Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not So Fast

It's all too familiar to me - what I call the treadmill syndrome of waking and eating and sleeping with life rushing by in my peripheral view. How many nights have I laid my head on the pillow resolving that tomorrow will be different? Tomorrow I will sit down to read picture books to my children, teach my daughter how to tie a bow, or simply bake something just for fun together... but somehow these things get lost in the tasks of managing a home and simply carrying out the tasks of life. Desk work and school work and activities take priority over down time, and those moments morph into days and into weeks, and all of the sudden time has passed me by. And I haven't sat with or walked with or looked into my children's (or husband's!) eyes the way I long to.
Really, that slow time is where the important stuff happens. Not just with my family, but with friends and neighbors as well. When people enter my day whether through the front door or via phone calls, I want them to have my attention so that I can enjoy these relationships.
Maybe I'm just not great at managing my family and my time. Not intentional enough, or too task-oriented. But my guess is that I'm not the only one who feels this tension of wanting to slow down, desiring to play in the landscape and not just watch it blur past.
If you need a little encouragement, a little kick in the rear to consider slowing down, Ann Kroeker offers some great suggestions and insights in her book, "Not So Fast - Slow Down Solutions for Frenzied Families."
A few of my favorite chapters:
- What Are We Missing Out On?
- Too Fast to Care
- Too Fast to Rest
- Load Limits
- Forget the Joneses
- Slow Enough to Savor Traditions
- Slowing Down Spending
- The Unhurried Family
I originally checked this book out from the library, but it's worth purchasing for Kroeker's chapter-end "Slow Zone" suggestions and questions for reflection. These sections are great catalysts for journaling, and ideally revisiting every couple of years as family stages and ages change.
So what are you waiting for - put your feet up, relax a little, and happy reading!