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.