After reading this post you may think it’s time for me to stop this blog thing and take up knitting (which I’ve tried by the way, but just can’t seem to get the hang of), but I’ll take the risk.
Many of us, and our children, find ourselves in a mindset called: FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out.
I’m told this acronym was coined in 2000. (I’m not sure why it took 19 years to catch my radar! Should I take up knitting?)
An article on Brightly (a Random House website of inspiration, book recommendations, and reading tips for teachers, parents, and grandparents) suggests fighting FOMO with JOMO: Joy Of Missing Out.
More than ever, we are constantly being confronted with a plethora of activities and things to do.
Whether on-line, through calendars of events, by friends and neighbors telling us of their latest and greatest experience, we feel that if we don’t do whatever, or at least something, we’re missing out and—goodness!—our kids won’t be as smart, as fulfilled, as up to speed as their classmates, cousins, or the kids next door. With this mindset, fear may end up making decisions for us.
As a result, we’re being pulled away from what really fills us—time together, growing experiences, moments of substance marked with joy.
JOMO reminds us that more is not always better.
Did you know reading reduces stress, builds empathy, increases memory and helps us sloooooow down. Worthy pursuits! Most of the fast-paced, techie world takes us in just the opposite direction.
The result of not taking time to practice JOMO will only perpetuate the FOMO mindset.
Not rocket science, is it? Then why is it so hard?
Because the pull to bring us down is easier than what it takes to lift us up.
I remember an object lesson from my childhood: I stood on a chair. A friend took my hand and pulled me off. Easy-peasy. Then I got back up on the chair and took my friend’s hand. My job was to pull my friend up onto the chair. Not so easy-peasy. More like impossible.
Try it with your kids sometime. I’m sure you can link this illustration with other distractions that pull on our kids everyday.
Efforts to move up always meet with resistance.
It’s easy to get pulled in the wrong direction.
Rev up your engines and try this small step up toward growing a JOMO mindset:
- Plan a time for reading as a family or with your grandkids.
- Turn off electronic devices.
- Gather some snacks.
- EVERYONE grab something comfy to read with or on.
- Read in the same room, either individually or to one another.
Before you do this you might want to take a large tote to the library and check out as many books as you can carry. Grab some joke books while you’re at it.
Grandparents, I dare you to read B.J. Novak’s, The Book With No Pictures. You’re grandkids will love you for it! (Parents, they’ll love you too!)
Lane Smith’s It’s A Book is sure to get some chuckles while getting the message across.
Last time I looked, I found It’s a Book in the humor section of the bookstore. It’s a Little Book is a board book version and can be found in the children’s section.
Buy both for a baby shower gift—one for the new parents and one for the baby!
(I think I know why the one is shelved in adult humor and not in the children’s area, but I’ll let you take a look and see what you think. However, I think it’s perfectly acceptable and your older children will get a major laugh. Plus, you’ll have a teachable moment! Curious?)
Let’s pull those little ones and bigger ones up to higher ground.
Yes, there may be some resistance, but it’s one step closer to what we’re really after.
What do you do to help conquer FOMO?