I was recently driving my children from a party. Friends, treats, fun and games. They, quite expectedly, loved it until they got into the car and heard that it was too late to watch television. “You have wasted our time and now we can’t watch!’. Just when you thought they can’t surprise you any more…!
Many of us, and our children with us, are fortunate enough to live in a world of plenty. We run from one exciting event to the next, getting full yet feeling empty. FOMO (fear of missing out, in case you have…missed out) is common enough to deserve its own acronym. To me it represents the feeling of having, going through, eating up and using up yet looking out for more as we do it. It is moving through an experience, with your eyes on the next item in the diary, just so you don’t miss out. It is experiencing yet not allowing yourself to become immersed in that experience, just to ensure there is enough ‘room’ left for more. As if by fully enjoying what is present we risked depriving ourselves of opportunities to experience something (potentially) better. We would expand if we could, just to be able to accommodate more.
The assumption underlying this behaviour seems to be that more is better but is it so? What if we were able to be fully present with whatever is, even if it’s not much at all? What if the softness of cat’s warm fur was cherished, in the very moment it is freehandedly ‘gifted’ to us?
Teaching our children (and walking our passionate talk!) about the beauty of the every day experiences can be life altering. Recognising the generosity of the universe, that we are regular beneficiaries of, takes us away from the not-enoughness of what-nexts. It makes us feel safe, as we get the feeling that abundance surrounds us, no matter where we go and what we do. Knowing that the goblet we drink from is always full relieves us from the sense of never-ending urgency to get more, as there is, at all times and for everyone, enough. When there is no urgency there is less anxiety too, which allows things to be open, expansive and spacious. Room for accommodating one another, gratitude and simple joy of the moment is created. Leaving little room for FOMO;)