“Every person has a train of thought on which they travel when they are alone. The dignity and nobility of their life, as well as their happiness depend upon the direction in which that train is going, the baggage it carries and the scenery through which it travels”.
Joseph Fort Newton
Am I choosing the best spot for camping? Am I going on the best flowery hike around? Am I missing out on another trip with other friends? That’s what happened to me when I was planning my recent camping trip. I would spend the whole evening reading reports, scanning FB hiking groups and maps. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling overwhelmed and having nightmares. I wanted it to be a perfect trip. There is nothing wrong with it, right? Or is it called perfectionism? Or is it overload of information and choices from Social Media and trip reports? Is it obsessive thinking? I think that it is all about fear of missing out (apparently, it is called FOMO and it is a real thing, was even added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013! https://adaa.org/ – had no idea!)
As far as I can remember, I always felt like I was missing out on “good stuff”. Parties, trips, friends, things. I was depressed, unhappy, dissatisfied with everything going on with my life. All because of the ideal images in my head that others always have more fun than I do. I would be on a summer break from school helping my parents in their large garden, weeding, watering, and being miserable because I just saw on TV that folks of my age who lived in larger cities were having beach parties and city walks and bar crawls. And I was here in this small town missing out. Thank God there was no Facebook or Instagram back then. I have no idea how kids are dealing with it now.
I am not so bad now actually, I am mostly struggling with it during the planning portion but not with the experience itself. It took awhile for sure… I am also a perfectionist (it is going to be another post for sure on that). It is hard for me to plan trips, select hotels, gifts, organize parties.
I used to feel terrible when my friends would start organizing the event and not include me, plan a trip for the time when I could not make it, not to be able to come to parties or happy hours. How come I would be missing all the fun? Why do thing not evolve around me?
And then I took control. I realized that this feeling, this fear are making me miserable and I am in a constant stress. I realized that me having fun does not have to depend on other people’s plans and schedules and what they have going on. I can plan my own things. I can invite coworkers on happy hours when I can do them. I can plan my own camping and hiking trips or host parties. And I am having a good time with it. I grew more confidence, I became less stressed, less anxious.
As far as planning and obsessive thinking and choosing best options…. Well – it is still work in progress.