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Race FOMO: What is it? Is it good, bad? Is there a balance?

Race FOMO: What is it? Is it good, bad? Is there a balance?

FOMO- “Fear of Missing Out”

As I’ve gotten older this acronym has become quite popular and a legit reason for me deciding to do certain things. Sometimes things I wouldn’t even think of doing before. Sometimes it has led me to doing amazing things. It’s given me the push I need. But sometimes I have to admit it can not be so good.

As a runner I have found myself in the thick of a race weekend contemplating “do I really need to what everyone else is buying?” And suddenly FOMO pops in my head. All my friends are buying it. We can be matchy matchy and I do love matchy pics. Suddenly there I am swiping the credit card. Justified in my purchase. But this can be irresponsible. I mean aren’t I fortunate enough to be able to travel with friends and take time off. Spend money on hotels and races and shouldn’t I be happy to just be there? It can be tricky finding the balance.

 I’ve also found myself in situations where FOMO has led to legit jealousy. Everyone is having fun without me? What if they more fun without me? Is this childish thinking? Probably. But at 41 years old it still crosses my mind. While I’d like to be believe I’m a strong confident women, why is it I feel this way?

As Princess Half Marathon approaches, I will admit this is a legit concern. I could’ve have signed up, but my kids are usually off that week from school and we like to do family things. Also after the holidays and marathon weekend financially it would be very unfair to spend more at this time of year. It is my choice not to go. And I know deep down deciding to do this race would have been a decision based solely on FOMO. So I decided not to do. But now it’s approaching and I’m seeing race costumes and plans being made with friends and I will admit it’s hard!!!! I struggle with it. It leads to jealousy and that’s an ugly thing.

So I did some google searches and I guess I’m not the only one that feels this way because there are plenty of articles offering tips on how to deal. So I thought I would share a few.

  • limit social media. This appeared on every article I found. Obviously seeing everyone having fun without you is a reason but what I found even more important is by spending time looking at a screen I’m not connecting with those around me. I can be making some great simpler happier memories instead.
  • Accept missing out. Remember you don’t always have to follow the pack to have a good time. Instead of thinking of the things you CAN’T do think of the things you CAN do. The past two years I couldn’t go to princess half weekend and instead went with the family to NYC and BOSTON. What amazing trips both were. I would’ve never experienced these had I been in Disney. So this year I need to remind myself of this and look for something else fun to do.
  • There will be other opportunities. Is this the last race weekend ever? No it’s not. I mean Avengers Half??? Thank God I did that one. It was the last in Disneyland. So FOMO was a great thing but there’s plenty more race weekends in the future.
  • There are more important things in life. I’m writing this hours after being at a funeral. Recently my husband had a cancer scare. I could have way more important things to be upset about.
  • Don’t compare. While others may be having a wonderful time and experience, I’ve had my own share of experiences and even within my own they’re different and fun for so many different reasons. And the same goes for your friends having their own experiences. Just because they’re having fun without you doesn’t take away from the fun time you had and will have in the future.
  • Ask yourself is it something bigger? Could FOMO be dredging up feelings of general unhappiness in you own life or insecurities. If so you may need to take time out to figure out what’s really going on. I have abandonment issues. Something I realize as I get older. Is that a fear that’s triggers FOMO? Perhaps I should google tips for dealing with abandonment issues. πŸ˜‰

Writing this article feels a bit vulnerable. I almost question if I should post it. But I felt it’s important to share. Because if others feel like me, I’d like you to know you’re not alone. And if I’ve ever acted like a bad friend due to my own FOMO or lack of understanding to FOMO you may be feeling I’m sorry.

And for all those moments FOMO actually pushed me out of my comfort zones and gave me wonderful experiences I’m grateful.

About the author: Jackey is a 39 (omg almost 40) year old mom of three boys from Buffalo, NY. She loves anything 80’s and believes she was born ten years later than her soul. She love to sing, dance and make music videos and she’s a huge Buffalo Bills fan! After being a stay at home mom for 10 years, Jackey has recently re-entered the work force as a customer service agent for Southwest Airlines, which is perfect for her love of traveling (free flights) and traveling to run races.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Stephanie February 18, 2019, 9:18 am

    Thanks for sharing! I know that this is something that a lot of us deal with. Limiting social media in general has been a huge help to me in this area. I think it’s also important to remember that what you see on social media doesn’t tell the whole story. We all curate what we share and you never know what struggles or difficulties are hidden behind that perfect looking Instagram feed. I hope you have an absolutely lovely time this weekend with your family.

  • Lesley February 19, 2019, 7:07 pm

    I’m doing Princess this year because I had major FOMO last year. Princess is always special to me since it was my first half marathon. Now I’m down to 10k’s, which are just as fun, and the weather in Denver hasn’t been great this week. I’m glad I booked the trip this year just to get some sunshine and warmth!

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