• Madelynne Juenger

Catching Up And Slowing Down

These past two weeks have been a non stop blur of motion and activity. I’m afraid that the second I actually slow down and let all of my parts catch up to one another, I might just explode from the shock of being still. It also doesn’t help that the excitement that comes from the thrill of a new environment is much more enticing than a full eight hours of sleep.

So as you might have guessed, I am one exhausted, frazzled individual. But how can I be expected to sleep in when there’s a beautiful city waking up outside of my window? And how can I even go to sleep in the first place when there is a loud, bustling one just a few steps outside of my doorway? And even the fact that I am lucky enough to be in this sort of

predicament makes me want to appreciate every single second that much more.

However, with all of this rushing around it has been quite a while since I’ve checked in with my brain and I think it’s feeling a bit annoyed from the recent neglect. A while back, I wrote a blog post where I discussed finally dealing with the messiness of acknowledging my feelings. And gosh, ever since I gave them a little bit of attention, those suckers have become quite needy. Whenever I don’t acknowledge how I’m feeling, the emotions tend to double up and multiply until they are so loud that there is no way to simply ignore them anymore. They stir around in my head and bubble up in my chest and will find a way out in one form or another.

I used to let them bottle up and hope that eventually they would simmer down enough to not cause any commotions. But the longer you keep the lid on a boiling pot, the more steam erupts when you finally open it up.

So I’ve discovered that the best thing you can do is to embrace them head on and let them flow as they come. For me, this works best in writing. I acknowledge my feelings by labeling them with words and I walk through my head with sentences ready to describe anything out of the ordinary. These words become physical objects in my mind and the only way to prevent myself from feeling heavy is to write them all down. I recently bought a lovely, little green notebook in hopes to push myself back into journaling. (And rambling over here on Mad Cat is quite effective as well.)

But I still feel bad for needing a break. I don’t ever want to say no to anything or turn anything down, because FOMO is a very true thing and I think it multiples in foreign countries. (FOMO stands for “fear of missing out” in case you’re like me and are not up to date on all the hip lingo these days. I just threw it in there to make myself seem cooler.) Except how much can you really enjoy an experience if you’re walking around the whole time like a sleep deprived zombie straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie? The answer: not so much.

As much as I hate to admit it, sleep is a necessity and I guess not a total waste of time. And breaks are important. And saying no sometimes is okay.

So I filled up this past week with slower adventures that my brain was quite found of. It was a week full of bookshops, tea, and park outings. Because slowing down is important, but it doesn't mean the adventures have to stop completely.



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