Do you ever have days when your life sucks? I don’t mean significant 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, no way. 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 reels. Your friends are posting only the good stuff. Don’t you think they have sucky days?
Someone recently told me I was her role model because I do 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 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 to cheer up. I just want to be morose and wallow. So in the interest of maintaining my friendships and 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 on 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 myself on my worst enemy when I am in one of those moods. TV and alcohol might seem soothing, but eventually, they only worsen self-loathing.
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 recognize the symptoms and 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 an Internet empire. Your cousin is 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 it 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 of 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.