Believe me, after spending fifty years in education, I abhor acronyms. Lord knows the public schools were overrun with them: IEP, ADD, DECA, FBLA, MMR, EEO, FASA, etc. The federal government is awash with them: NATO, OAS, GSA, FDIC, FAA, TSA. Texting has added even more: TMI, LOL, IMO, CU, WTF. I’m tired of trying to break the codes–just tell me Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, or Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and I’ll get it.
However, this week one of my longtime friends dropped a new one on me. FOMO. “My daughters were complaining that one of their brothers showed up at the girls’ weekend. One said, ‘ You know Eddie, Mom; he suffers from FOMO.'”
Hmm. FOMO? What the hell does that mean? Eddie is a schlep? A party crasher? Needs money? Has no life?
“You do know what FOMO means, Sue.”
I didn’t, but should I act like I was hip and up on all the latest teenage language nuances? “No. I’ve not a clue. Tell me.”
“Fear of missing out!”
Wow! My longtime friend finally diagnosed a disease I’ve struggled with for over sixty years. I have FOMO! I can hardly explain my relief of finally putting a name to my malady. It was like I was freed from chains and shackles. I can openly declare, “I’m Sue, and I suffer from FOMO.”
Of course, at my age, there are invitations I decline, e.g. skydiving, wrestling with alligators, or participating in a timed hot dog eating contest. But for the most part, I’m eager to try something new, even if I fail. And if you invite me to come visit, don’t be surprised if I show.
COVID has severely cramped my lifestyle. And while I’m somewhat reluctant to do anything uber crazy, I am ready to take some chances, like eat in an uncrowded restaurant, entertain twenty people in my casa, and even fly east of the Mississippi. My kids are having too much fun without me!
Think about it. Isn’t it time to stop missing out?