FOMO schmomo

Hands up if you have heard of this latest psychological label?

No, I hadn’t heard of it either until recently.

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out.

Apparently, most of our teenage and early 20-something population are running around infected, oblivious to the fact that they have this alarming syndrome. And of course, it’s being blamed on the dangerous and mental health enemies – smart phones and facebook, or other such social media.

It is said that due to facebook, and the like, being so easily accessible, the 14-25 demographic are constantly checking their friends statuses to see if anything interesting is happening that might possibly be better than what they are currently doing ie most probably working, or trying to give a fair impression of working to their boss.

I’m not saying this phenomenon doesn’t exist. Merely that ‘they’ are very, very late in labelling it.

Now, this is where I say “Back in my day….”

We didn’t have mobile phones and the internet was only accessed by those few lucky enough to have that new fangled thing called a ‘personal computer’.

Despite those seriously technological disadvantages, I was still obsessed with wanting to know what was going on in everyone’s lives. At 16, I definitely would have dropped whatever I was doing to move onto the more exciting thing I had just heard about.

You could almost say I pioneered the label ‘FOMO’ much in the same way Al Gore discovered the internet.

I am a FOMO from way back, peeps. And I have no intention of stopping now, try as I might. I have worked out that one of the reasons I don’t get my writing done is that I fear I may miss out on whatever excitement is going on elsewhere in the house and I will periodically check that, yep, husband is still watching sport or something else totally boring and go back to writing. It all stops though if anything even remotely interesting is on TV and heaven forbid I should hear laughter in the house. You are having fun?? Without me??

Yep. I have a serious case of FOMO. Do I need help? Probably.

Now, in the time it has taken me to write this blog post, I wonder what has been happening on facebook. Someone could have, you know, posted a picture of their lunch or updated their status to say they had a flat tyre on the way to work, or simply said ‘sigh. sad face’.

I best go check.

What do Indian ex-prostitutes have to do with our Thailand trip?

Well, I’m glad you asked πŸ™‚

Chalky recently sent me the link on facebook to these:

These cotton pants, Punjammies, are made by Indian women who have escaped a life of prostitution and are now earning money dyeing and making these trΓ©s fab pants. Now, you know I love helping a good cause, so I was immediately trying to think of exactly why I needed some of these pants.

And then a light bulb – we are going to Thailand in summer = we will need super cool (in temperature and looks, of course) pants to wear.

Bingo!

Yes please and thank you very much. Guilt free shopping which helps everyone. Done!

Love it πŸ™‚

And even if you’re not going to Thailand like we are, surely you need a pair, or two. Here’s the linkΒ www.ecouterre.com. Feel free to send me photos of you in your new pants!

NB: Just went and tried to order some Punjammies…guess what? No delivery to Australia 😦 Sooooo, have emailed them and just waiting for a reply. Cross your fingers, Aussies! And you lucky Americans – go buy some!

Phuket and 8 year old phonetic pronunciation

The f-word has been the beginning of some really great conversations in our family.

For instance, travel back in time with me to when our 21 year old was a sweet six year old.

First day of grade 1 –

Him: Mum, the teacher told us today that we aren’t allowed to say the f-word.

Me: Is that so? And what word is that, exactly?

Him (in a very low whisper): Fat.

Travel back with me to about eight months ago and join me in the luggage department of Myer.

Eight year old daughter: F*** it.

Me: WHAAAAT????

Eight year old daughter, pointing to sign over luggage stating possible holiday destinations: F*** it.

Me: (too hysterically laughing to respond, walks away to leave husband to deal with it)

Fast forward again to yesterday.

Same eight year old now famous for all the wrong reasons in Myer: Someone got a detention today for saying a bad swear word.

Me: Oh really? Who and what word?

Her: [name of child has been withheld in the name of I-need-to-still-be-accepted-in-the-school-carpark] _________and for the word that ends in ‘k’.

Me: Ooooooh, that IS a bad swear word.

Her: Ah uh! (thoughtful pause) Does it start with ph or f?

Me: F. Why? You don’t need to know how to spell it!

Her: No, but I do need to know whether I should say the f-word or the ph-word and not call it ‘the word that ends in ‘k”.

Like I said, the f-word has sure started some really great conversations in our family πŸ™‚

What are you like with a flat pack?

One of the biggest differences between my husband and I is our approach to manuals.

Me: Rip open box, open all little bags with screw things in them, start assembling.

Husband: Sit and read manual until a solid and comprehensive understanding of [insert object/piece of furniture/new child’s toy] is reached and then, after carefully inspecting each and every bag, correlate all pieces with the ‘your box should contain x, y, z’ section of the manual, keep all pieces and bags separate. Go to tool box and retrieve required tools for assembly, along with some you ‘might’ need. Return to construction site, fully prepared and organised….only to find your wife has already assembled said item and is airily claiming there were ‘spare’ pieces that are not necessary and can be discarded.

The next course of action, is, of course, a heated argument, as standard procedure.

Anyone else have similar scenarios playing out at their house?

We have come to a happy medium, over the last 20 years, with me on the floor constructing and him, manual in hand, directing from the sidelines. It works πŸ™‚

I have never much been one for rules whereas my husband is quite rule orientated and has been known to cry at the most inopportune moments “You’re not supposed to do that!!” Which always makes me stop what I am doing immediately and follow the rules. Yeah, right.

We had a discussion the other day about rules and instructions and found ourselves talking about the difference between the two.

I will spare you the blow by blow reenactment of the conversation and simply say, we came to the conclusion that rules are usually a list of ‘don’t’s’ and instructions are usually a list of ‘how to’s’.

In life, I think lots of people have trouble following the rules, partly because there is always that question, in my mind anyway, of “Well, WHY can’t I do that?”

Instructions however, seem friendlier and somehow more reasonable. A list of guidelines, rather than a heavy handed ‘DON’T’ list.

People often think that faith/religion comes with a big list of rules, full of don’t’s and what NOT to do. To me, it’s more an instruction manual, full of do’s and how to’s.

Instructions aren’t restrictive, like a set of rules is. Instructions are guidelines set out in an easy to use fashion, with a step by step process to reaching an end goal.

Gradually, over the years, just like my assembling technique, I have seen the sense and benefit of trying to follow the instruction manual that my faith provides me with.

Living by a set of rules brings guilt, repression and bitterness.

Living by an instruction manual brings guidance, freedom, cohesiveness and progression toward a worthwhile end product.

What do you live by? Rules or an instruction manual?

 

Careful what you wish for

Today, Chalky and I went and opened specific bank accounts, just for the Thailand trip.

It took about an hour and a half, partly, I think, due to the bank lady’s interest in our reason for setting the accounts up.

She was most impressed with Chalky and her desire to make a difference. I am too πŸ™‚
After promising to take many photos of Thailand and bring them in to show her, and her words ringing in our ears that she hoped to see us back soon with more money to deposit, we walked out the door.

And that’s when it started. The churning, the panic….the realisation that I was doing this. That the lofty talk that I have spruiked about for years of wanting to go on a mission trip, was actually about to become reality.

I calmed myself by repeating the words “It’s not til January, it’s not til January” over and over in my head and managed to carry on with the day.

Ever committed yourself to something that you have always wanted to do and then been frozen with terror that it’s actually happening??

Uh-oh.

Finality…..stinks.

When our boy rushed off to Sydney, he left a couple of things behind. Like a car. And all his stuff.

Last week the car was sold and a lovely young man came and took it away. Since then, it’s been weird to not see it parked out the front of our house.

Today, two men came and loaded all his worldly possessions into a truck, got me to sign a piece of paper, and then drove off.

I walked into his room, now empty save for a bed and dresser, and took a deep breath.

That was it. All gone.

At least when he went to Canberra at 17, he still had stuff here. He still had plans, back then, to return to Brisbane to live at some point.

Now, this move to Sydney feels very final. Especially when he says on the phone “I’m not doing this again for a very long time!”

So, we get the room back, which means I can set up a desk for writing and my bowen study. I can put my bowen table back up and begin treatments again. I have a spare bed to dump the washing on. Oh and to use if we have guests.

Yet, all this is small compensation for the fact that I don’t get to see him, or hear the sound of the xbox through the closed door, or the muffled sound of a phone conversation.Β 

I have only just stopped getting five plates out for tea, or getting out three mugs for coffee. And I am still cooking enough for five, too. (Anyone get hungry, there is a free meal here each night, at least for another few weeks, I reckon.)

And now it all seems rather final and I find myself saying with sadness, not relief, that we can all get back to a ‘normal’ routine now.

I’d really rather not have the ‘normal’, if you don’t mind.