FOMO. Or, for the uninitiated, Fear Of Missing Out, has been a lifelong affliction of mine. Or a lifelong gift, if you prefer to look at it that way. For sure I’ve had many experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had, and many of those have been good. But equally, many of them have entailed hours of my life that I’ll never get back.
It’s an expensive habit. In my twenties (and thirties. And some way into my forties probably) I’d never say no to a night out. In case something momentous happened and I wasn’t there. Something momentous rarely happened, and if it did, the people who hadn’t been there, the ones who’d decided they’d been out enough, or wanted to save money, or wanted to be fresh for something else the next day, the ones who didn’t suffer from FOMO, wouldn’t shrivel up and die. They’d be fine. Absolutely fine.
Since starting my business, FOMO has cost me a fortune in something other than alcohol, meals out, and night-club admissions. My new FOMO cash drain is online courses. All designed to help me with my business, but not cheap, and often not very good. Although one thing I have learned from doing these courses, is that if the course is delivered by way of video, watch at least an hour’s worth of the promotional videos before you click ‘BUY NOW’. Because it doesn’t matter how good the course is: if the voice of the person delivering it makes you want to throw your computer out of the window, you won’t get past the first module!
All of this came to a head recently. Many months ago, a friend asked my husband if we wanted to go and see ACDC. My husband is a big fan, as is the friend and his wife. I am not. Due to a previous bout of FOMO, I’d been to see Fake ACDC, so I even knew that I didn’t like their music live. So what did I do when Paul asked if I wanted to come with them? FOMO kicked in and I said of course I did!
The concert was last weekend, and in the run up I could see how ridiculous this had all become. Paul had shelled out £70 for my ticket. My parents were putting themselves out to look after Kimber overnight. I was setting myself up for a very late night at the beginning of a very busy week of client work and prepping for holidays. And for what? Because I didn’t want to miss out. Ridiculous. I vowed there and then that this would be the last time. No more would I sign up for things I didn’t really want to do, held at times that weren’t convenient for me. No more fear of missing out, I would feel the fear and not do it anyway.
So there I was, standing at Hampden Park. And there was ACDC running onto the stage. And as they launched themselves into the first song, the energy coursed through my veins and I suddenly got what their fans see in them and their music. In short, I had the best night and absolutely loved it. In short, I was so grateful to be there, and to experience what is probably going to be the last time they play live in Scotland. In short, what do I do with my FOMO now…?!?!