by MIA FREEDMAN
It’s 9am on Saturday and a text arrives. Up pops a photo of a friend striding across a finish line. “Just did 5km fun run – not much fun at all!” she wrote and I digested the text with a familiar pang.
Do you ever get the feeling that everyone else is living their lives better than you? It’s that. The feeling that I should be doing more. Being more. But I’m not. I’m in bed with a large cup of tea and a small child snuggled under each arm. Finish line? My day hasn’t even started and already I have this nagging feeling of inadequacy. A quick glance at my Facebook feed often leaves me feeling the same way as the images whizz across my screen – overseas trips, music festivals, exhibitions, picnics, adventures, celebrations, restaurants, beaches, sunsets, parties…everyone’s lives loom so large.
Meanwhile, I go to work and I come home. Wait, sometimes I go to Westfield or the chicken shop.
An important thing to add: I’m not unhappy about this. I love my routine and my quiet life. And yet there’s this pressure I feel. A combination of FOMO (fear of missing out) and YOLO (you only live once). It’s FOMOYOLO. And it’s most acute when I have unstructured time.
For example, my holidays were a bit of a struggle this year. Lovely but a struggle. Despite the luxury of three work-free weeks by the beach with family and close friends, I created dumb things to be anxious about.
Chief among them was that I wasn’t doing my holiday properly; that I wasn’t doing enough. Not swimming enough. Not relaxing enough. Not being active enough. Not having enough fun. This is how I discovered worrying about not having fun is a great way to guarantee it. Trust me.