Presence: The FOMO anti-dote

One of the awesome things about this work is the other women I find myself connected to. Women who are powerhouses in their own right, taking on the world in different ways. And they are literally scattered about the world and traveling it constantly.

My facebook newsfeed is full of mountains and beaches. Beautiful yoga retreats and sisterhood building gatherings. Places and things I am missing out on, much of the time. Without missing a beat, as soon as a glorious photo is posted, a barrage of envious comments commence. FOMO (fear of missing out).

I used to experience this too. I even attached a lot of “why not mes” and “I deserve that toos” to it. With a bit of resentment sprinkled in for good measure.

To be real honest about my own life, the accidental extra day in Iowa Falls, Iowa a couple of weekends ago made for the longest family vacation we’d ever taken (2 days). And the first time we’d ever spent the night together in a hotel outside of a one night stay 45 minutes away for my sister’s wedding. So I get it.

The problem with FOMO for me is three fold:

  1. You miss out on what’s in front of you. This last weekend I watched a bunch of friends and sparkly acquaintances meet and/or reunite at the radiance retreat. They were beachin’ and bonding and happy af. I was in Kansas with my family. Enjoying my life and my choices. I could have found a way to attend. I chose not to this year. I own my choices and my life, and I’m present in it. And because of that I was so happy for these women and their experience in spite of not being a part of it. I watched giddily their snapchats and posts. I was proud of my friends who pull this glorious thing off. And I was enjoying my own choices as well. Don’t miss all the amazing things right in front of you because you are gazing at someone else’s fun.
  2. You take a tiny bit away from the other person. It’s probably not intentional. But it does feel a little like taking something from the other. Either with jealousy or a bit of holding their experience as though it is outside of the realm of possibilities for you. I don’t know a single person who travels regularly who doesn’t agonize a bit over if they should post about their travels at all. As though their choices might upset someone or seem unattainable. In spite of some of those people choosing to actually sell all of their things and not have a home base to make it happen. It’s all choices. When I see a glorious landscape or opportunity, I see a possibility for myself. One I can choose or not choose. One they made sacrifices for that I might never know about. Choices I have as well.
  3. You will always be missing something. Even if you were jet setting about the world without a care in the world, you cannot be everywhere at once. There will always be something to miss out on. Something to sacrifice for something else. Someone or something to miss. If you FOMO realistically you will always be FOMOing.

Show up for your life. Be present. Look for all of the magical moments and possibilities in your own space. I find it in the trees right outside of town. In my daughter’s giggle. In the (I once thought “boring”) plains I only learned to love when I spent most of a year away from them. And when you see someone else’s circumstance and choices that ignite some part of your interest, take heart. That is a possibility for you as well. But don’t miss out on right here and now because of someone else’s current experience. The magic of life is not only created on far away beaches. It’s on your front stoop if you are paying attention. Show up.

XO, Erin