Skimming & FOMO

So just like the oldies, I catch up on the cool acronyms a bit past their prime. Yes, I’m talking about YOLO and the likes. But a dear friend introduced me to FOMO (fear of missing out) a year or so ago and it has stuck with me for quite a while. So much of our lives are spent worrying about the next step or what the future will bring that we forget our surroundings and what is happening, right now, at THIS moment. This is what I call a side effect of FOMO. This is what I will call skimming or Not Alert, Thinking about Future (NOTAF).

NOTAF can be debilitating and frustrating. It strikes you whenever and however it pleases. For example, you may be reading a book and you may be enthralled by it, but NOTAF will step in and all of a sudden you are browsing cleaners because you haven’t booked one for Saturday. Or you’re sitting with friends at a bar and suddenly your mind has transported you to work where you forgot about a deadline. You are literally skimming over important moments that make up so much of your past; the past you will be reminiscing about. So you find yourself going home, trying to recall instances from the day but all you can remember is the worry about the unforeseen future and the nitty gritty details that could have waited for a freer moment.

NOTAF is annoying. In moments when you want to delve deep, to really relish the moment, to take that picture with your mind’s eye, you’re thinking about all the things going wrong in your life or your laundry. You want to be listening to the conversation or following that show but your mind feels cluttered, as if in that second, you want to squeeze in so much more.

My goal this year is to eliminate or at least reduce NOTAF. I want to concentrate on the now, vaguely be aware of the future and forget about the past. I want to feel that this, right now, is all that matters and all that should be focused on. Because you know what? We are human, we can only do so much, and if a moment is missed or an experience is foregone, it isn’t the end of the world. You are in this moment because you are chosen to be here and you have chosen to be here. So appreciate it. Feel it. Experience it. See it. Hear it. Live it. And do nothing else.

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