Summer is finally here! It is short and sweet and there are a million things happening around us. How do we feel about the things happening around us? Fear of missing out, as I learned from my millenial friends, is referred to as FOMO. It is this frantic push to make sure we fit everything in and do as much as we can with the people around us and not miss a thing that is happening. FOMO is reserved for more social examples, but I’m interested in looking at our tendencies to not want to miss out on ANYTHING….. that outdoor activity, that gardening task, that concert, and the list continues. With such a short summer, what this creates is a sense of what we are doing isn’t enough, or we don’t have enough time.
I’m home for two more weekends before school starts again, and I’ve caught myself in a funny FOMO paradox. I don’t want to miss out on all the things we have booked for ourselves (camping and trips) and yet I don’t want to miss out on being home for lazy summer days in Steamboat. I have found myself wanting both worlds and not wanting to miss out on either experience. The irony is I’m not missing out, but I have FOMO anyway, and I’m caught in a losing battle. Sound familiar?
If you are experiencing pain, loss, grief or exhaustion, but you push through to do things because “It’s too beautiful outside”, or any other reason, please be mindful that perhaps the best thing for you is to miss out and hunker down, take care of yourself in a slower, more contemplative or spiritual way. We are afraid of slowing down, and that creates a sense of hectic rushing, or scarcity of enough time.
No matter where you are on your mental health spectrum right now, I challenge all of us to calm the FOMO within, and move through each commitment with a presence and attention that will feel satisfying. We need to help make the mindset shift that whatever we are doing in the moment is good enough just as it is, and it’s okay if the summer looks different than we we orginally planned.
Make the commitment to be fully present and find the moment without the FOMO. Whatever choice you make, own it and love it, care for it and cultivate it. Let the FOMO voice quiet down and choose how you want to be on this day. ~Angela Melzer