How I Overcame FOMO (then got it back again)

How I Overcame FOMO (then got it back again) Twice in the last fortnight, people have looked at me quizzically when I’ve mentioned the term FOMO. Now come on people, if I’m 45 (almost 46) and know what FOMO means then surely you do?

‘Fear of Missing Out’ is the direct translation, basically referring to the fear that grips you when you think that you might be missing out on an exciting event that you’ll hear about for eons afterwards and wish that you had attended.

Usually this affliction results in said person rushing around like a total loon, squeezing far too much into their diary and never feeling fully ‘present’ at any event.

Sound familiar? It certainly does to me. I think that I struggled with FOMO for years, doing exactly what I describe above. I had little regard for the fact that my husband couldn’t care less if he missed out on the latest social event, actually preferring to spend most of his weekend as just the five of us, if I was invited to something then I *had* to be there; they wanted me there, right?

I learnt the hard way and managed to kick FOMO in the butt about two years ago. I suddenly realised that I could not cope with the feeling of an over-stuffed calendar. I would regularly feel overwhelmed and losing it with my family was a far too common occurrence. I began to understand the need for better boundaries and that actually, even I benefit from some down time.

I’ve said ‘no’ more often than I’ve said ‘yes’ and I’ve learnt to enjoy other people’s photographs and anecdotes from said occasion (including blogging conferences which I’ve not attended at all for the last two years) knowing that I made the right decision for me.

It’s been incredibly releasing and I’ve learnt to enjoy every social engagement that I do say ‘yes’ to because I know that I’m on top of everything at home and I’m not feeling guilty about leaving my family (again) or dragging them to something they don’t want to be at!

BUT…there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?

I seem to have been lured into another strain of FOMO, one that is probably (definitely) not good for my bank balance and is far more sneaky than the original version. Let’s just say that social media is a very powerful tool.

Things that I currently have FOMO over

1. Snapchat

My daughter has made me swear that I will never enter the world of Snapchat. So far I’ve resisted but it would seem that anyone who is anyone (yes, even middle aged mums) is on Snapchat. Should I ignore my daughter? Is it something that I *need* in my life?

2. Blazers

Bit of a random one but the ability to wear a blazer and not look like a man has always eluded me. But I love the blazer and jeans look (I totally blame Jess Soothill for this)! Will I ever find the perfect blazer? Watch this space.

3. White Walls

Believe it or not, I am all for finding your own ‘look’ with regard to interiors as well as fashion. My current home decor ‘look’ is dark colours and cosiness. But then I see the homes with white washed walls all over social media – you know the ones…beautifully crisp with a pop of colour – and I want that. Do I need white walls in my home?

4. Yoga

(Just to clarify, this isn’t me, the photo came courtesy of Unsplash)

I had one experience of yoga not so long ago and it kind of put me off for life. But I don’t think I tried the right sort and now everyone is waxing lyrical about yoga! Will I regret not doing yoga when I’m hobbling around in 20 years time, unable to get out of bed without the addition of creaking and groaning?

5. The Fringe

The whole world (exaggeration is a speciality) seems to be sporting a fringe right now. I’m almost 46, therefore I need a fringe to hide the lines, right? I tried one 10 years ago and it was possibly the worst mistake I’ve made in a long time, but perhaps my hair has changed? Perhaps the hairdresser didn’t cut it right? I’ve definitely got fringe envy going on.

6. Game of Thrones

(Image courtesy of Vanity Fair)

I might know in my heart of hearts that ‘Game of Thrones’ isn’t my kind of programme but I can’t help but feel I’m missing out somehow. Have I written it off without even giving it a chance? Every other blogger seems to be watching and don’t get me started on Twitter which is awash with #gameofthrones tweets right now.

7. Pom Poms

You could actually insert any of the latest home trends in here but pom poms is a favourite of mine right now. I only have to see a string of brightly coloured pom poms in a home (a direct result of no. 3) and I’m all over it. Is there something wrong with me?

* * *

As you can see, I seem to have swapped one affliction for another. I’m not sure what that says about me other than the fact that I probably need to spend less time on social media. Can you relate? Are you a bit of a secret FOMO addict?

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29 Comments

  1. October 4, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Ha!! If it makes you feel any better I have none of these things!

    I do suffer from the FOMO of saying yes – not necessarily for social occasions but I have real issues with saying no to opportunities, so blogging is a bit of a hazard for me! I hope you get over your new found FOMO!

    Nat.x

    • October 4, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Not even tempted by a fringe Nat?! x

  2. October 4, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    Oh god, the fringe, yoga and blazers are all in my eyeline right now..so I get it!! Snapchat my teens actually persuaded me to try..and I was over it as soon as I’d played woth a few filters. I feel worse knowing how amazing I Could look if only I was permanently filtered!! But as a footnote..watch GOT, its worth it!! Xx

    • October 4, 2017 / 3:50 pm

      Is there something wrong with us? I don’t think I’ll cave on Snapchat (although I do look GREAT with a filter) but the others are definite contenders…

  3. October 4, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    These are all things I don’t have in my life either, but I don’t feel I’m missing out – with the possible exception of the yoga and that’s because as a runner I know that my body is a ticking time bomb and yoga could really help me before everything stops functioning.
    I can’t actually think of anything I feel I’m missing out on, but I do know I wouldn’t cope if I was unable to run the Cheltenham half marathon!

    • October 4, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Ah well you’re far more balanced and disciplined than I am. Maybe you know your own mind better than I do. I’m so easily swayed!

  4. October 4, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    Suzanne,

    “FOMO? I thought it was a detergent.” Making feeble jokes about it is probably a sign that it afflicts us also.
    Someone very experienced was telling me recently that she wishes she had missed out on her latest Windows upgrade.
    I do achieve a bit of RAMTA, Relief At Managing To Avoid (celebrity gossip, Facebook, East Enders, and a few other things…)
    It’s all a work in progress.

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      I think I need to start discerning better which ‘parties’ I need to attend and which I don’t. Also a work in progress!

  5. October 4, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    Oh I am the WORSE FOMO person ever!!! I hate it about myself. It means I DO run around with my head cut off and think I need this or change that or try this new thing or go here and change this and do that. Oh my god! It’s exhausting I have no patience at the end of the day left for the family. Not by choice I had a bad illness that brought on vertigo extremely bad the last two months and it has made me not only miss two conferences one I was supposed to speak at and three london trips but it has me reassessing my life and what I do with my time for work for family and for myself. Being forced to not work, not drive, and basically sit there because the world is spinning gives you a lot of time to think and rethink things in life. You are absolutely right. Game of thrones isn’t for everyone, blazers don’t always suit everyone, white walls don’t feel cozy at night in winter either but man do i want them too for those instagrammable shots, hahaha you got me there. Sometimes I suffer from FOMO and I get what I want or do it and realize I wouldn’t have missed out or actually don’t even like it and glad I missed it. Catch 22 isn’t we always want the greener grass but its not always greener on the other side lovely. I think you have got it right. #wrc

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Yes to it being exhausting! I really do need to use my very own boundaries in all areas, not just on saying ‘no’ to events. With you on the white walls not feeling cosy enough, our kitchen is white and whilst clean, it certainly isn’t cosy. xx

  6. October 4, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    I love this post when I started reading it I was thinking I dont get that, I can easily miss an occasion or night out and not worry at all! However I have it for city living, living in a field is amazing but sometimes I look at City folk and think I want to live in a city! As for yoga try it out I love it and if I miss a week feel rubbish x

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Definitely a case of the grass not always being greener. We need to resist! But yes to yoga, think I’ll cave on that one at some point x

  7. Hannah MacKechnie
    October 5, 2017 / 12:04 am

    I love this latest blog you have written! I definitely have FOMO when it comes to anything to do with home decor. I often look at your pictures of your home and have totally envy and then think how I can make it work in my home (which is all white walls with splashes of colour!) Your dad came for a wee visit and a cuppa the other day and he made a remark about how my home reminded him of your home and how we had a similar style……maybe I just have FOMO when it’s something that I can relate to and it’s my sense of style. X

    • October 5, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Ha ha how funny Hannah! I would love to see your home now it is all finished. Do you have FOMO over starting a blog? I really think you should! You’re so creative and interesting and your kids are such cuties. However with a farm I guess you’ve got enough on your plat but something else to think about lol! x

      • Hannah MacKechnie
        October 6, 2017 / 4:50 pm

        Haha I have thought about it a few times but like you rightly said, it’s finding the time. Never say never though…..

        • October 7, 2017 / 8:31 pm

          Yes it’s very addictive. I can imagine you would be well read but tread carefully!

  8. October 5, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    First of all FOMO is inevitable these days with all the social media pressure!!! I’m just going to give you my opinion on a few of your points. You DO NOT need a fringe, you’ll regret it for the next year while you grow it out. And I don’t think you need to be on Snapchat, I personally just don’t understand it. However, Blazers are always a good idea and there are some great ones out at the moment. Lastly, YOU NEED TO WATCH Game of Thrones!! I hate “this kind of thing” normally, fantasy and zombies is really not my thing but Game of Thrones is so much more and I absolutely LOVE IT. Honestly, it’s the best show I’ve ever watched. There, I hope that’s helped you a little and doesn’t sound too bossy. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy!! xxxx

  9. Jill
    October 5, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Don’t do the fringe! Your hair has always sprung apart in the middle (used to be called a widow’s peak) and it doesn’t work for you. I know. I,know – we did it when you were 11 . However I regretted cutting that pony tail off immediately afterwards and still have it – if you are interested!

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Yes I know. I’ve learnt my lesson on that one, don’t *think* I’ll go there again. I’ll pass on the ponytail thanks lol.

  10. October 5, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Haha, great post, Suzanne, as you know I’m always in fear of missing out on the latest book everyone’s talking about on Instagram, so I can relate! Not too worried about joining Snapchat but maybe that’s because I don’t have teenage kids yet:) And I did used to watch GOT, but it’s a bit violent for me so I’m not too worried about missing out on that for now! xx

  11. October 5, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    Haha!! Love this Suzanne but no — it’s not something I have ever suffered from. I’ve always been the one who went to bed first — with my best friend saying ‘PLEAAAASE don’t go!!!’

    She’d be the last man standing and would still be up when I got up the next morning!! I prefer Pilates to Yoga, don’t like blazers (they’re too corporate) and have recently repainted my white walls in the darkest colours I can find!! 😉

    That said, I’ve just got in to Game Of Thrones and have watched all 7 series’ back to back. LOVE it — I agree with Heledd, you NEEED to watch it!!!!!! 🙂 xx

  12. October 5, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Ha! I couldn’t care less about Snapchat – I don’t understand it at all – but yoga keeps me sane and GOT is amazing!

  13. October 5, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    This has got a lot to do with the circles you move in. I joined Snapchat and discovered only 1 friend uses it and she is giving it up. Blazers are for people who wear jodhpurs round my way! None of these temptations has reached me except Game of Thrones and pompoms, so I think it must be firmly regional! Stay strong 💪

    • October 6, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Ha ha I’m working on it Janet! The blazers though….not even for a night out? Snapchat is a definite no no here and the fringe has also be vetoed.

  14. October 5, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    As the only one of those I can relate to is ‘white walls’ I think I don’t suffer from FOMO. I also thought I was the only person who has never seen Game of Thrones, and looking at all these comments people really do love it.

  15. October 7, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    This made me laugh. I don’t have FOMO very often but can completely understand it x

  16. October 9, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Is it wrong that I have never heart of FOMO? And is it worse that I have a blazer, have pom poms on a bag, LOVE Game of Thrones and we mainly have white walls in our house. Eek. Although I don’t have snapchat and never have! Great post

  17. October 9, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Great post Suzanne! It definitely had me giggling. I’m not really a FOMO kind of person. If I want to try something I give it a go but if it’s not for me then I’m happy to miss out. I think it’s just because I’m stubborn and single minded! haha. The only time I get it is when I see lots of bloggers at events I get invited to but can’t go to because they are too far away! boo xx

  18. October 9, 2017 / 10:23 am

    I am a home bird through and through so fomo isn’t something I suffer with too much. I’m more likely to suffer with FOGO (fear of going out) … My best friend is the total opposite though and I know she suffers with this really bad! Do you think it might be an intro/extro thing?

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