FOMO or the fear of missing out has taken over the country. I have no other explanation for why it appears; otherwise, rational people would lose their shit. And to be honest, I fully include myself in this!
I always thought I wouldn’t fall into this trap. I love Instagram, but I don’t have this oh my gosh, their lives are so much better than mine thing when I am on it. I genuinely love looking at well-shot pictures, pictures of amazing places on earth, photos of great food, and fun!
It isn’t that my life is fantastic, it is just that I was, I guess, content where things were. I have a decent life: a mom, entrepreneur, daughter, sister, friend, no complaints.
And then the pandemic hit our country, and everything stopped. Everything stopped, but the fear of myself or someone I love getting Covid-19. I learned everything I could about this disease. We eased into our new lives of hanging out at home, getting groceries delivered, and staring at each other’s faces.
But then what we thought maybe a few weeks to a month has turned into months. With really no return to whatever “normal life” was soon.
It seems we took for granted we would have everyday life events. My son lost his last 3 months of school. He received all CR grades for his final semester. He missed out on saying thanks and goodbye to his teachers and counselors who helped him graduate and head off to the Army. He missed prom, the last day of school, traditional graduation, the all-night party, and having the simple ability to take his girlfriend out on a date.
I have to say he was absolutely disappointed, but he handled it better than I have.
Because I guess as parents, we also missed out on those last moments of parenting. I won’t have the last day of school picture, the graduation pictures with my son and his friends, going to graduation parties, prom pictures. All moments I will not have documented in photos, because they didn’t happen.
To add to this, he went off to basic training, and the military has closed all bases to nonmilitary personnel. So, we will not be allowed to see him graduate in person. We will get to see it live-streamed on our computers—more moments in my son’s life and no pictures to document them.
In some ways, 2020 is the year of missing out.
Yet, maybe this is our chance to decide what is truly important in our lives. Is taking pictures of my son’s last or first anything critical? Yes, it is sad I won’t have photos of these to look back at this time in his life. Yet, in the end, he still graduated from high school. I witnessed it from the back of my nephew’s pickup truck. And yes, it was different, but it was fun, and we will definitely remember it.
This time in our lives is unique, and people have created unique solutions to problems we didn’t think we would have. Who would have thought having a graduation ceremony would be a problem, but it was this year. He didn’t get to spend the time with his friends after the ceremony, but he did get to have one.
More importantly, he also got to have his dream of heading off to the Army. Many of his friends are in a state of limbo wondering what will happen with their opportunity to head off to college this fall.
Maybe 2020 is the year we decide it is ok to miss out on somethings. That real life is better off lived and loved with those who are important to us.
When we get to the other side of this virus, whenever that is, I hope we take our real selves and values back into the world. May we take back patience, grace, understanding, and love with us as we head out into our days. Decide what it is you really missed in “normal life” and embrace it.
I can say I can’t wait to be able to hug my parents again. And I can’t wait to see my son in person, whenever that is and give him a big hug. Those are really the only things I have FOMO moments about.
Wishing you grace and understanding for the moments you have missed this year. Be they happy or sad moments you should have spent with family and friends, know that there have been collective prayers for you. Grieve the losses, however large or small. And remember we will all get to the other side of this better and sooner if we do it together.