March 11, 2010 by Marci
I am so thrilled about today’s feature in our Overcoming Busy Celebration! When I first started this Overcoming Busy adventure, I searched out others who shared my viewpoint. One of the clearest, most inspired voices I found was that of Ann Kroeker. At that time she was finishing up her book, Not So Fast, and was sharing bits and pieces on her blog. I was so inspired that I couldn’t wait until the book came out last August Now that I have read the book, I think I could stop writing for this blog and simply post each day what page you should read out of Not So Fast and you might be better off!! If you are serious about getting the busy out of your life and spending your time on what is really important, Not So Fast is a must read. Enjoy this interview with Ann and don’t miss the great opportunity at the end!
Marci: I was first introduced to you last spring on your website NotSoFastBook.com, when you were finishing your book “Not So Fast”. You were one of the first voices I found that echoed my thoughts that we are just too busy. What inspired you to write Not So Fast?
Ann: The world tells us to speed up; do more; pile it on; push the kids; push yourself; work and play more, better, faster. But our own family discovered that we can’t live like that. When we’re overloaded, we struggle and begin to fall apart—we end up neglecting the things that matter most to us. So we’ve been on a journey, making choices and decisions that have led us to a slower lifestyle. I decided to share with others our journey and the things I’ve learned along the way, hoping to get some discussions going among readers about finding the ideal pace of life.
Marci: What do you see as the biggest casualty of our fast paced lives?
Ann: You are right that there are casualties…our fast-paced lives come at a cost. I think the most common and tragic casualty is our relationships—with God, family, friends, or anyone who might need us. It’s easy to neglect people in the flurry and stress of overbooked schedules in which every moment is filled.
Marci: In Not So Fast, you wrote about the snowy day in February that you started to crave a slower pace of life. How hard was it to get your family on board?
Ann: Oh, It wasn’t hard at all to get my family on board! My kids really appreciate a simpler lifestyle. When we are in the go-go-go mode without pauses, they get stressed and crave “down” time. So they appreciate it—in fact, I suppose the kids serve as the family speedometer, warning us when we’re pushing our family’s “speed limit” or operating beyond our capacity. “Mom,” they’ll say, “can we have a Saturday where we’re just hanging out at home instead of rushing off someplace?”
Marci: What has been the most rewarding part of slowing down?
Ann: I think the reward goes back to what I listed as the biggest casualty of the fast-paced life. When we find our family’s ideal pace, we are able to sustain richer relationships with the Lord, each other and friends; we’re more available to serve people who might need us. We’re healthier and happier, open to what the Lord may ask us to do.
Marci: What do you feel is the hardest part of maintaining the slower pace?
Ann: Trying to maintain our ideal pace is hard because every day brings another opportunity, another great thing to participate in, another activity or some such temptation. It’s a constant battle against what the world tells us will bring success and happiness.
Marci: What would be your first bit of advice for the reader who’s family is stuck in high gear and want to slow down but doesn’t know where to start?
Ann: I recommend starting small—without going cold turkey, look for ways to create refreshing slow moments in order to become more aware of what a slower pace would feel like. Start taking a walk after dinner once a week as a family, for example, waving at the neighbors, watching birds in the trees, chatting. Or pick a book to read aloud together as a family—even older kids love this, once they adjust to the idea. I have a lot of “speed bump” suggestions at NotSoFastBook.com to help people build in a slow moment and get started with small steps.
Marci: Since you are the author of “Not So Fast”, is your life lived in that perfect state of “slow”? (wink, wink)
Ann: Ah, Marci, how I wish I had attained a state of slow-down bliss! We do pretty well—I think being aware of our limits helps us make choices. But as our kids move into new phases of life, we find that the ways we made decisions when they were young don’t always work when they’re older. So we stay aware of our need to sustain a pace that works for us and continue to adjust as needed. Life is an ongoing experiment.
Ann: Those are the two main places I express myself online, but I’m also involved with HighCallingBlogs.com as a Content Editor. I work with writers in that blog network, encouraging them and searching for good material to share with others.
Marci: Just for fun and to get to know more about you than we probably need to, here are a few rapid fire questions for you.
Favorite food? Italian food, breakfast food, and crepes.
Favorite season? Summer. Definitely.
Number of kids? Four.
Years married? Nineteen.
Last book read? The Red Badge of Courage (for a high school literature class I facilitate) and I’ve begun The Red Pony by Steinbeck (also for the class). Next on my personal list (over Spring Break): The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. It’s been highly recommended by two different friends. I can’t wait to dig in.
Favorite vacation spot (actually visited or in your dreams)? I crave laid-back beaches and warmth, so I’ve been to Florida several times and love it. But I dream of a beautiful Caribbean island or even Hawaii. Lounging on a tropical beach with my family and a few good books would be delicious. Doesn’t that sound like the dream of a slow-down girl?
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Ann Kroeker and are inspired by her view on slowing down. As I said before, her book Not So Fast is an absolute must read if you are serious about slowing down the fast pace. Ann and I really want to get this great tool into your hands, so she is giving one blessed Overcoming Busy reader a copy of Not So Fast!!
Here is how to enter the giveaway:
- Leave a Comment. Tell me why you need to slow down your family’s life.
- Spread the word. Facebook, tweet or blog about the giveaway and leave a separate comment telling me about it.
- Subscribe. If you are a subscriber, leave me a separate comment telling me. If you aren’t yet, click on the RSS feed link at the top of the page and subscribe. Leave a separate comment telling me you are a new subscriber!
Entries will be accepted until 7pm cst Saturday March 13, 2010.
=============contest now closed====================