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Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Less is More Project: Week 29 - A seasonal case of FOMO

Kouchibougouac National Park. JSM, 2015

Do you suffer from FOMO? This acronym stands for the “fear of missing out” on things interesting and exciting. There are various manifestations, causes and consequences to this phenomenon, but it seems to be compounded by the use of social media.

In my case, that fear of missing out acts predominantly during the summer. The reason is simple: our summers here are so short (snow until April, jackets + scarves + gloves in October) and so stingy in terms of warmth (evenings usually require long sleeves, and the water rarely gets past vivifying temperatures) that I want to make the most of it. 

Consequence, I often feel frustrated. There are so many fun things to choose from that I don't know where to begin... even if I was to limit myself to free activities. And that does not take into account the short window of opportunity offered by the nicer months to do work on the property. On a sunny day, I find myself having to decide between repainting the deck (which is overdue), writing a chapter (if I ever want that book to be a thing), taking the kids to the nearby lake or ocean, playing tennis with a friend, reading a good book, and many more options. 

It seems ridiculous to complain as I only work part-time in July and August (a choice I made in order to spend more time with my kids). Yet I manage to experience stress in the face of all the fun things (and all the responsibilities) I face. Why do I feel so pressed with time, and is there a way to regain peacefulness? This state of mind doesn't quite feel minimalistic! Any advice on how to apply the Less is More principle to our short Canadian summers? Knowing that I cannot spend it all backcountry camping?

Your turn to share about your struggles and victories of the week! What did you resist? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...

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  1. We're taking several boxes of household goods, books, and so on to a nearby thrift centre.

    Several years ago I realised that my health will not allow for me to do it all, so I chose to 'select for joy'; dunno if that will help you at all.

    1. Will try and select for joy. Thank you! And congratulations on your donations. It feels good I'm sure!

  2. Ha! I can totally relate. Denver has been having one of the rainiest summers I can remember, and it's leaving me feeling like there just isn't enough time to cram in all the bike rides, and gardening, and walks, and projects, and general summer hangout time. Plus, I REALLY need to get some work done re-designing several of my websites, and my aging parents need my attention, as well as my sick kitty, yadda, yadda, yadda...

    So lately I've been trying to focus on the "big rocks" concept.


    In other words, if you have a jar and a bunch of rocks, pebbles and sand, you can never fit it all in if you put the sand and pebbles in first. The only way is to put the big rocks in first and then fill in around the edges with the smaller stuff. I've been really, REALLY trying to stick to this recently and it's AMAZING how much better I feel - and I even have time for silly stuff like cruising the interwebs posting comments on blogs! :-)

    1. Trying to "cram in" activities within a limited amount of good weather is exactly it! I'll keep the big rocks in mind. Thank you!

  3. From a former FOMO sufferer, plan your summer activities by weather. Warm Sun=beach, camping overcast /fog=yard work, day trips, rain=writing , inside purging. In a few short weeks it will be too cold to go to the beach and you can reorganize your fun and responsibilities by weather again. Which =no stress ;)

  4. One of the things I love about Florida is the great weather. I like tennis and playing year round is something I am grateful for. When I lived in the north country, activities that I enjoy were very restricted. For me, being here has allowed me to expand my vistas.

    I've got a full clothes closet that I plan on attacking soon :-)

    1. Maybe I need to move somewhere warmer. :-) Good luck with your closet! Tell us how it went.

  5. Summers are way too short and pass way too fast. Seems like we barely crawl out of bed and it's time to crawl back in again.

  6. Whatever the time of year ... just do the best you can to enjoy each day, and hug the ones you are with. That's what I did when my little-ones were growing up and now they are all grown up and some with little-ones of their own. I still do it to this day - even virtual hugs by text. But then that's me ...

    Winter, Spring, Autumn (Fall) or Summer whatever the season just enjoy your time.

    All the best Jan

  7. Here in Australia we have more good weather than bad..... and we can do a lot of things all year round.... I live in Sydney and we don't get snow so we have less restrictions on doing things...
    Just last Friday a friend and I went into the city for the day and we had a beautiful warm day... felt like Spring ..not Winter...
    Sorry I can't pass on any Ideas Julie...
    I recycled some cardboard boxes last week... I used to keep all the boxes the groceries came in ..'Just in case ' ... not any more.. they are gone... and it feels good..
    Have a great day... Hugs... Barb xxxx