Anxiety, FOMO and other Challenges

Everyone is anxious occasionally. Or, at least, that is what I believe. Worries about the weather, worries about money, worries about whatever. Is there a way to reduce, mitigate or leave our cares behind?

Fear of missing out (FOMO) drives many of our decisions if it is allowed to creep into the process. FOMO pushes folks onto various social media platforms. Why is this attraction so strong? Social media allows one to muse and gossip with no more consequence than being unfollowed or unfriended.

Daily care-giving for a spouse, parent, child or friend puts FOMO in the category of entertainment and escapism. Unless a social media post is about the caregivee’s disease or family, it is entertainment. To elevate a social media post to anything above checking in with the kids or an entertaining distraction gives credence to ill considered memes that often propose cultural or political thoughts are either true or false when most are not simply on/off, in/out, up/down ideas. Life is complicated and short.

Why does one often expend much effort?

A total stranger sent me Desiderata by Max Ehrmann after reading an email from me and the quote at the end by Emerson. What gave him the confidence to send that to me? It is a prayer, a meditation, a hope and a outline for a life free of anxiety. Since he sent it, I read it every day. I have a couple meditation/prayer/poems that I read often. They all say different things to me but each is calming in its own way.

This gentleman came to our home to provide a quote for replacing the roof. I emailed him some information about the manufacturer and type of shingle we wanted on the roof when completed. He sent me back Desiderata with this note –

That will work sir! Thank you. The first thing I read was your quote from Emerson…good stuff. Reminds me of an abridged version of one my mother made my sisters and I memorize as children. Jay

At the bottom of my emails sent from gmail.com, I end with Retired Grandfather and happy go lucky guy — Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.  —  Emerson” — instead of the usual ” if you are reading this and shouldn’t be we will find you and beat you up” style wording that comes at the end of business emails. I have liked this quote from Ralph Waldo since I tripped over it somewhere a couple years back. It speaks to me so when I send an email to someone, they get a copy. It spoke to him and must have said something about me because a copy of Desiderata was immediately below. I think he will win the contract. (and he is low bidder.)

JOMO – The joy of moving on is perhaps a better course of action. Imagine not worrying about missing something. Consider the birds in the sky. Consider the wisdom and teaching of Desiderata.

Be gentle, show kindness, trust in others

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