Sometimes Mondays
Merry and Bright

Permission Granted

FOMO . . . or the Fear of Missing Out . . . can be a real drag on happiness and personal contentment.

I bet many of you have experienced FOMO.  It's that feeling that sneaks up on us . . . when we're really quite happy with whatever we're doing.  But then . . . Someone Else is doing Something Else that sounds Even Better.  Or More Exciting.  Something, maybe, we SHOULD be doing.  It's not . . . Inspiration.  It's darker.  (Because we're often inspired by others, and that's a fine thing.)  FOMO is more . . . feeling bad about yourself because you're NOT doing it.  Y'know?  There's quite a difference there.


FOMO at the holidays can contribute to stress and overwhelm and feelings of not doing things quite right.  Last year, for example, I decided not to put up a traditional Christmas tree in my house.  I was happy with my decision; relieved, in fact.  But then . . . Everyone Else was putting up trees.  And going on about their trees.  And FOMO crept in.  Just a little, and for a very short time.  I started to think . . . maybe I SHOULD do a tree.  In the end, though, I stuck with my decision.  I ended up quite happy and content with my traditional Christmas tree-less season.

In an attempt to block FOMO - and especially at the holidays - I recommend giving yourself permission to celebrate YOUR way.  To not let yourself be swayed by what Other People are doing. To let things go.  To avoid the "shoulds."  

This year, I created a permission slip for myself.


It's just a simple thing written on a Post-It note that I stuck on the December page of my calendar.  A little reminder that I have already given myself permission to let go of things; a little reminder to myself NOT to succumb to FOMO.

I want to remain happy and content with the way I've decided to celebrate this year; for not doing things the way other people are doing them -- and for not placing guilt on my family or friends, either.  My holiday, my way -- your holiday, your way.

It's time to take some of the overwhelm out of the holidays -- for all of us.  Let's give ourselves permission . . . to be content with our decisions, whatever they may be.



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We should all turn FOMO into JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). A much better way to view life!


The only holiday that really gives me FOMO is the 4th of July. I know that's weird but it's a hard day since I spend it home alone while Dale works all day. I spend lots of days home alone and love them but there's something about it being a holiday and knowing everyone else is having cook outs and parades and fireworks that makes it incredibly lonely for me.


I don't really have a problem letting go of the "should-dos," it's the WANT-TO-DOs/MAKEs/avalanche of inspiration at this time of year that get me... Luckily I have a full-time job and relative time constraints to help suss out the best/most important and keep me (pretty much) focused on what's actually do-able. I love the idea of a permission slip for myself, though, and that's getting tucked away for future use!


At some point, my FOMO gave way to "hey, doing things my way is fun!" It's taken a couple of years, but like Vicki says, the time constraints of a job are what determines much of what I do. My last boss in the library used to say "my way is not your way" for so many things and I'm finally taking that advice to heart!


This is so perfect, Kym. I think I am going to borrow this! XO


Joy—that’s the criteria!


Funny you mention this. I had my husband bring up the two pieces of the 'tree' (pre wired with lights) and I put that up in the traditional spot on a red table cloth, but I left all the ornaments downstairs and I'm thinking that most of the house is going to be a 'minimal' Christmas decorate even though we are 'hosting' the cousins after Christmas. What the heck, I still have up a Christmas garland I missed last year (in the dining room over a window). Enough. :)


I love Vera's idea about JOMO! and to generally be OK with our own choices. We should all give ourselves permission do our own thing(s). (Katie just taught me about "you do you" and I wish I'd known that expression YEARS ago!!)


Great idea Kym. Your note makes me smile.


That sounds like an excellent idea!


Love this post, Kym! HITS HOME!! The ‘permission’ piece jives with what I posted on Monday— I’m thinking I need to actually write the permission slip, though—b/c that doubt creeps in when I’m not paying attention. Will keep it in my planner and know you’re practicing, too. Enjoy YOUR season!


Oh my, this hits-the-nail-on-the-head, exactly, succinctly, and today. And yesterday. And probably tomorrow too, who knows?
Thanks for the reminder.


I gave myself permission years and years ago when life hit a wall and I had to regroup. I see the frenzy around me and I have learned how to dodge the race and to get what I need done to make my holiday bright. We have our small traditions and have found a group of people who have taken us into their fold. It's truly the Merriest time of year (now).

kim in oregon

You are my guru. Seriously. (At first I wrote spirit animal but some may find that insulting).

Cheryl S.

It's pretty easy for me when I have no kids, and a husband who never celebrated Christmas anyway. And we rarely entertain for the holidays. So I just stick a wreath on the door and call it done. If I'm feeling spunky, I bring up my tiny tabletop tree (pre-wired for lights) and stick it on the coffee table.

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