Woman and dog - Rest
Woman and dog - Rest

By Molly Butler

This week, I took a rest day.

Actually, I think a rest day took me. I woke up and the litany of tasks on my list looked insurmountable. There were things I needed to be; funny, creative, outgoing, that I just could not step into. I’ve been freelancing and writing long enough to know that these moments come and go. There’s no point panicking or getting mad at myself. The creative juice will be back in time and everything will get done.

So instead I decided to take the dog out for a jog. I’ve been steadily improving my running and while I am very much a beginner, it’s still been a great source of joy, and has done wonders for my mental health. An easy jog was just what I needed.

But I hit the road and knew, that wasn’t happening either. My legs were heavy, and the feeling didn’t seem to be physical. Mind and body both seemed to be dragging through pudding. Don’t panic. An easy walk it is.

So, I took the slowest walk I’ve taken since I was a dog walker trying to get two huffing, puffing little pugs around one block. Sometimes getting outside and moving tricks my brain into writing, but no dice. I returned just as muggy and blank as I’d started. By noon, I knew I was not going to have a single productive thought today.

Take the break before the break takes you.

Irritation arrived. The voice stepped in, not the peppy cheerleader that I like to get me off the couch; the nagging, mean one, that wants me to stay on the couch all day just so she can berate me. “Getting nothing done today? What a waste. What a bum.” The easiest way to shut her up is to reply, “Yep! Pajama party on the couch, I’m going to bed, I don’t care what the sun says.” So, I took a nap.

I didn’t wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. I was still burnt out and unable to focus. I waited out the rest of the evening doing the bare minimum to clean the house and staring at some blank pages, then it was finally late enough to make tea and climb in bed for real. It looked like a day wasted, but I know that’s not the truth. Even if I logically did not think I needed a rest day, clearly, something unconscious knew better.

I don’t have to tell you it’s been a wild week. I think we all have struggled with finding balance in today’s world. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating enough spinach or getting enough sunlight, sleeping 8 hours and exercising regularly. You can’t healthy lifestyle your way out of reality. We live in a stressful time and sometimes enough is enough. Take the break before the break takes you.

We have a lot of fun things happening this weekend; crafts, music, games, and outdoor fun. Take what you need, and don’t forget to take a break.


Crafters get ready! This is your last day to swing by the North Mankato Taylor Library and pick up materials for their January Adult Craft: Fishbowl Snowmen! Kits are only $5 and you can register online, by calling (507) 345-5120, or simply by stopping by the library.  Kids ages 3-8 can pick up their materials for DIY bird feeders. Don’t let that fresh snow go to waste! Get out there and make a masterpiece fit for the Snowman Contest.

Live music is back! The Loose Moose Saloon in Mankato will host Another Time Around from 5:30-8:30pm. The Eagle Lake American Legion will have a DJ and Trivia starting at 6pm, then at 6:30pm Mully’s on Madison in Mankato will host the country music group, Chicken Ranch. Oleander Saloon will finish off the night will KillinTime, beginning at 7:00pm.


Rise and run! River Valley Running is hosting their Winter Warm Up 5k! Meet at RVR on Riverfront Drive in Mankato at 8:30am and enjoy this fun run. Runners and walkers of all speeds are welcome, with discounts available for all participants and hot chocolate and coffee waiting at the finish line.

The 410 Project on Front Street in Mankato will be open from 2:00-6:00 pm to present “Jim Denomie 2020.” Don’t miss this daring and colorful exhibition.

Atlantis Hobby is hosting a free Pokémon Event, as well as a welcome event for their brand-new selection of Flesh and Blood, both from noon to 4:00pm. Everything you need is available in-store and the helpful staff at Atlantis is happy to help new players. At 2 pm the Dork Den will host a Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel online. The entry fee is $5 and players can register online.

Enjoy some local live music. Amy Manette and her band will have swing, jazz and blues at Indian Island Winery, starting at 5:30 pm, then starting at 6:30 pm you can catch Sheldon Lee at Mully’s on Madison in Mankato. Duelly Noted will at the State Street Theater in New Ulm, with desserts and drinks served at 6:00 pm and the performance at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.


If you don’t make it to Atlantis Hobby on Saturday, don’t worry. They’re hosting a Yu-Gi-Oh! event this Sunday from 1:00-5:00 pm. Entry is $6 and there will be prizes and giveaways galore.

Kids and teens grades 6-12 can head to the Mankato Playhouse for School House Rock Jr Auditions. Auditions will be held at 5:00 pm on the 17th and 18th, with rehearsals beginning on January 24th. The performance will be held March 12-14. Masks are required when not on stage and cast sizes will be limited.

This is also a great weekend to hit the slopes at Mount Kato or get out those snowshoes for a walk on the trails.

Bonus: Airplane Mode

There has been a lot of big events in the news and there will likely be much more in the week ahead. It’s important to find balance between staying informed and feeling overwhelmed. Nutrients aren’t just in what you eat; your overall health is fed by everything you consume, including media. When we idly scroll social media or news, we are taking in tension and stress and storing it all over our bodies.

If you struggle with putting away the phone or turning off the news, set a modest goal of time unplugged. Turn your phone on airplane mode and get away from the television. Go out for a walk or an errand and leave your devices behind. I find the moment I am separate from these things, the easier it is to disengage.


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.