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FOMO YOLO DIEM
Are you familiar with FOMO and YOLO? YOLO stands for You Only Live Once and FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I never subscribed much to YOLO because I don't believe that's the case, but I find as I age that my feelings of having to enjoy things or try things or do things now is increasing because well, even if I DO live more than once, the *I* that is *ME* this time around is not going to be the same later or remember it. Plus, I ALSO subscribe to the theory that we're all the same as beetles, basically, and reincarnation is just a comforting, if admittedly kinda of wacky, wishful thinking.

FOMO, according to Wikipedia, is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent." That's not what it means to me, though. It's a fear of regret, sure, but not for the things that other people are doing...it's for the things I won't get to do. And even if the acronym was coined fairly recently and was hyped in conjunction with the global addiction to social media, I think it's been around since humankind first climbed down out of the trees because they didn't want to miss out on what was happening out on the savannas.

YOLO, however, mostly seems to be used by people being idiots...doing stupid stuff or trying things they wouldn't normally do because of a what-the-hell attitude. I tie it more to the same thing that FOMO means to me: doing things that you wouldn't do because you only have now to do them...you only have this life to make more interesting or better or improved. You don't get another chance at it, so why not live as if your choices were limited? Because in the grand scheme of things, they are. We have a finite amount of time on this earth, and we might as well take advantage of it. Not by doing stupid stuff, but by trying and doing things we might otherwise be too craven or ignorant or oblivious of.

But FOMO is starting to cause me problems. And not for the reasons you might think. Most of the time, it's used in the context of social media and a constant online connection. People don't want to miss a Tweet or a Text or a Post or a Like or a Story. Bleah, I say to that.

I'm more worried about the books I won't get to read and the movies I won't get to see and the people I won't get to be with forever and the places I won't get to visit. I find myself not wanting to take a nap because there are BETTER THINGS TO DO. I'm no longer able to stay up as late as I used to on weeknights because I simply cannot haul myself out of bed in the morning to work otherwise, but I have an even harder time putting my book down after I've gotten into bed than I ever used to and that's saying something. I DO it, because I have to, but it gives me major FOMO. What if I don't get to finish it later? GOD FORBID.

It's not just books, though I confess, that's a lot of it. It's hanging out with my husband, my children, my family who are too far away to begin with, my friends. It's that I'd rather be seeing something I've never seen before, going somewhere I've never been or out walking in the sunshine, or trying a new restaurant or looking at beautiful art, than sleeping or cleaning or being sick or playing stupid, repetitive, mindless games on the iPad.*

I even have FOMO about work, and that's not a good thing. Because it's not exactly Fear of Missing OUT, it's Fear of MISSING...because there is too much to do and I have this nagging feeling that only I can do it, or do it fast enough, or do it best, or whatever the hell this stupid feeling is, and I don't have TIME to be sick or take time off. Fear of Not Getting Things Done, that's what. Fear of Not Giving 100%. Gaaah. Hahaha!

Early last week, I thought I was starting to come down with a cold. I managed to stave it off with rest and good old American cold medicine, and I thought that was the end of it, but after several days of "whew, dodged that bullet", today I felt crappier and crappier as the day went on and I have a tickle in my throat that is just begging to turn into a full-blown sore throat. I'm off to bed shortly with drugs in hand, to try and head it off at the pass again, as if I were a cowboy and it were either a runaway horse or a bad guy in a bad Western.

I don't have TIME to be sick. There's too much to do. There's no time to waste. Take advantage of every minute you're here. Read all the good books. Have lunch or fika or dinner with friends. Call your parents and your grandparents and your children. Go for a walk and admire the spring flowers and the sunshine. Play all the fun games. See all the good movies. Watch all the good shows. Do all the good things. Maybe send a text or post something while you're at it. You only live once. Don't miss out.

*Mea culpa
 crappy
mood: crappy
music: Midge Ure—Pure Love


Comments

I've never heard of YOLO, but then I don't frequent social media so that's not surprising. I have heard of FOMO, but again mostly in the context of social media, even though there have been people that have exhibited that behaviour for as long as mankind has been on the planet. I guess it's just never had a catchy acronym before Facebook et al came along.

I think your brand of fear of missing out is not what they mean by FOMO. It sounds a bit more like a mid life crisis thing. Not as in you shall ditch Anders, take on a toy boy and buy a Ferrari but more in that you look at your life, realise that more of it is behind you than in front of you and you start to re-evaluate what you've done, not done, still to do etc. There's a whole big world of opportunities out there and in your fifties you start to wonder about how much of it is unknown territory, with the clock simultaneously running down. It can cause a crisis of confidence.

I also worry about all of the good books out there that I've yet to read. It panics me a lot because I know my eyes are a problem, so will I get the opportunity to read them. When I was younger, I used to be much more closed to trying new things because I felt there was going to be time later in life and anyway I was run off my feet with a full time career, a family and home to take care of. I was like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. In my fifties, I suddenly stopped saying "No" and "I'll do it later" and took on a more "Yes, let's do it" approach, as this time I have left keeps getting shorter and shorter every time I look up.

I agree with your Carpe Diem last paragraph! And I really hope that you haven't come down with some virus!

I managed to stave it off again. I wonder now if it will keep trying... is it hovering in the background just waiting to pounce again or have I scared it off for good? It's spring now, and I don't have TIME to be sick!

(Anonymous)

I don't believe in yolo -that said, I think I have come to terms with Fomo. I figure that much of my list of yet to do stuff will happen somewhere in the future -or maybe it's from the past that I would just like to re-visit, or re-do!
But most of my list now is spending time with family and getting all the paintings done that I still want to do! Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

ACK! I have been recovering from working all the time by being a slug!

I have read 4 books though.

BUT STILL!

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