My cousin made a joke last week about her restless toddler who hates to take naps, “He’s got FOMO,” she said, rather matter of fact like.
I don’t know what I was imagining exactly.
“Fear of missing out,” she said, chuckling.
“Oh God, I used to have that somethin’ terrible.”
My Gma would make fun of me because I’d take the cordless phone to bed at night in high school. This, of course, was well before we were all strapped to a phone 24/7.
I was always one of the last to leave the party. I’d run around like a chicken with my head cut off (Gma’s words) trying to keep up with every engagement I had committed to.
I never even skipped school because I didn’t want to miss anything. Not that I was very attentive while there, but just in case!
All of my friends knew that if they wanted to do something and needed company, I’d be there–no question. (And that no question part got me into many a compromising situation, mind you.)
It [FOMO] coupled nicely with the fact that I hated being alone. Boredom would spiral into over-thinking, over-analyzing, over-emo-everything.
I eventually grew out of it, but not until I was nearly 30.
It was then when I first discovered the joy of solitude and began to understand the value of my time.
It helped that I was living in Hawaii, away from friends and family for the first time, where missing events on the mainland goes with the territory–unless you have a private, jet of course.
It pained me at first to see events fly by on the calendar that I could not attend. I noticed the real change when, even in Hawaii, I was becoming more choosy with my commitments.
Phrases like, “I’m ready to go now,” and this two-letter gem: “no,” were flying out of my mouth left and right. I barely recognized myself.
What delicious freedom.
Now my FOMO is more my fear of missing out on a book, a bath, a yoga class — me time. And I defend it like a champ.
Elisa just loves the karate chop I give to the plans she tries to make for us;) She calls me a hermit, which makes me laugh because she didn’t know me in my hayday;)
Besides, I take it as more of a compliment. I’ve come a long way.
I leave you with this: Do you have FOMO? Never fear. Here’s a great rule of thumb: “If it’s not a ‘hell yes’, than it’s a ‘hell no!'”