Best laid plans – SHP023

Ben McAlary on best laid plans - SHP023

Best laid plans, eh?

As some of you might be aware, I’ve been having ongoing issues with my internet connection at home over the past month. Partly a blessing in disguise and partly a huge point of frustration, it means I’m way behind on my interviews and today’s very special guest is stepping in at the (super) last minute.

Who is this very special guest, you may ask? Well, it’s, my lovely husband Ben. Usually when it’s just the two of us hosting an episode we’re answering listener questions, but today I interview him about our journey from stressed-out to slow living.

We also look at the major benefits from his perspective, and how his idea of success and a life well-lived have changed.

As the one who was the driving force behind slowing down, it was interesting for me to hear Ben’s perspective. And undoubtedly, the pressures he feels are different to the ones I’ve felt, so I was curious to hear him talk about the things he fears, as opposed to those that I worry about.

We also give each other a fair amount of crap, so don’t go thinking our relationship is all deep conversations and time spent delving into each other’s innermost thoughts. Lots of fart jokes in this house.

Enjoy today’s episode, and rest assured that next week we’ll be back to guests outside the family and (fingers crossed) I will no longer sound like Tom Waits.


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23 Responses to Best laid plans – SHP023

  1. Hi Brooke, I just wanted to say I am really loving your podcast, I listen to it on the tube on the way to work in central London (not most people’s idea of ‘slow’ but I actually relish my tube rides – no phone reception, no control over how slow or fast the train is going and at least 30 minutes all to myself to listen to podcasts or music, read a book or just day dream). I really enjoy your thoughtful conversations and also your honesty. Kindest, Lizzie

  2. Oh you guys!! I really very much enjoyed this podcast! I’m a real life kind of girl and I love meat and potatoes! You guys are my meat and potatoes of the slow movement. I do enjoy the ‘technical’ or ‘theological’ interviews but it is the real life stuff that I am most keen to hear about. I sometimes feel like I might be doing ‘it’ wrong. Through my journey of dealing with some deeps hurts, regrets, stressful memories I have become so much more mindful of how I live my life. What I (and my family) consume and sometimes…..sometimes there is judgement. My husband says I should get my own you tube channel (to talk about parenting and decluttering and having 7 children)…but I feel like the slightest negative reaction would upset me too much. Anyhow, please keep doing these podcasts! I really do enjoy them so very much. It is so nice to not be alone.

    • We like being the meat and potatoes, Katherine! And I hear you on the idea of doing it wrong – there is no such thing, but we still manage to tell ourselves that others are doing it better/harder/faster/higher/more interesting than we are. You’re doing an awesome job and you’re definitely not alone. x

  3. This is the first of your podcasts that I was able to listen to in its entirety and I enjoyed that your husband’s answers were similar to my husband’s views. We both have agreed to slow our lives this year, a process that happened spontaneously after replacing the floor in our living room. He is totally on board with decluttering, doing less, fewer commitments and such. I am a bit ahead of him on selling our home and finding a way to semi-retire early. He would also love to see me greet him after work in a bikini – lol!

  4. Get episode Ben and Brooke! And massive congrats on the success of the podcast too – in terms of Aussies I’d love to hear, you mentioned Rohan Anderson who is totally on my list – but I’d also love to hear from Sash Milne (Inked in Colour) and Nick and Kirsten (Milkwood Permaculture). And, more eps like this one too!!

  5. Tap into tiny house movement – they have some interesting people out there to talk to ;)

    P.s. Phlease don’t podcast about podcasting or blog about blogging or tweet about tweeting :D

  6. Hi Brooke, Love this podcast :) A few suggestions for potential guests… Francine Joy (Miss Minimalist), Tsh Oxenreider (The Art of Simple) and an Aussie – Tricia from Little Eco Footprints. Although I have to say my favourite podcasts are actually the hostfuls!

  7. Really enjoyed this podcast. It was great to get more of an insight into Ben and into lots of things really. I’ve actually started keeping a notebook handy when I listen to the podcast so I can take notes if I want!

    I’m glad you asked for suggestions of interviewees as I have one in particular who’s been on my mind. Toni Bernhard is someone whose articles I’ve been following for years (love her books too) and, although her main focus is on dealing with suffering in life, in particular in relation to poor physical health, I think a lot of what she writes about is about slow living e.g. I’m not sure how long a stretch of interview she can do in one go, but I know she has been on the radio.

    Another person I love and who I think could contribute really interesting things to the slow movement discussion is Rick Hanson. I find some of the meditations in his book, ‘Hardwiring Happiness’, a really amazing tool for de-stressing (e.g. the ones on Relaxation and Peace), and he talks a lot about how to savour the moment by really taking everything in.

    Really glad the podcast is so popular! One of my major problems with the slow life is that, although I’m going fairly slowly, lots of other things aren’t. How wonderful it would be if more people were going at a slower pace and living more considered lives!

  8. Hi Brooke,
    This podcast made me laugh out loud! I’ve really enjoyed the series you’ve put on and enjoy hearing from those who are leaders in the field. I would also like to hear you interview some “average” people living the slow life, perhaps those who don’t necessarily have a blog. Not sure if you follow Nicole from planning with kids. But she recently did a text based question and answer series with all different mums (full time workers, part-time, those special needs kids etc) to see how they manage their family lives. It was quite interesting and insightful. Perhaps you’ll be able to find some full time working mums who live the simple life too.
    Cheers kate

  9. absolutely loved listening to this today, really did laugh out loud! I love Ben’s contributions to the podcast, you were both so honest, really encouraging.
    I find the glossy perfect bloggers scary! I’m old enough to see through them, but worry that parents with young children will feel that they aren’t good enough.
    Thank you for brightening my day :0)

  10. Hi Brooke

    I discovered you about a year ago, during one of my ” like” frenzies in Facebook about organizing, etc. I will just scroll down and quickly look at your posts on my newsfeed.

    My special moment happened two weeks ago; I finally clicked on one of your pod-casts and itt has been enlightening to say the least.

    It makes me want to de-clutter my tiny house to a never before seen levels. I welcome the space and try to not hesitate about useless objects as they get removed. I listen to the pod-casts like some sort of gospel as I clean away my messes, I find it relaxing and inspiring.

    Definitely taking it slow while making it count, you are doing an awesome job by opening my eyes to this world; which strangely,my minds feels innately in tune with- a change of pace is just what I need it.


    Your slower, more mindful Kiwi neighbour x :)

    • Pris, thank you so much for such a kind comment! I know exactly what you mean about scrolling on by for months and finally clicking through – I’m so glad you did. Sounds like you’re in an awesome place these days. x

  11. I really appreciated this podcast, Brooke and Ben! It really rang true to me– my husband and I just had a conversation about the contrast (and sometimes tension) between my big, crazy, wild, silly ideas about living a completely different type of lifestyle (like moving into a tent, which sounds *amazing*) versus his more reserved, pragmatic tendency to let change happen… well… slowly.

    Plus, I busted out laughing at the two of you joking around with each other. Too funny!!

    I’m so happy that the podcast is going so well! It’s been great since the beginning!

  12. You two are so funny and lovely, and at times your honesty left me breathless. My favourite podcast – so true about expectations we have for ourselves (and place on others). I would love to hear Brooke interview Claire from Just a little less blog. Also from Newcastle in nsw Australia Colleen from 365 less things blog

  13. Hi, love your podcasts and how real it is. An interesting (Aussie) person I’d love to hear from is Philip Wollen. He has an ambition “to die broke”. I’d love to hear how he came to that conclusion and the journey he has taken, also his amazing philanthropy work.

  14. I loved this one! My husband is at the same place Ben is at in this episode. S fun to hear!! I shared the 20/20 rule and he didn’t ‘get it’ at first, but now is. Woohoo!! Thanks for all you do!

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