A Year Without FOMO
What if we all just decided to take life at a new leisurely pace?
I had breakfast with my great New Orleans friend E. last Sunday. She’s the epitome — in my mind — of an uber-extrovert, the life of the party, the center of all attention. She’s the one who invited me during my first months as a NOLA newbie to a Friday lunch at one of the top restaurants in the city. I told my husband — who was still unpacking boxes — that I’d be home in an hour.
I didn’t know E. very well at that point but imagined we’d sit across from each other, New-York-business-lunch-style, and compare notes about people we knew from the publishing world (she’s a writer and now has her own public relations firm down here). That all turned upside down when she walked into the restaurant and proceeded to make the rounds of each table, hugging and chatting with every old friend from high school and business. We ended up table-hopping until 6 pm, when I finally excused myself to get home to my husband, who probably thought I’d been kidnapped. After that, E. and her gang invited me to at least two other crazy parties where they all showed up in full-on costumes for Christmas or Mardi Gras, where people were singing and practically dancing on the tables.
So imagine my surprise when E. said she actually loved the pandemic lockdown. She loved the slower pace and the feeling of not having to be anywhere! She claims (though I’m not buying it) that she’s actually a secret introvert. That she is extremely happy to turn in early and not worry about missing out. I explained that as a true lark, staying out late is painful for me. Together we decided that what we really loved about the pandemic was that there was no Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). Everyone was stuck inside doing the same thing: nothing.
Up until that conversation I wouldn’t have said I had FOMO. But I’m noticing I’m really anxious about what happens when everything opens up. Even though I now live in the town that likes to party all night, I really do like getting into my PJs by 10. Scrolling through social media, I notice confessions from other people quietly dreading returning to the old breakneck pace. So here’s my question: what if we all just say no? What if we decide instead to take life at a new leisurely pace? What if we get our sleep and get up early feeling rested and fabulous? Wouldn’t that be a great change? I’ve also decided we need to change the meaning of the acronym FOMO to Fear Of Moving Out.
Are you secretly anxious about moving out into the world too? Let me know by posting your comments below or on our social media. I’d love to hear your thoughts.