I just told my daughter, Zoe, the title of this week’s blog post and asked her if she could guess what JOMO was. She asked, “Joy of missing out?”
“Yes!” I replied with surprise. “How did you know?”
“Just because of who you are,” she answered. Awww. Isn’t that so sweet?
Then we had fun thinking of some other J-word possibilities:
Joseph of Missing Out
Jello of Missing Out
Jiggly of Missing Out
So really, you see, joy is the only option.
Now, here’s what I want to share with you about FOMO and JOMO. ( By the way, I didn’t come up with JOMO. A few months ago, I was searching for an image that could depict FOMO and I saw some photos that said The Joy of Missing Out. I thought it was brilliant and tucked it into my back pocket, knowing it would come in handy at some point. We're at that point now!)
Last week, the fam and I were getting ready to go backpacking into the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. We’re talking bears, pit toilets, carrying all our stuff in sizeable backpacks; the whole shebang.
While making our plans, I realized that my moon cycle was set to coincide with the trip and my enthusiasm wilted. I could go into a whole lot of TMI, but let’s just say that pit toilets are enough on their own, without having the added pleasure of feminine details…
ANYWAYS! My beloved husband suggested that I stay home and just relax. Oh no! I could never do that was my first thought. I would be so sad to miss out was my second thought. And my third thought was but it would actually be amazing to have some time to myself.
I don’t know about you, but with the last year and a half’s events and all the restrictions with school age kids, there have been very few moments where I’ve been alone, apart from going for runs and stuff like that.
Could I stay home? I wondered. I felt guilty even thinking about it. We had planned this trip months ago and it just felt like I should go and live up to my adventure mom status.
It was then that I noticed the FOMO; the fear of missing out. Have you ever made decisions based on that fear? I sure have. With that awareness, I wondered if I could make a heart-based decision rather than a fear-based one.
In the days leading up to the trip, I kept tuning into my heart. My head sure had plenty to say, but thankfully the blog I wrote last week about how your thoughts can trick you was still nice and fresh. When my mind said, “What if something happens and they never come back from the trip and you’re left all alone?” (yep, that’s where my mind went!) I knew that it was conjuring up worst case scenarios to keep me in the familiar zone.
So, I asked myself, “What would be the hardest choice here? To stay home or to go backpacking?”
And honestly, it felt much more uncomfortable and challenging to give myself the gift of staying home for a couple of days, with nothing on the calendar but spaciousness. So that’s what I did.
Of course, when Paul, Zoe and Oakley were about to leave, I was crying because of the FOMO and all, but I managed to not get in the car or run down the street after them as they drove away.
I hired a Heavenly Travel and Adventure Expert to keep my family safe on their trip and my nervousness faded away.
From there, I decided to turn the FOMO into JOMO; the Joy of Missing Out. My mission became: How much goodness can I pack into the next 2.5 days? What do I really feel like doing? The possibilities were plentiful (in fact, a bit overwhelming) and so I made a list. That felt better to have it out of my head and on paper.
Then, all I did was check my list to see which option felt the best in the moment. It was heavenly. And also great practice for making a whole bunch of heart-based decisions.
I got a manicure, watched The Dressmaker on Netflix (indeed, very quirky, as promised), ate Spanakopita, went for a bike ride on my newly mended bike and conquered my fear of hanging up art. (You may laugh and wonder how someone could have that fear, but it was real and I overcame it! Yay me!)
Now here’s the funny thing. My family left on Thursday morning. On Friday evening, I got a text from them saying that they missed me and that they had decided to come back a day early. (I know, so sweet.)
Because I had given myself the gift of JOMO and all those heart-based decisions, I didn’t mind at all that my Saturday plans would have to change. I felt completely refreshed and rejuvenated.
I know for sure that wouldn’t have happened if I would have “sucked it up” to go backpacking. There’s no way I would have been as calm and peaceful if I would have succumbed to the fears my mind invented and just gone on the trip because I thought my family needed me. Plus, my nails would be looking nearly as good.
So let’s make this experience useful for you, too.
Do you make decisions based on joy or fear? You’re invited to check in with your heart the next time you have a choice to make (whether it’s something major or something tiny; any size of decision will do). Your mind will likely make up some stuff in the hopes of keeping things nice and cozy and familiar. If any of those made-up-things have a negative tone (like what if my family dies, or something less dramatic but convincing nonetheless) then rest assured that they are just tricks of the mind.
As much as possible, see how many decisions you can make that prioritize your own well-being. Was I selfish for staying home? I sure don’t think so. Because what my family came home to was a mom/wife who felt more grounded, calm and ready to give from a place of overflow.
When guilt comes up, as it does, practice noticing where the guilt is alive as sensation in your body, and then breathe into it. I did a lot of breathing throughout this experience and it helped, as always.
And finally, when in overwhelm, I suggest writing a list. I find that it works like a charm every time because when my head is trying to keep everything straight, the thoughts seem to amplify. When I write them down, the list is never as long as it was in my head. And that goes for lists of to-do’s as well as for lists of possibilities, choices and goodness. Abundance can be overwhelming and making lists offers clarity and relief.
I wish you a week filled with plenty of Joy, whether it’s from missing out on things you didn’t really want to do in the first place, or from doing what you really love. Hopefully the joy is coming at you from every direction and landing right smack dab in the middle of your heart.
With joy-filled love and abundant courage,
Creator of Courageous Self-Care
Hanger of Art (woohoo!)
Loather of cuticle work (heebeejeebees!) but worth it to have my nails looking so pretty now.
PS - Save the date: This month's Self-Care Masterclass is on July 27 and it's all about shattering the myth that leading a "balanced life" is the way to go. Stay tuned for more info.