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Fomo. Saturday February 13, 2016

I heard a radio programme recently about fomo - which means the fear of missing out, which is about people worrying they are not invited to a party or event, where people will be having a great time, that is promoted on Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Fomo apparently can cause anxiety and depression. Before dismissing this as just another example of the craziness and overuse of social media, I thought about how it may affect others if we broadened the meaning.

For me, maybe I experience, fohmo - fear of having experienced missing out. When I look at how other people seem to go effortlessly through their lives without overthinking and worrying about everything, I wonder what I have missed out on. What would it be like to wake up every day feeling happy and full of energy and looking eager to the day ahead instead of waking up after a restless night, grumpy and irritable even after thinking positive thoughts, writing positive ideas and smiling? What effect would that have had on my life, my relationships, my studies, my work and my family?

I wonder what it would be like to have people come to stay or organise a small gathering without worrying, writing endless lists, and stressing about trivial things. What have I missed out on with my moods, my dark thoughts and my endless worrying? I look at friends who are able to relax and cope with life's dramas and routine activities in their stride.

I am too old to worry about everyone having a good time at parties I was not invited to, but I do ponder about what I have missed out on, I do not fear it, I acknowledge it and accept it. Sometimes it makes me sad, but it's the past and I cannot change it.

At the moment I really don't think I fear missing out on anything, but then again I may not know what I am missing out on!

So do you have a fomo from the present or past?

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Hopeful One Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:58am

Hi Leah - " Je ne regrette rien" - as in the song by Edith Piaf says it all for me. Regret like anger , jealousy, envy, are negative emotions that are unhelpful and create a sense of dissatisfaction which encourage depression.

Here is an English translation of that song.

No Regrets (Non Je Ne Regrette Rien)

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things
That went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the grief doesn't last
It is gone
I've forgotten the past

And the memories I had
I no longer desire
Both the good and the bad
I have flung in a fire
And I feel in my heart
That the seed has been sown
It is something quite new
It's like nothing I've known

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
All the things that went wrong
For at last I have learned to be strong

No! No regrets
No! I will have no regrets
For the seed that is new
It's the love that is growing for you

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 8:09am

Hi HO - Thank you for printing out the translation! Perfect - hitting nail on the head, I shall be singing it, in my mind, all morning!

Norman Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 10:14am

HO: That's on the list for my Funeral!

Lex Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 10:57am

I'm singing it too. Thanks to Leah for a stimulating blog, and to Hopeful One for giving me more hope. L€x

Lex Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:06am

French or English version, Norman? L€x

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:09am

Hopeful One, One of my favourite songs and I sing along to Edith in french when I am alone!!Thanks for reminding us.

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:10am

Norman, on my play list for my funeral too. The french version I have never heard it in English.

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:11am

Lex, Thanks Lex. I am singing it in my head in French right now.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 8:15am

Hiya Leah,
I think my fomo word be from having moved to live away from family thirty years ago...for husband's work. We haven't gone back to live at near 'home'.
We missed out on the 'normal' everyday contact with our parents and siblings, and our daughter missed out seeing her grandparents as much as her cousins did.
But then you really do have to be careful what you wish for, some of my siblings wish they had moved far away a long time ago!!
Thank you for a great blog as it will give plenty to think about today. I know some fomos will be for small events that when you really look back on them, they aren't worth worrying about, but I'm with you on the 'effortlessly gliding through life peeps'....but am sure they are swans above water and paddling like mad ducks under the water!!!
Bear hugs to you and all today x

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:12am

Bear, Thanks for your detailed and thoughtful blog. Yes careful what you wish for.

LillyPet Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 9:07am

Morning Leah,
That FOMO feeling sounds familiar but Like you I dont get it much day to day... Well except with not having enough hours in the day to fit in my " must do's" I have a constant awareness that I cant fit in the things I want to do for me. But that's not a fear of missing out, it's just missing out! :)
I get fomo about holidays, the places I havent been to. When I can afford and have eventually decided which country which is a big fomo in itself! ( always ends up being within my comfort zone) I then dont want to miss out on where to see. Ive never been to Italy, so it's on my bucket list, but where would I go! Rome, Tuscany, Venice I d need several trips to satisfuy that fomo!
I get it if I'm eating out ages to choose from a menu and a messy mixture of a little of almost everything from a buffet!
on a more serious note I havent really thought about how it might relate to anxiety and depression and
I hadnt heard the term before. Thanks for a great blog Leah. Warm wishes to all. LP :) xxx

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:14am

Lily, Thanks for giving me so much to consider. Travel is something I am a bit envious of others and wish I had traveled more.

Anonymous Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 9:17am

Hello Leah. I regret that I wasn't able to cope with working for a difficult boss and in an unhealthy environment. I made my own mistakes. if I had my time all over again, in exactly the same circumstances ( yes I know..utopia!), I would of course do things differently. Learning from ones mistakes it's called! I think my current fomo is not having friends as a couple and missing out on all the social get togethers my friends and their other halves seem to enjoy. My other half just does not like socialising. It's always been like this and has been a regret in my life but one I have lived with and have tried unsuccessfully to change. He knows this and does try when he remembers! I can see his viewpoint and he's great in other ways. But yes it's a fomo. Lovely blog Leah. Please write more...Jul x

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:18am

Jul, thanks for your honest and insightful comments. I appreciate the time you take in understanding my blog and writing a detailed reply. I wonder when we stop making mistakes because we have really learnt enough not to make them.

jen Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 10:21am

Great blog that has made me think a lot. I also loved the translation, Hopeful One. Thank you.
I have been making allowances for my anxiety issues and trying, fairly successfully, to avoid the big lows. Part of that has been missing out on the fun of the big highs and not taking on too much. However, I am sad that this is causing me to possibly miss out on so much, including realising my potential. I would love to leave my safe job within the health service and start up my own business. Should I play safe...or go for it. The thing is, I will never know when I look back, whichever way I decide to go, if it was right or wrong. There is a thought process that you regret what you don't do, more than the things you do...

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:20am

jen, Thank you for sharing some of your concerns. I started my own business and while it is not that profitable I get by and love being my own business. You have to see what works for you,

Skyblue Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 12:08pm

Hi Leah, you write about something that i think we all feel from time to time. And there are bad patches when that feeling is highly prevalent and persistent. I think Bear is right about those swans who paddle like mad ducks under the surface. And my goal would be to sing 'non,je ne regrette rien' at the top of my lungs and maybe that is achievable if one sees the bigger picture of one's life and realizes that all things that needed to be were actually experienced and learned. I'm still working on that one. And the grass is always greener, too. For instance, I would love to have my own shop, like you. It must be so much fun. Thanks again. susanxx

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:21pm

Skyblue(like your name!) I like the way you have drawn together many threads of the comment into a very interesting reply. A shop is both fun frustration and hard work. Thanks for tsking the time to comment.

Paul Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 1:04pm

Very good blog Leah
Mine would be working to much being a self confessed workaholic. Means I feel I have missed out on many things, but working keeps my mind ocupied so it helps me a lot.
I try to get the balance right but it's not easy.
Another good song is Shirley Basseys my life worth a listen.
Just going back to work

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:23pm

Paul, Thanks for pointing out while you may have missed out on some things there are many things you would have experienced.ook for that Shirley bassey song, her life is an inspiration too.

The Gardener Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 6:18pm

Tidying up - just dropped a load of CD's on the floor, including a Piaf boxed set. Once in Paris I said to Mr TG I wanted to put flowers on her grave - he was scathing. On my own another time I went there - I've never seen so many flowers (before Princess Diana of course). Regrets? No. Interesting (perhaps) bit of social history. I got the 11 plus (scholarship then, and I was under 10). You were then seen in the rather poor/agricultural village as 'stuck-up' and were not invited to parties. Worst was when the whole village 'sent us to Coventry', my Pa and I, he for his behaviour, me for choosing to stay with him after parent's separation. I'll never forget the aversion of faces when I got on the bus. As an adult we spent one Christmas/New Year with our notoriously mean friends. They were having one of their famous falling outs - New Year's Eve not even a drink. I longed for people - wandered down to the village and looked in the pub - great sing-song round the piano. I did not dare go in (our friends would NEVER have gone in the village pub except after a shoot) and Mr TG would not have backed me up because he did not like New Year's Eve anyway.That was a real 'fomo'. Mr TG SO foul tonight will drown out his miseries with Piaf. Is it not sad that so many of our greatest entertainers have had such awful lives

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:28pm

Gardener, You have once again shared so many incredible memories, imparted so much wisdom, evoked so many emotions, described delightful anecdotes that I am so touched. I think the pain in Piaf's voice can drown out miseries as well as reminding us of how she overcame her own. Your words move us all. Sending hugs.

Anonymous Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 6:22pm

Thank you for such a useful blog, Leah - and for teaching me a new acronym helping me to remsin on song! Go well.

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:29pm

Anon, Thanks for taking time to reply.

The Gardener Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 6:22pm

Going back to Leah's blog - I think (bigoted maybe) that social media must exacerbate the 'left out' because it's all so instant

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:31pm

Gardener, I agree I think the missing out, left out is exaggerated because it is instant and all so ubiquitous, and constant. You are always reminded before an event you werent invited during it and after it!

Anonymous Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:03pm

Most replies to your blog talked of regret. I loved the translation and I do have regrets the most awful are the ones relating to how I have treat myself. Your blog reminded me of my fomo moments, of which there are a good few. Despite ill health I try to join in social events that are beyond me. I Hate being left behind. I remember trying to finish a study deadline when my mother offered to take the children (half term)to the local cinema and I went to. I love "playing".

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:35pm

Anon, Thanks for your reply.I like reading about how you responded to my blog. It is interesting how you like to join social events while I usually try to avoid them.

Rebecca Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:37pm

Hi Leah, I am really struggling at the moment. I am ashamed to admit that I am 35 (can't quite believe it) and still live at home. My depression stops me getting further in my job keeping me on a low salary and so it is a struggle to own my two horses who are my lifelines. I also like to event but can't afford to progress and due to a very low period at the moment I can't compete at the level I would like to. I constantly feel I am missing out and at them moment with love to get rid of this illness that is holding me back and ruining my life.x

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 9:19pm

Hi Rebecca, So sorry you are not in a good place at the moment.There are so many people your age and older living at home-nothing to be ashamed about. What type of horses do you have? They sound wonderful. You have job which is a great achievement especially when depressed. I appreciate that even though you are struggling at the moment you took the time to reply. Thank you.

Rebecca Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 7:32am

Thanks for replying, makes me feel better. I have two thoroughbreds. One never raced and is sound and healthy. The older one is 24 and she went into training so has a lot of problems. She had a tendon injury two years ago and I have nursed her back and now I just ride her gently twice a week. She is doing well for her age now.x

Rebecca Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 7:46pm

Just to add I also experience FOMO a lot as have taken decision not to drink so sometimes really feel I am missing out on nights out as I tend not to go out much. However the next morning not so much when I feel well and others have a hangover.

Leah Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 9:20pm

Rebecca, I think you have made a good point. We should concentrate on what we have ie no hangover, instead of what we think we missed out on.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 9:58pm

Dear Rebecca, I am so sorry that the black dog is at your door at the can be very hard to cope with - but you really shouldn't be hard on yourself....for living with your parents, no matter what age you are. It's expensive to rent and most mortgages are out of reach. Also, Imagine how much harder it might be to cope with depression if you were on your own and didn't have their company...nicer to share meals with them and some evenings entertainment!! You are doing well to have written in response to Leah's blog and well done on not having alcohol - it keeps you awake at night, goodness knows what it could be doing to your insides, makes you dehydrated and yes...there's nearly always a good for you. You will also find you remember more about the night out than your friends do!!! I do hope you start to see more light at the end of the tunnel. A Big Bear hug to you x x x

Leah Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 4:52am

Bear and Rebecca, This why I love moodscope and writing blogs. Bear you have expressed so lucidly what I was trying to and reached out to Rebecca. Rebecca I hope that Bear's compassion touches and helps you. Please let us know how you are going.

Rebecca Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 7:33am

Thanks Bear and Leah, really helpful replies.x

Margaret Sat, Feb 13th 2016 @ 11:54pm

Hi Leah, Thank you for your thoughtful post. I look back now and see that my FOMO kept me doing things I didn't want to or didn't enjoy. My only regret is that I didn't realise that too much time doing what others expected and wanted took my creative and productive energy. I don't fear missing out now. I fear being expected to participate and be social when I long for solitude or quiet time and having to try and explain that I'm OK just as I am. And Rebecca as a non drinker I agree it makes social events harder - mostly because you see just how boring they really are without the social lubricant of alcohol. The most important thing is to pay attention to what we do enjoy - what makes us feel good and give ourselves permission to do that. No matter where we live, or who we live with, life is a journey and we are all at different stages and the statement 'this too will pass' is very true.

Leah Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 4:49am

Margaret, thank you for your reply that was full of insightful honesty."pay attention to what you enjoy" is wonderful advice.

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