FOMO: the Fear of Missing Out. The sheer terror of not showing up for an event and missing the GREATEST MOMENT OF ALL TIME.
See also: Being a people pleaser.
I think busyness might be the biggest curse of my generation. Hilariously, while writing this, I just glanced at my Passion Planner’s weekly quote:
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”-Socrates
Nobody seems to know what to do with their spare time anymore, including me. It’s not easy to sit and do nothing, especially when you’re a freelancer–you always feel like your work is never done…because it isn’t. There’s always something else I could be doing.
I don’t do much for myself anymore. I don’t sit and read in the evenings–only in the mornings when my workday hasn’t really begun. I don’t draw or paint. I don’t spend a lot of time working on my own personal development, other than attending my fitness classes.
I have an incredibly large social circle with a wide range of folks in it: former co-workers, friends I grew up with, friends I went to university with, old roommates, artsy folks, etc. I get invited to a lot of events and to a lot of outings, and because my social circle is so spread out, I rarely get everyone together at one time.
This is why I often find myself meeting up with people 2-3 times a week for coffee, a drink, or dinner. (Let’s not even go into the monetary issues with this.) I stretch myself thin so I can see the people I love.
And now that Mom is gone, I suspect I have been busying myself as a way to keep my mind of the gaping hole her absence has left in my life. I take on more work than I can handle, and when I’m not working, I’m drowning myself in social activity, TV, or something meaningless that adds no value to my life. I’ve made myself so stressed out that I have the inside of my cheeks chewed to pieces.
I’ve pretty well binged the full SERIES of both The Office and Parks and Recreation in just a few weeks. That’s not okay. And reading? Forget reading. My brain can’t linger on a single sentence for longer than half a second at the moment.
(I’m aware a lot of this has to do with grief. I’m still navigating those waters. I’ll write another post about what grief looks like now versus back then.)
Bottom line: I’m tired. I’m not helping myself. I’m not confronting my loss. And I’m spending far more money than I actually have.
In an attempt to cure my insane FOMO, I set up November as “No Plans November.” Here’s what that entails:
- Telling my friends to invite me to do things, but with the full knowledge that I may withdraw my willingness to participate at any time.
- Being non-committal to weekend plans and outings. (Yes, I’m the most annoying person in the world. I hate flakiness in a human being.)
- Scheduling time into my day to put away the laptop and just enjoy being on my own, whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or going for a walk. I also have a jigsaw puzzle now because I’m that person.
- Learning how to say “no” to things.
This started off on the wrong foot. I mean, look at the whiteboard I keep next to my fridge:
On the day that I was supposed to attend a Sociables event (basically a super casual networking thing), I messaged my friend Kayla (the organizer) to say I wasn’t feeling up to attending. But the guilt and the FOMO niggled at me so much that I eventually changed my mind, put on some clothes, and headed out…feeling like absolute shit.
And also because a friend had gifted me this BOO-BEES t-shirt and I really wanted an excuse to wear it.
While I never, ever regret attending events like these, I had spent that whole day dizzy and disoriented. I shouldn’t have forced myself out; I should have stayed in to take care of myself.
There’s also the obvious expense of being busy all the time. I don’t have as much time to cook anymore; I’ve rarely used my kitchen since I moved in. I spend a LOT on going out to dinner or grabbing food, and even ONE drink with a friend adds up to $10-20 per outing. Often more. I spent $75 at Jack Astor’s this week, of all places. I don’t know how that happened. I ate two appetizers and a few beers.
This won’t fly if I want to start travelling again in 2020. I’ve booked trips to Japan (YES! More coming on that!) as well as to Scotland, Berlin, and Malta. If I’m being honest, I desperately need to feel some love for the world again. I need to be excited about something; I need to make travel a part of my life again. It’s what makes me happy, and right now I am terribly unhappy.
My daily goals are simple:
- Spend some time meditating, journalling, or doing something for myself
- Getting all of my work out of the way so I’m not working on the weekends anymore
- Do at least ONE non-work related writing task (and that includes blogging)
So I want to know: how do you make space for yourself? How do you take time to do the things you love?
Balance is something I try to practice regularly, but it’s not without challenges. I would love to hear how you do the same!