Do you ever have days when your life sucks? I don’t mean big momentous tragic events like a health problem, serious relationship issues or, God forbid, a car collision or other disaster. No, I mean just one of those days where you have what we may call the blahs, blues, ennui, the yuckies. Even though all evidence is to the contrary, you are convinced that at that very moment your life sucks.
When your life sucks, you don’t post it on Facebook, god forbid. After all Facebook is where you only put the good stuff. And herein lies the problem. We judge our lives by other people’s highlight reel. Your friends are posting only the good stuff. Don’t you think they have sucky days?
Someone recently told me that I was her role model because I do so many interesting, adventurous things. True, I did raft the Grand Canyon, cruised the Panama Canal and went to China twice. That’s over a four or more year period. So on the average, I have one grand adventure every year or so. In between there are plenty of sucky times. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a pretty good life — I live in a nice place, have a respectable career that provides a decent living, have a family I love and drive what my son-in-law calls an awesome car. But there are those days that I can’t get myself out of the gloomies. On those days I don’t want advice, I don’t want cheering up. I just want to be morose and wallow. So in the interest of maintaining my friendships, professional reputation and probably just because I don’t want help, I go into hibernation mode. Maybe you have a better answer but that’s what I do. Then I have a hot bath, go to bed early and start anew another day.
Of course there is a lot of wisdom out there as to how to get out of the gloomies. Exercise go for a walk. Yeah, I’ll get around to that — tomorrow. Vitamins, yup. Call a friend? Are you kidding? I wouldn’t wish me on my worst enemy when I am in one of those moods. TV and alcohol might seem soothing but eventually only make the self loathing worse.
So what do I do? I go with it. Remember, this too shall pass.
That is one of the benefits of sageism (as opposed to ageism) You’ve seen this before and you recognize the symptoms and the patterns. Go with it.
One of my routines when I am having THAT kind of day is a hot bath and an Oprah magazine. Usually just the right article pops out for me. Today it was a Martha Beck column from the June 2013 issue:
“OMG, do you have any idea what you are missing right now? Have you checked Facebook in the last two minutes? If so then you know that everyone (and by that I mean everyone but you)_is out there rocking life. Your BFF (that is your former BFF) and her new BFF are trekking through Ladakh. Your college roommate has built and Internet empire. Your cousin’s at a wacky costume party, LOL — no ROFL! Right now, everybody out there (except you) is whirling ravishingly through the good life! Together! in flash mobs!” What R U doing?”
Beck calls this FOMO — Fear of Missing Out. She offers three strategies for combating FOMO:
1. Remember most of is based on a lie. Remember the photographer told them to smile. They are only posting the good parts.
2. Create a new FOMO — Fear Of Moving On — Realize that focusing on things you may be missing is just another way or resisting your own life, your own destiny
3. Stop! Just mentally stop!
Remember — don’t judge your life by someone else’s highlight reel. There will be days that your think your life sucks.
You know it doesn’t really.