Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do You Ever Experience FOMO?

Do you know what "FOMO" means? My 23-year-old niece threw it out as a response to something I asked her this summer. I don’t even remember what my question was because I was so surprised and curious about her very short answer. I had to confess I did not know.

(By the way she didn’t say, “Hash Tag, FOMO.” I just imagine their would be a hash tag here.) 

“Aunt Gina, FOMO. The fear of missing out.”

I can shamelessly admit that I do not have my finger on the pulse of 20s-something lingo.
I didn’t respond like Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, but I did ask her every time I saw her that weekend. 

“Stephanie, what was that saying again?” 

“FOMO, the fear of missing out!”

“Got it!”

Do you suffer from FOMO? Ever?

I used to think I did not. I’m usually pretty happy the majority of time with what I have chosen to do. Notice I didn’t say what I have or should do (sometimes I think it is just their connotation like having to do the laundry which I should be doing while I write this). And it’s been a while since I can remember feeling a sense of FOMO. That is until this weekend.

This last week, I traveled with my mother to California, Santa Monica and Malibu to be exact, to visit family friends that she and my dad met while they were on their honeymoon 56 years ago. They have been close friends since then, and their kids, primarily their youngest daughter, and I have been friends since we were born. Close.

It was fun. I had fun. My mother is fun. She always has fun.

But at the time I planned this “fun” trip for my mom and myself, I didn’t realize it was my (senior-ish in college) son’s Fall break. It would be the first time he was coming home since the summer, and to our new place in the city. My daughter lives in the city, too. Suffice it to say, my family had a blast this past weekend going out, chilling out, and hanging out. Without me.

I was melancholy and conflicted, for sure. Even though I wanted to be walking on the beach in sunshine rather than rain, laughing with my childhood friends about all the things we did while our parents weren’t paying attention, and indulging in whatever I wanted to indulge, I was feeling the FOMO.

As much fun as I was having, I couldn’t get "home" out of my mind. 

I wanted to be there. I wanted to be with them. I wanted to go out to dinner, laugh at inside jokes, listen to my kids bicker, smile at my husband because we were all together, and happily (kind of) do their laundry. 

I knew what I was missing. I felt it in my bones, in my head, and in my heart. It kind of hurt. The FOMO had legs, and it was running.

When I finally got home, the house was quiet. There were telltale signs of each of them, and their fun, and there was laundry to do, but only mine.



Jack said...

You were in Santa Monica suffering from FOMO. Dear, you didn't go the right places. ;)

Gina said...

We spent a lot of time with these friends in Malibu. Malibu is beautiful but we were rather housebound.

Santa Monica was lovely. Stayed at Shutters, did some yoga at Hot 8, dined at a few good restaurants. Food, drink, and location were great. I could have been anywhere and still missed home this particular time. And we don't even live in the same old home. I wanted to see Matt desperately and I didn't get to. Although we are going down to IU this weekend, it's not the same as being with him here and his excitement with us living in the city. They had a great time without me and I was envious.

Jack said...

I have spent quite a bit of time in both places. Had a client who lived in the hills above Malibu, was quite the view.

Shutters is nice, I like it. Never stayed there but that is for obvious reasons.

I understand about missing the kids and how some moments strike deeper than others.

lumdog2012 said...

I definitely relate to this. I can't get rid of that inner nagging. Well put thoughts and feelings. Cool you got a place in the City.

Gina said...

Hiiiiiiiii Lumdog!!!!!!
I usually don't experience it so I was kind of shocked that I did while I was away in such lovely surroundings with people I care about very much.

Yeah! City living is really cool and we are loving it. This fall has been particularly gorgeous and that makes it feel even more exceptionally so.