My sister and I were emailing the other day about our shared suffering of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. Erin expressed my feelings about this condition perfectly:
"I love people and I want to do all of the things but then I over commit and am super tired."
It's like I am physically incapable of saying no. If I am invited to something and there's not another event already on the calendar, I automatically accept the invitation. It makes no difference if it's my only free day (or free hour) that entire week... I am unable to decline. Stewart is the same way. I think part of it can be attributed to FOMO, but another part to simply not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. So we book, re-book, pre-book and overbook until our heads are spinning and we can't keep track of where we're supposed to be or what we're supposed to be doing. And I'm talking weeks, months, years in advance. It's exhausting.
Coming up in the next few weeks we have trips planned to White Pass, Port Townsend, Silver Star and Roseburg.
And in March there will be two baby showers and a trip to Vancouver (and let's throw our anniversary in there, too).
Spring will bring Stew's birthday and a wedding (oh, did I mention the multiple bachelor and bachelorette parties?)
Then two more weddings in July, another in September and another in October. No one else is allowed to get married this year.
Summer means lakehouse vacations, camping trips, and Hawaii!
Then the holidays will hit again in full force.
And these are just the pre-planned, MAIN events of 2014.
In between, we'll have football games, snowboarding, daily workouts, theater tickets, meals with friends, family parties, and yep, we both work full time.
Oh, and have I mentioned that we're HAVING A BABY?! That means doctor appointments, classes, registries, and countless projects.
Okay, I need to stop, I'm having an anxiety attack.
And the worst part is that I feel constant pressure and guilt from people about how busy we are, and how we don't have enough time to spare. Whether it's purposeful or not, it just makes the entire situation more stressful. Everyone has advice on the things we should cut out, give up, clear off. But every one of these events and the people involved in them are important to us... how could we ever choose?
"I'm sorry, you just didn't make the cut this month... better luck next time!"
With an attitude like that I doubt we'd have many friends left before long.
But the point of this post is the article that Erin pointed me toward: Oprah's The Joy of Missing Out, which helped me gather my thoughts a little.
"FOMO is the social-media-fueled sense that you are missing everything good; that the world is teeming with super-cool events and parties and talks and lives you'll never be a part of. But blogger Anil Dash has weighed in with his counter-phenomenon: JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out. Basically, it's okay to miss out on the big things in favor of The Big Things, like time with your family, your friends, even yourself. In fact, carving out quiet time in our so-many-invitations-so-many-options world might just transform your life."
It's something to consider, anyway.
Stew and I definitely need to take more time for ourselves, and time for each other. And when Baby Boy arrives and is totally dependent on us for every living waking breathing moment, I think we actually might stop and re-prioritize. Because spending time with my son and our family will always be my ultimate, guilt-free priority, no matter what.
But we'll see how things shake out.
Do you suffer from FOMO?