Ready, Set, Relax!

Fed up with the fast track, people are banding together to find ways to slow things down

A few weeks ago, after picking up her daughter Renee from school, Donna Olsen committed an act of soccer-mom heresy. Instead of heading to soccer practice, Olsen drove Renee, 10, to the Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood, N.J., where they whiled away 2 1/2 hours listening to Lemony Snicket--Renee's favorite author--read from his new book and lingered for an autograph and a chat with the writer afterward. Then, instead of snatching a fast-food dinner from a drive-through window so they could rush off to their next activity, they drove home and, joined by Renee's older brother Scott, leisurely cooked burgers on the...

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