A few years ago I had FOMO (fear of missing out) and didn’t know it. I didn’t have the money to go to restaurants, bars, vacations, movies. I didn’t have a partner to share all these good times with like everyone else seemed to. I’d dread the weekends thinking everyone else was out having the time of their lives with their husband/boyfriend while I was at home by myself.
I couldn’t figure out why I felt this way because I am more of an introvert and I had always enjoyed being at home cooking, gardening, decorating, reading, selling on eBay, painting, etc. I’d get my social needs met at work and by the end of the work week I needed to re-charge.
Eventually, I came to understand what made me feel FOMO. It was social media – watching everyone partying, on fancy vacations, camping with their family, dinner parties, BBQ’s, etc. I’d spend 2-3 hours scrolling through Facebook and thinking everyone had a much better life than I did.
When I figured this out, I decided to quit social media and over time the FOMO has left. I also now have 2-3 hours extra per day to do whatever I want. My focus is ‘what would I like to do’, rather than ‘they all have it better than me’.
Life has improved so much since then mostly because I’m just doing what I like to do – being at home and puttering around. I’ve been on a few road trips and adventures and feel completely content.
How does this relate to the Covid19 pandemic? Now that a lot of us have stay-home orders, I hear about people struggling with it like it’s a horrible thing. The way society has been living – going out to eat all the time, movies, bar life, shopping, go-go-go is gone temporarily.
I have wondered if this is the Universe making us all stop and think about how we are living our lives. We commute back and forth to work, put our babies in daycare for someone else to raise, get restaurant food because we are too tired to cook, have little family time, our food is grown or injected with non-organic things and if we want organic we must pay more, we are stressed and sick trying to keep up with expenses – the list goes on and it’s a vicious cycle. We see everyone’s ‘great’ life on social media and try to keep up and we think we’re missing out on something. This is not a great way to live, in my opinion. I’m not bashing anyone if this is how they choose to live. We are all different. It just seems like a really stressful way to live, and one that is not supportive to the earth.
When I was 22 (33 years ago) I had my first baby and was married. We both worked and even back then if one of the parents did not have a high-paying job (which we didn’t) it seemed we both needed to work. My grandmother, in her 80’s at the time, babysat my son for free – yes I was blessed and I am so thankful for that because I trusted her more than anyone on earth to give my son the love and attention he needed. When my son got to his terrible twos, she could not do it anymore – he was too difficult for her to keep up with at her age. We also noticed he was getting more close to her than me – there was no jealousy because my grandma was an angelic saint, but I was his mother and wanted that closeness. That’s when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. It was a difficult decision because it seemed we would never be able to afford it since we were having a difficult time financially even with me working.
For the first couple of months, it was difficult. But I did everything I could to save money. I clipped coupons, cooked frugal meals, started to grow a garden, went to the swap meet and sold things. We got by – it was not easy but we got by and eventually my then-husband started a yard service which made a lot more money than he was at his job and I began selling on eBay and we then had plenty of money to live a decent life. The gardens got bigger. We had a baby girl to add to the family and we really never suffered financially again. We weren’t rich and we did have to budget, but the bills were paid, we had extra money for fun, we saved money and invested in our home. It all worked out for the good and it was a much more fulfilling lifestyle than the go-go-go lifestyle I talked about in the beginning of this post.
I’m not trying to preach to anyone and tell them what their lifestyle should be like. I’m just trying to make a point that this stay-home period may be a good time to review how you live and if there are things you’d like to change to help your life be more fulfilling, healthy and balanced.
There’s been a move towards homesteading. These people are families working together to grow their own produce and raise their own meat. Some sell at farmer’s markets, some do other online businesses or even have a job on the side. Some are on Youtube vlogging their lifestyle. They are cooking and eating with their kids while teaching them a sustainable healthy lifestyle. They are not in cars running all over the place stressed out.
My kids are adults now and I’m on my own. I’ve been wanting to grow a garden with produce, herbs and flowers but since divorce 12 years ago and having to work full-time, I’ve used the excuse that I don’t have time. I have time now and it’s going to happen. I’m also working on this blog and my art in the hopes of doing it full-time and getting out of the rat-race. I think in times like this, if I had only started that garden years ago, I’d have preserved produce and feel a bit more stable. Not to raise fear in anyone, but we need to be able to take care of ourselves if the world-systems collapse or are out-of-order temporarily. I never imagined a time like this would come and it may just all blow over and life will get back to normal, but maybe it’s a time to consider living a more healthy sustainable way and working towards that.
My thoughts and prayers go to the entire world.
Here are a few of the products available with my art printed on them (by clicking an item you like, it will take you to the page where it’s available). They’d make great gifts to yourself or someone you love and would help support my dream of becoming a full-time writer and artist. Any purchase would be SO appreciated, but if you don’t want to or can’t, that’s totally fine. Just stopping by and reading my blog is a huge support.