December 11, 2014

The Joy Of Missing Out


Earlier today I had a cup of hot chocolate with one of my best friends from school; an overdue one-on-one. It’s important to spend time with the people who mean the most to you. But we were both trying to keep our eyes open, desperate to catch up and make the most out of this little window of time we both had free, in between hangovers, deadlines and general life-sorting. We sat in the corner of Paddington Station as I had a train to catch that evening, loaded up with bags and a hangover the size of Kim Kardashian’s arse. It made me sad to notice a trend of having to always have to catch-up with people in-between other things, because time with loved-ones deserves be a thing by itself, more than all the rest.

When did life get so out of control? Why do I find myself ‘slotting’ things in, instead of making proper space? And why – when a friend says ‘I’m booked up until January’ – do I feel a sharp tinge of sadness?

“Sometimes, I feel like the world is just spinning around me” she said.  I understood this feeling so very well. This feeling of you just standing in the middle of the chaos, spinning plates, repeatedly chasing deadlines like a hamster in a wheel, just trying your best to keep up. Constantly chasing your tail, but never ever feeling ahead of the game. Forever enslaved to a calendar or a reminder notification and worst of all, beating yourself up if you didn’t go the extra mile. Finishing a to-do list isn’t good enough anymore – there’s always a looming feeling of disappointment if you didn’t do just a little bit more.

Just last week I asked my colleague what she was doing at the weekend and she replied: “So on Saturday I have three parties to go to. One in the afternoon, then another sort of mid-afternoon, then an evening do.” 

How did we get so good at this? When did our generation learn the skill of magical time-keeping and manic multi-tasking? I know people who have had two jobs at the same time. People who have Instagramm’d pictures from two parties on the same night. We are learning to clone ourselves.

Those all too familiar moments such as: “Yep I’m listening, but can you continue with your heart-breaking story by shouting through the bathroom door while I pop to the loo?” 

FOMO is real. There’s always someone, somewhere, doing more than you.

I know the FOMO feeling all too well, freaking out if I’m not everywhere at all times because if I miss that party then I could miss the opportunity of my lifetime and if I miss it then it will haunt me forever.

Except, it won’t. It never does.

Because I realised: that is total bull shit.

“Joy Of Missing Out” isn’t a new term but I only read about it properly the other day. On Anatasia Amour’s blog she talks about Randi Zuckerberg coining the phrase. JOMO. It’s about “fighting the natural compulsion to follow trends and having the guts to miss out on something.”

That sums it up, really: having the guts to miss out. I know that I definitely go along to something because the FOMO takes over, when really, all I want to do is surround myself with cushions and finish the book I’m reading. Or clear that extra space in my diary for things that really mean something. Allowing more time to do more things for myself which will ultimately lead to a decrease anxiety levels, longer baths, better skin, getting off Instagram for an hour, better conversations and more freedom.

Because if we continue to burn the candle at both ends, there will be nothing left.


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