In my early twenties, my Fomo was terrible. I hated missing out, the fear of something noteworthy happening without being present left me feeling sick. Knowing there would be stories for life I would have to smile and nod along to at parties knowing full well I wasn’t there, unable to join in and share in their tears of laughter- well, frankly it wasn’t worth thinking about. It was so bad that most weekends if nothing was happening in Cardiff I would leave University and drive home for the weekend to make sure the girls did nothing without me and don’t get me wrong I don’t regret it. I had the best nights in my early 20s, so many memories, stories, laughter and I am happy I can now lead the stories at the table, with the “do you remember when…”
Yet as I approach my
thirties late twenties I have begun to realise that the realities of life, the expense of fomo and saying yes to everything does have it’s drawbacks. Saying yes to every social occasion because I worry about what will happen if I am not there, or if I don’t attend will I offend or upset someone means I end up prioritising a few hours of fun over putting that £20-£50+ aside towards savings I actually need.
I am a firm believer that making memories are far more valuable than buying possessions and that will never change, but I will also never be someone who doesn’t care about clothes, nice furniture, good holidays etc so it is so important to find the balance.
Joy of missing out: You’re enjoying what you’re doing in the here and now and not on social media broadcasting or
seeing what everybody else is doing. Opposite of fomo or the fear of missing out.
And this is where jomo comes in. I have found perhaps in the last three years my fomo has turned into jomo. Arguably featuring more throughout the winter when I can opt for that hygge feeling cosied up on the sofa over a night out in town feeling freezing cold sipping on a mojito wishing I was at home not spending £11 on one drink. Jomo isn’t about being boring, or growing old, or sacrificing doing things you love. It’s not missing out on seeing your friends for the sake of saving £15. It is looking after yourself, prioritising what is important and learning to enjoy the downtime when you choose not to say yes to an occasion you weren’t won over by.
There are so many occasions where I have felt grateful that I have chosen to stay in save the money, catching up on some well-deserved rest over going to something I would only be doing in the fear that something might happen whilst I am not there. There are always going to be good nights you miss out on, you get the good with the bad and you can never tell in advance which are going to be the best nights and which aren’t but it has been learning to let go of that conundrum and just go with my gut. If I am feeling as though I need some time with my girls, a good old catch up, a glass of wine, a dance I will know that and believe me I am the first to shout I will be there. But I have learnt that by saying no to things to sit in and just chill with yourself is ok. Everyone gets tired from time to time, everyone needs their own space. I am naturally an introvert who enjoys my own company so I don’t find the prospect of sofa time with me, myself and I all that daunting which I guess helps when trying to embrace jomo.
I know it is not going to be for everyone but I do really believe that when I learned to love the idea of a cosy night on the sofa with my favourite food, pjs and a blanket my life became much easier. I had no worries towards the weekend and who was around. I was never panicking about money and how it was going to see me through the weekend. I knew if my budget didn’t stretch that was fine I would just stay in or nip over and see a friend instead. By embracing and finding joy in missing out of a few things here and there I have found a better balance and happiness in my weeks to the point that I don’t feel as though I am now missing out at all. I can catch up with friends, laugh at their stories of antics of their nights out, I wasn’t there but I now find the stories entertaining, probably funnier because I know the drama that cut nights short didn’t end up costing me. Life is about getting the balance right and by letting go of my fomo and learning when it was right to say no I feel as though I am a step closer to that all important balance.