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How good is JOMO?

Yoga girl with blonde hair wearing black yoga pants performs a yoga pose in a rural Australia woolshed
Me, considering all the things I'm happily missing out on. photo credit: Christoph Nagele, Townlife.

We’ve all been there. You’re pleasantly, mindlessly scrolling insta or facey, only to see pictures of a party you missed on the weekend. Wham; that acidic feeling of FOMO or Fear of Missing Out creeps into the pit of your stomach. They’re having such a joyful time! Emotions that can’t be replicated! You’ve missed it for good and you’ll regret it forever! And Brittany was there and my-god-look-at-her-hair-that-girl-is-on-fire-my-life-sucks. Or that time you came home from work, busted and ready for a cuppa, when your phone pings. An alluring invitation entices you outside and back into the throng and bustle; a dinner party, drinks with the girls, a not-to-be-missed conference. You feel like the walking dead, but you can’t miss out, for trepidation of going to bed with the roiling wrestle of FOMO in your guts.

FOMO is the designer handbag carried by the Hustle culture; where success means being on 24/7 and hello, you dynamic fire ball, rolling with the punches and pivoting like crazy, insert flame emoji. The only thing is, FOMO might be killing us. Yes, we can laugh about it. You can sleep when you’re dead, we chortle. But that opportunity might present itself to us sooner than we’d like, if we keep up the break-neck speed of life in the fast lane. Saying yes to it all when you’re emotionally, spiritually or physically bankrupt simply isn’t smart business; it’s a slippery old slope to burn out and dis-ease. So, what’s the antithesis? Let’s turn the same old coin to a new currency that’s just as glittery and gold; JOMO, or Joy of Missing Out. Heaven. It’s the pleasure of taking a break, no kit kat required. Self-care isn’t all face masks and yoga classes. Sometimes, it’s not going out for beers. No reason. Maybe you’re tired or you need some time alone to regroup and recoup. Maybe you want to lie down in a darkened room and pretend the apocalypse has removed your office from the face of the earth. Maybe it’s reading your book in the garden with your phone in the kitchen, far away on silent. It’s putting aside the ‘shoulds’. I should go the gym. I should take on that client, it’ll be great exposure. I should meet up for coffee with XYZ. Stop ‘shoulding’ all over the place, you filthy animal. Either do it, or don’t, but make the choice from a place of heck yes.

JOMO is not shouty. No one is writing Facebook status updates on how good it was that you missed Ray’s birthday party. It’s a quiet kind of pleasure that comes from making a conscious choice to delete your social media apps for the day/week/century or saying ta-ta to your social scene for a moment or two, or taking a Friday night to yourself or walking up a hill to look around, no tweets included. It’s a cherished, glorious series of exhales and inhales without knowing what everyone is up to or what the latest goss is. If you think you don’t spend that­much time on social media, consider this; five minutes a day equals 30 hours a year. 30 minutes a day is 182 hours a year. A year! What could you do with this time? Probably, at least learn to tap dance. Or become a master at whatever it is you quite fancy being a master at. Don’t get me wrong. I love social media and I get very socially excited.But breaks make it all the better. By choosing to see stepping back as a joyful exercise, rather than a fearful one, you’re reclaiming something so precious, something we claim we’re incredibly poor in; your time.

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