The Fear Of Missing Out
“The fear of missing out”, a common enough string of emotions to earn it’s own hashtag. I admit, I succumbed to this feeling as the 3 day weekend of Memorial Day approached and I had no set plans.
Why wasn’t I climbing with friends, road tripping to the Redwoods, summiting a mountain or doing a bonfire on a beach on the Washington Coast? Why wasn’t I waking up with pine trees around me and watching the sunrise?
I don’t know. Friends are busy with their own plans, loved ones, and significant others. And I’m happy for them. Maybe I should have worked harder to find someone to adventure with or maybe I should have done like I’ve done many tines and just gone alone with the dog. Yard work is lately my back up plan for what to do when I have no plans. Staying home saves money and allows me to take naps, read books and cuddle with the dog.
But…Saturday night, as I got sucked into Instagram and Facebook posts of people doin what I wished I was doing, I felt jealous and bored with my life. And yes, I recognize it’s all ridiculous. I love my life, I’ve had amazing adventures this month and I hope and plan to have more this summer. And I still have fun local plans for the weekend. I put together a hike with friends for Sunday and have plans for today at a winery.
But here’s the thing about #fearofmissingout #fomo. It’s not just about comparisons. It’s about a fear of wasting precious days. It’s a fear of not living life fully. Of looking back and saying, “why didn’t I….?” It’s the recognition that comes even more clearly with age, that life is so unbelievably short. And it’s a balancing act.
Not every day is a mountain summit or epic adventure, but there is time to enjoy the simple moments and feel astonished. To be proud and feel accomplished with the act of planting flowers and creating a home matters. Life is about being patient with a group of friends who bring their adorable 3 year old up to the top of Mary’s Peak when I really want to get a training hike in. It’s standing in a field of wildflowers and admiring the beauty that lies 30 minutes away from my home.
It’s playing cornhole with friends over ciders at Nectar Creek afterwards. It’s going to a winery to picnic for Memorial Day.
It’s all of those things that make up a life well lived. But am I eager to make more solid weekend plans for summer before it passes me by? Absolutely!
“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it”-Mary Oliver