I understand that, for most people, Spring is a new beginning. That's true for the trees anyway. For me, however, it's always Fall that feels more like a new beginning. The colours change around us, the temps go colder (at least they're supposed to), trees let go of their old leaves and everything gets ready to fall asleep. It feels soothing, comforting, and calm. Fall is always when I feel most inspired; new ideas, new projects, new goals.
Since this blog is essentially mine and I'm the only writer on it (duh), I feel it's appropriate to share some more personal stuff from time to time. If you disagree, that's okay but I'd advise you stop reading and wait for the next recipe post or something, because this isn't that.
Probably because I'm a tad anti-social (yes, this is true even if I speak to people), I like that the world goes to sleep, calms down, and most importantly slows down in the Fall. And that's what I'm getting at here: the importance of slowing down. Whether (did I spell that right? Anyway) you feel Fall is a beginning or an end or an in between, it shouldn't matter. The importance of slowing down is valid all the time, no matter the season. Somehow, I don't know when it happened but I'm gonna say when whoever it is invented the ridiculous business hours most people abide by, we here in the western hemisphere have it in our heads that the busier you are, the more successful you are or some shit like that. Well, I call bullshit. We've come to glorify busy and busy needs to come off its pedestal because it shouldn't have been there in the first place.
I started a journey toward slow living about three years ago. And it has been the best decision of my life. I got myself a bunch of books on Scandinavian living, Hygge, Lykke, and generally slowing down and started applying what I was reading. I can already hear people telling me that it's not possible for everyone to buy a coffee house and work for themselves. Yeah, I get that. But you don't need to be a business owner or your own boss to slow down. You just need to start being more mindful about multitasking and taking on way more than you can chew. And even if you have a big mouth and can chew a lot at time, what's the point?
Slowing down means taking time outs, doing things one at a time instead of all at once, saying no to things you hate, saying no when you really don't feel like it. Most importantly, saying no before you're overwhelmed, about to crack and spending every night crying and stressing over all the things you have to do. Sounds hard? It is. Sounds like it won't happen quickly? It won't. Sounds good? IT IS! It's SO good.
Here's a few ways that I slow down (because newsflash, I could multitask my ass off if I wanted do, but I don't). First, very simple: I literally do only one thing at a time. If I'm working, I'm focused on the coffee house's customers. If I need to place an order, I go in the back and place the order and let my staff serve you. If I'm writing a blog post, I'm sitting at a table doing it because I'd never get anything done otherwise.
Hey, all you skeptics, I hear you saying this is impossible. If you don't want to do this, that's your prerogative. Stay busy. But, and this one is big, DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING BUSY because you have a choice on just how much you take on at once, whether you bring work home, whether you bring home to work, whether you try to literally do five things at once. Because, and I'm sure you've heard this before, but I'll tell you again. The unfinished tasks will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. Because work is a never ending process. So each day, you go in, do what the hours allow you to do, and then when the day is done, you pack it up, lock it in your office and go home.
I feel like I've wandered off a little, but the point is: slow down. Like, literally. Where are you going in such a hurry anyway? Late to work? Get up earlier. Late to an appointment? Leave earlier. Unless someone is dying or having a baby at the other end, you don't need to run through a red light to get there. Take time to smell the slightly cooler air, focus on the process of making your coffee, enjoy a Netflix marathon without your phone or anything else. Go to bed with a clear mind, you may need to meditate a little to do this. Or you may even need medication, and that's okay too.
The other big thing that forces you to slow down is self-care. Self-care can look differently to everyone but for me, it's regular acupuncture, hair appointments, facials, manicures, pedicures, face masks at home, reading, going to bed early, and the list goes on. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's self-care. I wasn't always, though. I actually used to really suck at it. But I worked at it and now I can't get enough self-care. And I'm not ashamed to say I put myself first. Cause you know what, you can't pour from an empty cup. So instead, you need to focus on filling your cup, and whatever overflows is what you give to others. BUT, it's easy to waver. When I do, my body tells me; I'll feel more tired, I'll feel achy and like a Fibro flare-up is coming on. That's when I slow down even more. And the seasons in which I feel it is easiest to slow down are by far Fall and Winter. Maybe that's why I love them so much?! Nope, just kidding, I hate hot temps.