For years it has been all about the FOMO. Fear of missing out. Now more than ever, in the age of social media, seeing others (seemingly) having tons of fun while you're not there instills a "fear" that whatever they are doing is something you ought to be doing too. Missing out on elaborate (and expensive) cocktails at stylish bars with the gals, missing out on playground play dates with the kids and parents from your son's new school, missing out on concerts, clubbing, even camping–none of which you even particularly were interested in participating in to begin with–can feel alienating.
Do you even want to be here?unsplash.com
So why the "fear?" What are we all so worried we're missing out on exactly? Will our friends forget about us if we skip girls' night out next week? Do we seem boring if our Instagram feed is full of inspirational quotes instead of island vacation photos? Are we envious of others who seem to have lives that are full of adventure while ours are full of mundane experiences? Perhaps some people fear being judged or labeled. Others may fear they haven't quite lived up to their own expectations or at least the ones randomly assigned to them by family, friends, or society at large. "Missing out" might just mean "left out." "Why wasn't I invited...and why is everyone so gosh darn happy without me?"
What you see on social media isn't always the full story...unsplash.com
The more we embrace the fear, the further we get from our own joy. Real joy. Waste time wondering how your life would improve by living someone else's and you will always miss out on your own life. From now on, forget fear and get comfortable with missing out. You may not make it to your 15th high school reunion. Your co-worker's baby or bridal shower will go on without you. And there can still be joy. Joy for what you will be doing (or not doing) while others are experiencing their lives.
Is this your idea of the perfect Sunday?unsplash.com
Make time to "miss out." Tend to your garden and your "side" will be the one that is greener. Your date night could be at McDonald's this Sunday. And you may only have time for the drive-thru. Your family vacation is just as special when it's "camping" in the backyard...or even the living room. And face it, the company softball team is better off without you on second base. Just go ahead and be you. Stay home and "binge watch" if you can't stand another Friday night at the bar. Feel fine if missing a ladies' lunch means catching up on laundry.
"Me time" is as valuable as "we time." At least some of the time. There is joy in missing out. It's called tuning in. To your happiness. To your health. To your "wholeness." Flip fear into fun, family, friendships (the true ones).