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?
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 schedule our time less while actually living more.
So many things were pulling at our time. There was 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. As hard as it was, 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. So we still serve on committees, but fewer of them now.
And volunteering for our local food pantry is important to us. For the time being 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 with the food pantry as well.
Yes we attend the board meetings and the physically-hard work of warehouse muscle. And we serve at the 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.
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 that we hated was finally realized.
But there was a drawback. We felt we weren’t able to be with our kids or grandchildren 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
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 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 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. Now you have time to slow down, connect more.
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?
Other Simple-Life Articles
- Living Deliberately: Voluntary Simplicity
- How Would Grandma Have Done It?
- Doing Things The Old Way
- Grandma-Approved Cleaning For A Cozy Home
- How To Live The Simple Life In An HOA
- Passive Solar Energy Tricks
- Using The Sun: Solar Cooking
- Easy Laundry Detergent Recipe
- How To Make Your Own Laundry-Scent Booster
- Easy Air Freshener In Cute Repurposed Jar
- Lavender-Scented Gardener’s Hand Scrub
- Building Your Life With Your Own Two Hands
- The Fast Life: Slowing Down, Living MORE!
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing!
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