Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FOMO No More

Let's talk about FOMO.

Or more precisely I need to process FOMO because I'm growing uncomfortable with this fear-y thing growing in fervor. I can practically feel it breathing down my neck. Recently I've even turned and entertained FOMO and I don't like the way it makes me feel.

What is it? Fear of missing out. (Shudders).

This may not be acceptable to admit to oneself - or even out loud, but I've worried about being left out. Worry about what everyone thinks. Worry about what make and model my kid will be seen driving. What I'll be driving. Where I'll sit. That comment thread on Facebook.
On Twitter.
On Instagram.
I worry about my posts, my likes, my shares.

And it can't be just me.

I see FOMO at work. People who won't shut their doors and get their work done because they're too afraid of missing a conversation, information or being seen. All the while work is suffering and stress abounds because piles add up on their desk.

I see FOMO in parents. Moms and dad buying and spending paying more attention to their child's appearances than to their character.

You know, character. The development of internal traits to DO good and BE good in dark places.

I see FOMO from the bleachers. Travel leagues and open gyms scheduled not to teach skills - not really - but organized to generate that warm fuzzy feeling of inclusion.

And FOMO is rampant on our phones. We scroll and refresh constantly trolling for virtual information that we weigh and measure against our self esteem. I'm tired of every conversation starting like this: Did you see on Facebook...?

It's okay to close your your door and get work done.
It's okay to tell your kids no. It's okay to not buy them what they want.
It's okay to not play a sport / get that lead.
It's okay to shut down the notifications on your phone.

You don't have have to be afraid of missing out.
You - there, at home tonight .... you with nothing exciting to post or tweet about ... you - as you are right now - are fine.

Listen, tell that little voice inside your head to sit down and shut up.
Because anytime you begin to think or start a sentence with "I'm just afraid ..." you've got to stop ... pause ... and rethink for a just second.

"I'm just afraid if we miss the deadline he'll be devastated"
(he will & probably should have lots of disappointments in life - lots! and that's okay!)
"I'm afraid if we don't get her a (_______insert expensive purchase) she just won't be able to (_____ insert activity she can live without).
(oh she can - she can most certainly live so a new phone / tv / car)
"I'm afraid if I let this relationship go nothing better will come along"
(Nothing better? Ever? Never? .... come on!)

Fear based decisions will rarely ever provide you a solid foundation for moving yourself forward in life.

Don't be afraid.
Let's FOMO no more.
I want to live life doing what I want to do. I'm ready to drop the hustle that at best, only produces a mirage of my own life.
I want to relax a little with what I have - who I am - and where I'm going.
And I'm not afraid to look for friends who want to join me on that journey.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Serving up Senior Night

My husband posted the following Facebook update last night. It moves me to tears every. single. time.

I've had an interesting amount of emotion with my son's last game last night. I told my wife a chapter has finished.
I started this journey taking both my boys to early morning basketball games at the Y. It all ended in the dark driving back from Kewanee last night.
My wife and I followed him to the high school to pick him off the bus. We watched the team exit and the bus pull away. After an extra long time Ethan still didn't come out of the school. Finally, I saw him and kind of joked with him about crying in the lockerroom. He said, "No, I carried the water cooler back inside."
"Wait...what? You're a senior it's your last game of your career and you end it carrying the water back inside the building.Of all nights this has to be someone else's job right?"
"Nope Dad," he said, "it's something I've been doing all season." he said.
My heart burst, the tears finally started to fall. You see, Ethan twisted his ankle last week and didn't get to finish his season on the floor, instead his last act of basketball was serving his coach and team.
Today I can't brag about how many points he had last night, or that he made the game winning block, or he hoisted the regional plaque. Instead I'm going to brag about Ethan - that he carried the water. I realize the greatest lesson he learned all these years is that in order to be great you serve and put others first. ~ Aaron
#proudDad #leaderseatlast #senior #characterisformed

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What about Today?

My entire adult life I've gravitated towards books, quotes, and speeches about combating worry and fear.

And that's a long time. 
And a lot of information.
And yet I continue seeking out how not to worry advice.

It's because I'm human. And I have a brain. And my human brain wants so badly to be an unbridled train going to whatever destination it wants.

Being the conductor of my thought life is a full-time job. The more though, that I take the controls the better I manage my stress and fear. So I keep practicing, keep charting the journey and keep moving through each day.

"Give us this day our daily bread" Matthew 6:11

The Lord's prayer, a very well known prayer, asks only what we need for today; not tomorrow, and not too much; please, provide me only what I need to satisfy me for today.

When stress and worry rise to the surface of my thoughts I recall this prayer and I ask myself, "How much of what I am stressed about right now will happen today?"

Will I have enough money for my bills  ... today?
Will my kids find a good spouse ... today ?
Will I sell a house ... today?

Turns out of all the things I find myself worrying about NONE of them are going to come to fruition TODAY.
Therefore, I am spending a lot of mental energy on something that isn't going to even happen to me today.
So whenever I feel that tightness in my throat creep up, my heart race a little faster and my mind wander down a track that feels scary I ask myself, "Do you have what you need today?" and the truth is Yes! Yes, I do.

I remember "Give us this day our daily bread" and I close my eyes and thank God because it's clear to me that today, right now, in this moment I am well taken care of. And that is very much enough to be grateful.
And thankful.
And happy.

Truth is asking myself if what I'm worried about will happen today has revolutionized my insides. Peace comes quickly every time I remind myself today I am not ruined. Today I have what I need. 

"So never worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself." Matthew 6:34 

I hope you examine your day and find that you have what you need to make it today. And if you do be at peace. You've made it this far. 

Check out Rob Bell's podcast Wisdom Part 8: Two Things I Ask of You for the inspiration behind these thoughts today! Enjoy!

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