I have a thing about me: it’s a drivenness, an ambition, a go-go-go, more-more-more attitude, and it’s a very productive trouble-maker. I’m not overly loud or social or outgoing – I’m actually most comfortable as an introvert, holla to my blanket, sweatpants, and hot chocolate on the couch – so if you meet me, you might not realize that this never stopping never stopping never stopping is a deep rhythm of my brain, my head space, my mental reality.
This way of being has brought me many good things – like a job teaching 4th grade at my dream school 7 years ago when teaching jobs were scarce, and now a food blog that I built from the ground up that literally pays the bills and counts as a real job. Grateful doesn’t even touch it.
But it’s also a dangerously easy mindset that, when unchecked, does some regular self-sabotage to my soul.
More! Go! Grab! Take! Want! Work! Hustle! Win! it says. You have to get ahead! it commands. Your worth is what you produce! it lies.
But I’m tired and I need rest, I say back timidly. I need to slow down, I plead, knowing I’m speaking the truth but somehow afraid to question what has always been: the self-imposed fast pace, the hustle, the habit of busy.
Life is so big and awesome, but sometimes big and awesome is just a little too big and awesome.
Maybe this quote from Shauna Niequist’s book Bittersweet is as true to you as it is to me:
“I’m ravenous, and life looks to me so sparkly and beautiful, waiting to be devoured like a perfect apple. So I say yes, yes to everything, to that meal and that event and that trip and that person. It’s so delicious, and I don’t want to miss out on even one moment of it. And that’s the point: I miss all sorts of sacred and significant moments, because of my frantic insistence that I can do it all.”
This fall, I’m pushing myself to take an unofficial break from the never-ending fast-paced hamster wheel and just settle in to a lovely, comfy, slow fall rhythm.
To me, a slow fall rhythm means pulling out old recipe favorites just for the love, even though it will slowing the blog down a bit. It’s waiting for true excitement and inspiration instead of forcing myself into a new recipe just to get ahead with more posts. It means making sure I make time for working out every day, and being okay defining “working out” as a casual, relaxing walk around the lake. It means ending the work day a little earlier than normal to go over to see Stillwater all dressed up for fall, and walk around by the river and sit outside and split a reuben and fries with Bjork and Sage. It means flexing on my work schedule where I can a little more, going to bed early or getting up late when I need to, saying no to the flashy new work project and yes to the nap when I’m sick, and taking the time to light a yummy candle every morning as I sit here at the counter with my breakfast, my think time, and my Write the Word journal.
Last week, Bjork and I went with his parents on a little getaway to Duluth, MN (Du-luuuuuth!) to experience all that is autumn in Minnesota and a good, sweet, slow fall rhythm. And it was awesome.
And that’s really what I wanted to say today: that taking some time for breathing room is really sweet and precious to me in this season.
To you busy readers who feel like you can’t catch a break during a chaotic season of your life, I want you to remember: you’re worth it. You’re worth slowing down for. You don’t have to get away for two days to experience a slow down: what work or church or family or social commitments could you press pause on this week? What could you do on your daily commute to make life feel good – audio books, maybe? relaxing music? guided meditation or prayer or even just taking a coffee-to-go with hazelnut creamer and breathing in that aromatherapy magic all the way to work? What small things could you give yourself today, right now? How about a leisurely walk to look at those flaming red fall trees? Bonus if you can grab an almond milk chai tea latte to carry with you in your mittened hand, and double bonus if you have an easy slow cooker chicken wild rice soup waiting for you when you get home. Not a walk to get some exercise, not a walk to get the dog out – just a walk to go outside and slow down and be present in life for 15 minutes.
Guys, I’m sending big love to you all in your busy seasons and your slow ones because I love you in that non-creepy internet way. Um, was that weird? Can we say that? I really do love your awesome selves. ♡
Also big love to fall in Minnesota! I don’t like to be braggy about it, but I’m 100% sure that there’s nothing better.
I would be missing a big piece of the puzzle if I did not highly recommend the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist to you right now. It’s been so helpful to me. She is all of us ambitious, awesome, life-hungry people and she has so much wisdom to share.
Too busy to read? Audio books, man. Your first book on Audible is FREE as in you pay zero dollars. Go get it right now.