Intentional Living: Slowing Down, Living More & Nurturing Relationships!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

RancherMan & I decided our lives seemed to be too busy for the things we felt were really important. So we decided to slow down but live MORE!

But how? And what to replace that time with? 

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

We took matters into our own hands to slow our busy lives down.

But oh what we replaced it with is priceless.

Are Your Days Too Rushed?

It seems we all get caught up in the rush-rush-rush part of life.

You know the feeling, where this task is hurried through in order to rush to that next task which is already behind because another task had to be done?

Maybe the ability to live slowly 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.

But is the push to cram more & more into our days shadowing our ability to live slowly & more purposely? 

Are we pushing the joy out of our lives?

Goals Change With Each Season Of Life

As each season of my life changed, so did my goals. My goals went from 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. But self employment certainly means busyness! 

Working cattle in squeeze chute. #TexasHomesteader

Being self employed for us means working all day every day 6 days a week.  (Sundays are for worship & rest)

Self employment means money’s tighter & there’s ALWAYS more to do – you’re never actually caught up with work.

Benefits of ‘Intentional Living’ And Slowing Down

So RancherMan & I shifted to ‘Intentional Living’. We’re still getting work done but looking for opportunities to slow down & nurture our relationships.

Maybe you’ve found the same thing happening in your life? Here’s how we’re determined to manage our time better while actually living more.

What Obligations We Cut Back

So many things were pulling at our time.

Volunteering for committees at church

Community volunteer commitments

Agriculture classes

Beekeeping association meetings

and much 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

We felt there wasn’t enough time to just ‘be‘. So we decided to push back.

As hard as it was, we simply had to learn to say ‘NO’.

How To Slow Down & Reduce Commitments

Volunteerism is an important way to give of yourself for causes you believe in. But those volunteer hours sure can stack up if you’re not careful!

We started limiting the number of committees we agreed to sit on. It was hard because it was a cause we felt was important.

But we had to do what was best for our family too. We had to prioritize

And volunteering for our local food pantry is important to us. But we limit extra responsibilities attached to that volunteerism.

Yeah, we felt guilty because we know someone has to do that work. But we had to make it work for us too. 

Is life too rushed? Too hectic? Learn to slow down to live MORE! #TexasHomesteader

And those beekeepers association meetings were 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 cramming in time to attend, we started attending only when it worked for us.

Replacing Life’s Busyness With Relationships

We’re not afforded the air conditioned workplace we enjoyed with our corporate jobs. Our daily work often involves hot, sweaty, physically demanding work at the barn or in the pastures. 

Tractor Work blue Ford tractor mowing pasture. #TexasHomesteader

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! 

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

But we connect. We share. We spend time together. 

How We’re Keeping Our Marriage Strong

I’ve written before about Finding Time For Each Other In A Busy Life. RancherMan & I are careful to take time for each other away from our beloved Homestead too. 

We go on regular dates to relax & to focus on and appreciate each other. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly:

Dinner and a Movie

Free Jazz Concerts

Planetarium Shows

Sometimes we get away a little longer & spend a weekend at a romantic B&B and enjoy the surrounding area over the weekend. Local restaurants, fun shops and all the touristy stuff adds to the adventure.  

Bed & Breakfast in Granbury, Texas as a romantic getaway. #TexasHomesteader

But whether evening date or longer romantic weekend, we take that time to focus on each other and our time together.

Connecting More Deeply With Family

By simplifying our lives we also freed up time for connecting more often with our family.

Backyard Cookouts With Family

Special Occasion Gatherings

Sibling Vacations Together

Family Dinners

Road Trips To Visit Out of Town Family

See what I mean? All the busyness we eliminated has been replaced with something much more important – relationships!

A Monthly Bonding Tradition With Our Children

Because of our rural location we felt we weren’t able to be with our kids or grandchildren as much as we wanted.

They each live between 1.5 and 2 hours away from our Homestead. They couldn’t find time to come here, so we decided we’d go there instead!

Each month we travel to one of our kid’s homes to share supper and spend the day 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! 

An unfrosted chocolate crazy cake uses no eggs, milk or butter. #TexasHomesteader

We spend the afternoon with family, enjoy supper, then spend more time with them after supper before finally heading home.

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.

Intentional Living: Where Is Your Wasted Time?

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 resulting in no time left for things that are actually important to you? If so, nix some of them & free up some time.

Then fill that space with intentional living. Things that ARE more important in your life.

How Do You Nurture Your Relationships?

I’ve shared how RancherMan & I made this important transition. Now it’s your turn to share!

What have you done to successfully cut out the ‘noise’ in your days? And how have you replaced it with something better?


This post categorized in      Inspirational posts #TexasHomesteader   

Tagged in        Posts about family and relationships. #TexasHomesteader   

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12 thoughts on “Intentional Living: Slowing Down, Living More & Nurturing Relationships!

  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?

    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~

  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.

    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~

  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.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      True words Alicia. Whether it’s hours or just a few minutes, connecting often with those we love can’t help but to be a good thing. ~TxH~

  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…..

    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 older 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~

      1. Stacy Houser

        I love that sentiment of rejecting the “more, bigger, better” mentality that I am certainly guilty of! We’re empty nesters – with 3 sons, their wives and 11 g’kids living 30-40 min away. Such a blessing! And now they are in their busy, busy years and sometimes it is difficult to get everyone together. Now we make intentional rotating stops with each family in their homes. Super casual. And these times are nourishing to my soul! I really do look forward to drastically downsizing! Our house will easily handle big gatherings – but now it’s Thanksgiving & Christmas. Not enough to warrant maintains our too big and too expensive home! I want to be the grandma who can pick up or take my g’kids anywhere at a moment’s notice! Their ages range from 5 months up to 14 years old. So yes – I admire the things you’ve set aside – to make room for what REALLY MATTERS!

        1. Texas Homesteader Post author

          Stacy – YES! THIS! Thank you for your kind words. Slowing life down has many advantages. ~TxH~

  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.

    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~


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