A Slow Fall Rhythm - Skillful Cook
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A Slow Fall Rhythm

Fall leaves.

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.

Sunset over a lake.

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.”

Shauna Niequist

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.

Woman standing on stairs outside.

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.

Legs in a vehicle.People smiling at a camera near the lake.

Pink and purple sunset over the lake.

Woman standing in a tunnel.

Four shadows on cement.

Sunset over the lake looking out on a dock.

Lighthouse with staircase.

Man and woman sitting in the dark.

Seagull flying near life bridge.

Hand written signs handing on cork board.

Tall lift bridge.

Man and woman standing on a dock over the lake.

Sunset over the lake.

Plates of food on a table.

Multiple signs pointing in different directions.

Sign reading "Buddy's Wild Rice".

People standing in line.

Four people in a vehicle.

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.

Post contains affiliate links for the Write The Word journal and the books on AMazon.
Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m reading this after sleeping for the past 17 hours only to wake up and call in sick from work for the first time in a loooong time. I’m tired and I’m sick and I almost felt guilty calling in, but man I just need a day to recoup. I love your words, always, and especially today!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This. Everything you wrote was so validating, true, and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for this reminder!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I hear you on all of this!! Why can’t life just slow down and wait for a little bit?? But since that’s not going to happen, forcing ourselves to slow down is so, so important.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have to admit, lately every time I read one of your monthly income reports I wonder what your end game is. Each month you get bigger and bigger, more employees, more tools, more projects… have you thought about at what point it will just be enough? I understand that to be stagnant in a business like this is to fall behind, but still. Take care of yourselves. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I think about it all the time. I am looking forward to some of the changes that we’ll be making to the blog next year… probably won’t share in detail for a while yet but the wheels are definitely turning on this. You’re insightful. 😉

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I relate to this on so many levels. I am exactly the same way to the point where it’s scary. I think a lot of it is because I am a teacher too, and as you know, there is always SOMETHING that needs to be done (done at all, or done better). I am constantly questioning myself, and it has made me better, but it also makes me STRESSED. I adore my life, but I definitely need to make time to relax for myself. I find I can’t even just sit and watch tv without stressing about what I need to get done. Thanks for the reminder! I had a date schedule for tonight and I thought about calling it off since I have progress reports coming up, but now I will go, AND we will go for a walk to look at the leaves because fall only comes once a year, and we’re worth it. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    You deserve this! Your blog and business will always be here, so take that break, that nap, that me time. Relax and give yourself permission to slow down. I’m trying to do the same! (Easier said than done.) I bought Present Over Perfect at your suggestion the other week. Diving into it this weekend. 🙂 xo

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love Duluth in the fall! I’m planning to make some of your slow cooker veggie wild rice soup this weekend! Its one of my favorites!!!

    I bought some wild rice at the MPLS farmers market a few weeks ago!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    You literally just explained me, my thinking and my life piece by piece. THANK YOU! I am go, go GO all the time and never wanting to admit I need a break, not super outgoing and am totally best on the couch with a blanket and hot chocolate. Like that’s just me. Your writing today is so welcomed! Enjoy your slow fall and go you! 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am Duluthian born and raised, still living here, and what a pleasant surprise it was to see our beautiful city and regions north on your blog today. I am recovering from surgery last week and need to remember everything you posted! Best to you and yours!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great reminder! Especially this time of year, as we head into the holidays and ALL THE THINGS.

    And a fashion-related question: where did you get that purse? It looks great.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love everything about this post! The photos are awesome and the reminder to slow down so valuable. I’m dying to read Present Over Perfect. We took a weekend getaway to Devil’s Lake in WI that was absolutely perfect. Gorgeous fall foliage and crisp, fresh air…ahh! Glad you are taking time to breathe as well.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Okay, looks like I’m moving to MN! You make is so totally inviting..the lake is spectacular! Thx for all your thoughts and kind words…you just picked up where my thoughts have been leading these past few weeks…coincidence? I think not…I like the idea of a slow fall rhythm…I’m with ya on that one sister! And love is never creepy…back at cha! (from santa cruz CA)

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve read every single one of your posts for 4 years, and this may be my favorite one yet! I so appreciate you, Lindsay!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Good on you Lindsay, you totally deserve to take some time out for yourself, you work so hard. After owning/operating a cafe for almost 6 years, I too understand how the work can start to consume your life and before you know it you aren’t really “living” anymore. And although you love what you do taking the time to enjoy the small things will make a world of difference to your mind, body and soul. Take care girl 🙏

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I hear everything you’re saying and I agree. I’m not moving as fast on blogging as I want and I was so frustrated. I’m trying to not get upset and enjoy the time my retired hubby and I have together. Thank you for your insight!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been wondering where you’ve been! Take your time and ENJOY!! I’ll scroll through your recipe archives in the meantime 🙂

    xo Jules

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I am 100% that person too. And it can be so tiring! Thank you for sharing and helping spread the word that there’s something else besides go go go. <3

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Can I just say as an empty nester, now looking back on life, that it is very wise to slow down and build in those times of rest. My body crashed, in a horrible way, trying to do too much for way, too many years…and has never rebounded. ( I think, no, I KNOW it’s imperative to listen to the Lord and that still small voice . 🙂 Not to be heavy, just trying to help others learn from example. 🙂

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you so much for sharing Lindsay and reminding us all that it’s okay to slow down, savor, and just stop. I 1000% relate to the “I can do this!” constant mindset, I love achieving, being productive and keeping things growing, but sometimes it’s just too much. I also get that guilt of when I’m not producing, but I made a birthday intention this year to find balance, for realz. Jason and I are actually on vacation as we speak for a much needed break, to reconnect, disconnect and just be in love again. Each day seems like a whirlwind but I’m so ready to let those moment slow down a bit so we can enjoy them more together. Thank you for the book suggestion, can’t wait to read it! XOXO

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m so glad you and Jason are taking some time away! Hope you guys had a great trip and were able to actually unplug and relax. I know how hard it is. But so needed, and so restorative when we actually do take time away. XO

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a great post, thanks for sharing. I think it’s amazing that you can be open, honest, and share not only the ups but even the downs, or slow-downs! It really helps connect us all and helps us feel that it’s ok to want to take a break and get back to a sense of normalcy… especially when we’re bombarded every day to keep up with the pace of what everyone else is doing, creating, cooking, posting, facebooking, instagraming, and story-ing. So again, thanks for the reminder to actually be ok with some stillness, it only makes us feel more human. much love xoxo.