~

      Reply
  3. Alicia

    I can understand the busyness of parents, but they all need to have US TIME with their Partner. My Honey and I do the same every evening. Taking time to reflect on the day and talking about what comes up. Each day is different and each evening we discuss our views about what took place. Ne disagreements, just talk things through and find a refreshing conversation to each of us. Communication is a key part of any relationship and slowing down is an answer that will surprise most young people. Take their eyes off their phones and put them on what really matters, Their Loved Ones. The simple truth is that it doesn’t need to be hours…. Just making the connection to converse with your Love of your life shows that you Care and that can be a starting point. Talking about your day, the kids, the job, or Nothing at all is Time Worth Spending with them.

    Reply
  4. Patti

    Two thumbs up!! We lost our garden and roof when a microburst hit on Memorial Day. Due to all the damage we’re not able to replant and I so miss my tomatoes…. I live in Illinois and with our ever increasing property tax bills and everything they decide to add additional taxes to, so many people are working 2 jobs to make ends meet. It really is so depressing in this state lately…..

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Circumstances may be different for every family, Patti. Maybe they need to live where they do for their stability or sentiment. Maybe they feel they owe it to their children to give them more than they had growing up. Heck maybe they just LIKE their things and they’ve worked hard to be able to enjoy them – everyone’s different. No judgement at all, it’s up to each family to do what’s right for them. But for me, if those toys I’m buying (ie: bigger, nicer TV, new smart phone, constant furnishings upgrade, etc) are being traded for sufficient time for familial connections, I’m going to push back by eliminating those things if possible. Even though we live a very comfortable life, I have an old smartphone, we don’t have cable, our cars look nice and are maintained until they are no longer financially beneficial to drive, etc. I was raised with the “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without” mindset. I realize that doesn’t necessarily appeal to everyone. Sure makes my life easier though! ~TxH~

      Reply
  5. Janet Y

    Even with busyness and having dogs, we try to garden with our children. However my husband and I are what you would call mature parents of younger children, many of our counterparts are years younger then us and find it weird. Why garden when you can just go to the grocery store?

    We also live in a rural area while in a neighborhood, we have a very large space, we had looked into moving back closer to husband’s work and were horrified at the lack of yard space. I think that is a problem for many, gardening in such a small area and cutting away your perfectly manicured HOA lawn is not high on the priority list for many.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      That’s a good point, Janet. Priorities are just shifted – no guilt, just observation. Now folks prefer that perfectly-manicured lawn to rival their neighbor’s lawn. And the home builders are cutting backyard space to cram more houses into the same space. And families are busier than ever running the kids to their activities. Again, no shaming – all families do what’s best for them. But for RancherMan & me we became uncomfortable with the business of our lives and decided to push back and intentionally insert time for things more precious to us – our family time and some down time to just be together and talk. It’s been game changing for us. ~TxH~

      Reply

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