Usually I love driving by myself. I use the time to think, sort stuff out and have the best sing. And by best, I don’t mean well done, my singing is definitely only to be enjoyed by me! The drive home from school drop-off is about 15 minutes, mainly through farmland, with a bit of beach-front thrown in for good measure. So, generally a lovely start to my day.
But recently I had a frustrating trip, and it had nothing to do with traffic, road rage or any of the usual bad driving experiences. It did have everything to do with FOMO.
I’m the first to admit I get totally confused when Bell starts reeling off FOMO, YOLO and all the other shortcuts in current speak. But I’m sadly well aware of the meaning of this one, because I suffer from it more often than I would like,
FOMO is the acronym for Fear Of Missing Out, and every now and then it strikes me. I’m usually quite content with my lot, but sometimes I can get a bit panicky when I think I may not be making the most of a situation. On this recent trip, the cause of my FOMO wasn’t anything more complicated than the radio.
A song I hadn’t heard in ages came on, and I started to get lost in it. But, I started to think that there may be a better song on another station, and I was torn between listening to the oldie and doing a flick around. Big decision with serious ramifications? No. Annoyingly tempting? Yes! And so for the next 3 or so minutes, I listened to that song, all the while wondering what tunes I was missing out on.
Now this obviously isn’t a life-changing decision, and if you’ve read this far and think I need to get some real problems to occupy my mind, stay with me for just a second longer. My point is to bring attention to the fact that it’s easy to fall into the trap of always thinking there’s something better, that we’re missing out on, instead of enjoying what we’re doing right now.
What if someone else is having a better time than me? What if there’s a fabulous event happening that I could be a part of? What if the most perfect partner in the world is waiting just around the corner, and I’m not available? Let your mind run off in endless thoughts like this, and you’re going to end up miserable, no matter how happy you are.
We’re constantly bombarded with images on social media of how perfect other peoples’ lives are. How could we not be envious and think we should be striving for the same? But so much of what we see is edited, cropped and filtered to only show the good parts. A lot of the time the normality of life is on the edges of those beautiful images, but we just don’t see it.
It may seem sometimes, that you’re the only person not living in some kind of glorious Wonderland. Beautifully styled clothes, gourmet dishes, manicured gardens and spotless kitchens pop up on our screens regularly. But as faultless as these lives may seem, there are real stories behind them, making up the majority of their background. No one, no matter how rich or pretty or talented they are, has the perfect life all the time.
Personally, I love Instagram and Pinterest, and could spend hours scrolling through my feeds. But I also try to keep in mind that we’re only seeing the gorgeous edit, and reality is rarely that lovely on a constant basis. I’m all for getting lost in all the pretty for a while, but won’t allow myself to get down because my life isn’t “as good”.
If you find yourself wondering why your life isn’t as amazing as everyone else around you, try making a list of all the great things you have. Don’t limit it to physical stuff; friendships, love, family and pride in things you achieve are wonderful and should be celebrated just as much as sparkly goodies. And don’t forget the power of a spectacular sunset to make you appreciate what’s good in the world!
Do you ever suffer from FOMO?