Ripples #1235: Joy of Missing Out


We may miss a great deal of joy because we expect it to be unusual, dramatic, and spectacular. We are waiting for lights to flash and bells to ring. But the truth is that joy is here, right now, waiting for us to notice it.
-Veronica Ray
shared by Kristin in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA via Choosing Happiness


Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling–
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won’t go through it;
The anxious clamoring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favor of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out.
-Michael Leunig
shared by Anne in London, England via this article


Most of us have heard of FOMO, the fear of missing out. The term has been around for about a decade, and people seem to agree that the proliferation of social media has compounded all the “grass is always greener” and the “keeping up with the Joneses” that have been around as long as neighborhoods have.

Back in 2018, a New York Times article introduced me to its opposite: JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out. It takes the “joy is all around us” described in today’s Pebble and adds in a powerful antidote to FOMO: you can skip past the fear of missing out by actually finding the joy that is available to people who hop off the merry-go-round of consumerism and go for a walk in the woods (or plop down with a book checked out from the library).

I don’t know if anyone who actively participates in our society can fully avoid FOMO, and I’m not even sure that needs to be the goal. What if we recognize and appreciate the polarity of FOMO and JOMO: see them as opposite ends of a spectrum that most humans vacillate between?

If that resonates with you, see if you can consciously experiment with JOMO this week: mindfully and purposefully avoid the temptation to keep up with others and instead slow down with yourself. If/when FOMO pops up, maybe you can recognize it, thank it, and pause before deciding whether to spend much time and energy on it.

Will you miss out on something? Quite possibly.
Is that okay? Try it and see!

P.S. I’m thrilled that so many people are enjoying our Daily Splash page; we recently added an archive so you can scroll through a decade’s worth of sure to click on the “need a reminder” link at the bottom so you can learn how to easily add a fun smiley icon to your phone’s home page.

Recent Ripples