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FOMO - and turning it to joy

FOMO - Fear of Missing Out.

What a metaphor for 2020.

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to the present, so many of us are missing out. Missing out on relationships. Missing out on important events. Missing out on the normal things of life. Missing out on special events – weddings, travel, family gatherings. Even missing out on small things like shopping for our own groceries!

Nearly all of us have missed out on something during this difficult time.

And we hate it. At least most of us do.

For myself, since I am nearing retirement age, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed my life in important ways, some of which I’ll just summarize here since I’ve already discussed them in previous blogs.

I have determined that, for many reasons, providing online therapy is the way I wish to end my career as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. For one thing, I find this medium perfect for working with couples, particularly for sex therapy, which is one of my specialities. For another, it protects my family, which includes at least one person with a pre-existing condition.

But beyond that, my family determined early on that we would quarantine as near to 100% as it was possible to do. We don’t go out – much. Since March, I’ve been to a local small grocery store three times, Costco once and the Post Office twice. Of course I’ve also picked up groceries, and some home improvement supplies – using contactless deliveries or pickups. I don’t even get out of my car but have a group of notes I post – “Gigliotti” and “Thank you!” We pretty much have stayed on our own property consistently for nine months.

I am surprised how okay I am with this.

But yes, I certainly have had my share of FOMO. Mostly because there were so many plans we had … plans that now will not be possible. Plans that we were hoping would be amazing. Plans we may never be able to do again.

And in some ways, I feel the clock ticking.

I’m obviously of retirement age – what if I don’t have enough good years left to do all the things I wish to do? What if the opportunities do not come again? What about all the family connections we didn’t get to make this year? We missed out.

And yet, there’s been a lot of joy in that too. I’ve seen it said that “You aren’t stuck at home, you are safe at home.” That’s been true for us. We’ve actually enjoyed the time away from the rat race of our “normal” lives – enjoyed not having places to go, people to see.

And that’s JOMO. The Joy of Missing Out.

The things you miss out on that you didn’t want to do or enjoy to begin with.

It’s really been enlightening. In some ways, not having a busy social calendar has been a huge relief. It’s freed us up to be lazy. To sit around and be together. To watch crazy shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime that we might never have watched before. To simply be.

I don’t miss getting up early, taking a quick shower and running to the office for my 8 am client – nowadays, I’ve cut myself a break and only begin at 8:30 most days. And the shower is 25 feet from my new “office.” What luxury!

I don’t miss thinking about what I’m going to wear, planning that and shopping for work clothes. Now I just worry about my shirt/sweater/top. No one sees the rest of me! Shoes have been a special delight. I have chronic foot/ankle issues – I can now wear my Allbirds all day long, everyday. Bliss.

So there is JOY in the missing out. Isn’t there always joy when there’s also distress? In God’s economy, there’s seemingly always a silver lining.

Turn your FOMO into JOMO … and if you can’t find ways to, contact us. We will help.

At Sanctuary Christian Counseling, we help grieving individuals, distressed teens and couples in conflict find peace, solutions and connection.

Sanctuary Christian Counseling

9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4 and ONLINE

Shippensburg, PA 17257


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