Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chasing Slow - A Book Review


It arrived on my door step Tuesday. By Wednesday afternoon I had read it from front to back. Sam looked at me in disbelief, "You finished a book in LESS than 24hrs?!?". He isn't quite used to me being one of the avid readers in our family. I can't blame him, the shift only happened about a year ago when I discovered that my favorite reads were non-fiction memoirs with authors who were passionate about growth, not staying the same, and life.

Erin's journey spanned over a decade and was filled with lessons & discoveries that she had experienced along the way. Those are my favorite kinds of stories.

The real life ones. 

Perhaps it struck such a positive chord because of the journey that I have been on. One that I've been beginning to share in this series, Minimalism In A Not So Tiny House

Chasing Slow, the book title was so fitting. Erin is a wife, a mother, a blogger, and she hosted an hgtv.com show. And it was her stories about slowing down that had my eyes glued to the pages. 

Don't you mean speed up?

That is what the world is telling us, isn't it?

Speed up!

No honey, you have permission to slow down.

You have permission, that is what you feel you are blessed with after reading Erin's book.


Last week my schedule was packed to the brim and I was short with everybody who calls me mom and the one who sleeps next to me in bed. This week I intentionally left my week wide open. A few meetings here, a few phone calls there. The rest of the time was filled with writing and reading and cooking dinner and purging things in our home (I call it a process of removing the many layers that have formed over the years).

I feel it, the need to speed up, the need to DO everything.

But I also feel the need to slow down. The need for constant reminders of gratitude and grace and contentment.


In 2016 we told the kids that they could each have a birthday party and invite a few friends. Then we told them that 2017 would be an off year for parties. In 2018, they could each have one again.

We will still celebrate each birthday this year with a special family breakfast & dinner, the day of.

Our youngest daughter turns 8 soon.

I asked her what she wanted me to cook for her special birthday dinner.

Rice & Beans, she exclaimed!

(If you know our daughter then you know that she LOVES Rice & Beans.) But I still found myself asking her over and over...are you sure that you want Rice & Beans? I make those every week.

Don't you want something different?

"Nope, I just want Rice & Beans!"

Rice & Beans, it is, I guess.

If you need a reminder to chase slow, or simply need a reason to snuggle up on the couch for hours over a good book, check this one out. I don't want to give too much away by sharing Erin's stories, but here is one example that Erin used of someone else's story, a familiar one perhaps. One that the very first time that I heard it, many years ago, caused me to reflect on what I have, what I'm chasing, and what the purpose of it all really was.

I'll leave you with that fable... (author unknown)

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy we have to be reminded to slowdown! Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete

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