Monday, February 18, 2008

In Praise of Slowness

During this joyous, yet busy and sometimes even stressful period in my life, I have found comfort in reading one absolutely fantastic book: "In Praise of Slowness", by Carl Honore. Here's a short preview:

"... A former "speedaholic," an award-winning Canadian journalist advocates living a slower, more measured existence, in virtually every area, a philosophy he defines as "balance." Honore's personal wake-up call came when he began reading one-minute bedtime stories to his two-year-old son in order to save time. The absurdity of this practice dramatized how he, like most of the world, was caught up in a speed culture that probably began with the Industrial Revolution, was spurred by urbanization and increased dramatically with 20th-century advances in technology.

... The author explores, in convincing and skillful prose, a quiet revolution known as "the slow movement," which is attempting to integrate the advances of the information age into a lifestyle that is marked by an "inner slowness" that gives more depth to relationships with others and with oneself."

The book is written from a non-religious point of view, and doesn't talk much specifically about the role of women. However, in my eyes everything that has to do with investing time and effort into relationships, family, spending time together, good food, and special things made by hand, strongly relates to the importance of the woman as wife, mother and homemaker. Think of how much we are pressured to do it all and have it all. Think of the simple beauty that results when we are able to slow down and savor every moment.

I feel the importance of it especially strongly right now, when we are so overwhelmingly busy. Between looking for a place to live, making the perfect dress for me and finding the perfect suit for Y.T., making arrangements for the photographer, the DJ, the invitations and a million other things, it's very important to take enough time, still, to breathe deeply, enjoy the moment - and above all, praise the Lord.

18 comments:

Catherine R. said...

You know, it has always kind of bugged me that every person I know, (or don't know for that matter) always says "My life is so crazy!". What is it with the crazy lives? People say this as if it's humorous or they're proud of it or as an excuse for not doing other important things. I am not trying to throw the blame, I too can fall into this trap of frantic daily behavior. But to be truthful, I have never liked this whole trend of overscheduled, manic, days that we are all so obsessed with as a culture. Besides being harmful to our well being, it creates unfavorable personality traits if you ask me.

USAincognito said...

FYI...I posted a vegetarian recipe on my site. Thought you might be interested in checking it out. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to check this out. I'm all for getting back to a slower life style but I just don't know how! There's so much to do and not enough time. Maybe this will help.
-Amanda

Sarah said...

Yes this is so timely for me right now, thanks.

Sammybunny said...

Amen, sister!

A Dose of Joy said...

Anna, I've just begun reading this book. I think its message of a peaceful, slow, and purposeful existance is so important for us in this face-paced world!

-Chloe

Rebekah S. said...

Thank you so much for this very informative post!! :) I've never heard of that book, but so look forward to reading it! I'm not even a mother, wife and homemaker yet, but I still(at age 15) find myself at times rushing every which way! Some days are so hectic and busy, and a book like this would really be a blessing, I'm sure!

You're so right-this book sounds like it has a lot to say regarding being a homemaker, etc., even though it's not written from a Biblical perspective. I'm sure this book would be a blessing to many women(and men).

Have a great week!

Rebekah

P.S. I hope that the Lord blesses you with peace and solitude during this very busy and rushed planning time! :)

Kathleen said...

Are you still working at the hospital as well?!

Anonymous said...

So true! And I have to agree with catherine r. "I'm so busy!" seems to be the cry of many, many people, as they run from activity to activity. There seems to be a feeling of pride, as a play-by-play of an extra busy day is held up for comparison with those whose days held maybe only one or two appointments or activities. Sometimes I'm tired just listening to people tell me about it!

Brenda

anna said...

This book sounds very good! I agree with Catherine R above, our culture seems to be obsessed with hurry. Maybe having to do many things and being in many places makes people feel wanted and needed and important. When totally different things should.
--
Your previous post made me so happy. Congratulations, Anna!!! I too can't wait to see pictures! Are you planning to travel on honeymoon?

Persuaded said...

this sounds like a *wonderful* book..i am going to have to look it up. thanks for the recommendation:-)

oh, and i am thinking of you and praying for you often as you plan for your special day((hugs))

Terry said...

Wonderful post, Anna. And I pray all you wedding preparations are going well.

Anna S said...

Answers to some more questions... ;)

1. Y.T. is the man who, God willing, will take my hand in marriage very soon.

2. Yes, the training program in the hospital isn't over yet. It's putting a lot of strain on me, but since I'm already at it, I'm going to finish it. Of course when I started it there was no way I could know I'm going to meet Y.T. so very soon. ;)

3. I don't think we'll go anywhere for honeymoon. Just being with each other in our new home will be enough. Not to mention that our budget is a bit tight right now.

Anonymous said...

Anna, you're going to have to share your courtship story from start to finish with us someday, it sounds like God has truly blessed you.
Reader in USA

Anna S said...

Anon: there's not much to share. :) We met on a dating website for Orthodox Jewish singles not so long ago. And the rest is history. :)

Lauren Christine said...

Ah, how special! Enjoy this sweet time with your family. I know right before our wedding I was so excited about being married I could hardly think of anything else! But then a sweet friend reminded me to enjoy those last wonderful days being under my daddy's roof. So take a moment to enjoy the now (which it sounds like you are doing a great job of!) and give your family a hug!

MarkyMark said...

Anna,

This is yet another insightful, thought provoking post! Others have said it, and I'll echo their sentiments: you are truly wise beyond your years...

I have long thought that the way we live modern life is, shall we say, for the birds! Because both men & women have bought into a false ideal, we have BOTH lost what made us each special & unique as men and women.

Men were the creators, builders, and the protectors of civilization! Men could fix and build almost anything; whether a house needed building, wiring installed in said house, or the car needed repair, men could do it. Men hunted for and grew food for their wives & children. When push came to shove, they laid their lives down for them. If a would-be tyrant tried to impose his will on the people, it was up to men to rise up and put a stop to it.

Women could make fine meals out of whatever their man brought home to eat. They were frugal; they knew how to save for a rainy day, and did so. Women knew how to stock & maintain a pantry. They knew how to make & mend clothes, and they did both for their husbands and children. Women looked after their children, seeing that they were properly instructed & raised to have loyalty to God, family, and country.

Ah, but look at us now! We've come a long way, baby! We've also come the WRONG way too, baby. Men have been emasculated; many men do not know how to even change a flat tire on their cars, let alone do all the handy things that the men of old did. Because today's emasculated male has been browbeaten with the notion that anger is bad, he will not rise up and fight those who would do evil. They've had their rights to own guns taken away; with no arms, how can men defend their nation and families as they once did? We all know the answer to that one, don't we?

Likewise, women of today have NO CLUE about the domestic arts. Most women under 40 cannot cook; moreover, they're PROUD of their lack of domestic skills! Women of today spend money like there's no tomorrow on shoes, purses, and whatever else strikes their fancy. She cannot sew a button on her blouse, let alone mend and make clothes like her grandmothers did. The modern woman cannot do much of anything. Finally, modern women have lost their femininity; they have forgotten how to be LADIES.

So, we have men who are no longer masculine; we no longer have women who are feminine. Well, it's a truism that women are not attracted to girly-men; neither are men attracted to coarse, non-feminine women. Man, what a fine mess we have here...

MarkyMark

Buffy said...

I love this book too, I was recently posting about it. It's just the sort of book everyone should read because it goes against some of the worst traits of modern living.