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FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) - anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.

JOMO (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.

Okay, we are going to talk about FOMO here - the Fear Of Missing Out. For the last few years in particular I have been absolutely influenced by what I see on Instagram on a daily basis. People visiting flower fields, bright and colourful looking places that filled me with envy and made me want to go to wherever they had been.

Don't get me wrong, I am very lucky, we have found and explored many cool places. Last year I burned myself out, we had been to festival after festival, I was probably giving other people FOMO from my endless posts on social media. But, I was exhausted from it all. I was actually starting to not enjoy it. I'd get comments from people saying they loved seeing my pictures, but there was a part of me that felt concerned that I was maybe coming across as smug and fake. "Look at us having the best time ever!" in reality all five of us were exhausted.

Cut to early October last year and we had a bad car accident one morning, our car overturned on a country lane, it could have been so much worse than it was and thankfully none of us were badly injured. The car was a write off, it forced us to slow our lives down. Six months on and we still don't have a car - we have decided not to get one until we really need one and until we can actually afford one.

Last year I took every opportunity that came my way, I was stressed most days trying to keep on top of everything. I spoke sensibly to Lee and we agreed that we would take a break this year, no festivals, camping trips or big events and with no car there would be no way of easily getting to far off places.

I still had ideas for days out including a few art installations and galleries that I could easily get to on the train - there are museums and markets that we could still visit.

So, fast forward again to March 2020 and we are ALL now going through the strangest time of our lifetimes - in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. All of us are forced to stay indoors. Those trips, days out and festivals that we weren't going to be able to do this year have been cancelled anyway.

I have come to realise that I actually get a lot of joy from missing out. Social media is a great tool, I enjoy seeing people's photos and keeping in touch and do get some great ideas from it but it now no longer rules my thoughts. Below is a picture of me - a tired Mum and photographer who had been wandering about for hours, I took a moment to myself to sit down and asked my daughter to take my picture. I wanted a record that I was there but also something to remind me of how tired it was making me.

Yes, it looks like we may all be indoors for a while now, all we can do is be positive and embrace the slower pace of life. I have spent time learning new things, watching films, tidying and re-organising. I am embracing being in my slippers and having time to sit and do things that I used to enjoy but, I am not silly, I also realise that we are only just past the 2 week mark and tempers will fray and cabin fever will kick in.

painted leaves

I hope everybody is coping and doing okay? Some day in the not so near future we will get back to some form of normality.


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