How did we get here? Ann Kroeker asks in the third chapter of Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families. In other words, what led us to think that busy is better?
I’ve asked myself that a lot over the years. There was one particular stretch when I was working at a church and was so busy that I actually found myself running to get to meetings and to do errands. Literally running down the halls of the church, running to my car, running through the store.
During certain seasons, I have slowed down, found a better rhythm. Those times usually followed a major illness or personal crisis, when I was forced to slow down. Ann talks about a similar season in her family’s life after her husband had an unexpected heart surgery.

Those months of extreme simplicity were spiritually rich, emotionally rejuvenating, and creatively full. We were able to evaluate our schedule in light of our values–of what we felt really mattered–and fought for a new reality. . . . That postsurgery simplicity paved the way for a joyful family culture and more deliberate pursuit of knowing the Lord.

But inevitably, after each period of mandatory of slowing down, the pace speeds back up and I find myself chasing my tale again. But why? How do I get there each time?

In her “Slow Notes” at the end of chapter 3, Ann suggests the following root causes of our high-speed lives. I’ve offered my observations from my single life as well.
PRIDE – Since I don’t have a husband or children, I mistakenly find my worth in all of the activity of my life.
ENVY – Rather than rejoice in the activities of others, I feel that I have to be part of them.
FEAR – If I’m not busy, will I just be home alone?
INSECURITY – Will other people think I am lazy or self-indulgent if I don’t keep busy. I mean, I am single, what else would I be doing with my time? Isn’t that what people will think?
AVOIDANCE – When I am not busy, I have to face myself and my inadequacies.
RATIONALIZATION – If I were married and had children, I’d be four times this busy. My lifestyle is simple compared to other people.
What about you? Is your life flying by at the speed of light? Do you wish you could slow down?
First, consider how you got here.

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This post is part of a series I am doing on Ann Kroeker’s Not So Fast, considering the implications for singles. Follow the link for other posts on slowing down.