I remember being in my early twenties and becoming aware of how much larger the world was than the one my parents had showed me. I wanted to see all the things. I wanted to see them now. I feared nothing greater than that one or more thing might occur without me witnessing it. I had a chronic case of FOMO.
Now, I’m more than twice that age, and, while there are still an awful lot of things I haven’t yet seen, I’ve seen a representative sample of what my life reasonably has, had, and will have to offer. Not that I’m shutting the door on new experiences, just, let’s say I’m choosing my opportunities more carefully.
When you’re twenty-three, and even the most conservative actuary would place money on you living another half-century, it’s reasonable to think you have enough time to do whatever you want. If this or that turns out to be a waste of time, well, who cares, you’ve got buckets of time in front of you. At twenty-three you get together with your friends and talk about your latest, last, or next adventure. At fifty-three you get together with your friends and compare orthopedic surgeons. You’ve been there at the end with your parents and maybe even a few friends. You tend to be a little choosier when you know the limited time you have left will be spent, in large part, in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices.
Used to be I said yes to every invitation. I wanted to be everywhere, wanted to see and be seen. Now, you’d better justify the use of makeup if you want me to leave the house. I have the opposite of FOMO. I have FOBI. Fear of Being Included.
Let me rephrase in a more positive way. It used to be that I wanted access to every room. I had a need to be where it was happening. But now? I feel like whatever room I’m in is the room someone should want access to. I’m in the room where it’s happening. I know this because I’m in it. I’m old enough and experienced enough to be a self-contained source of happeningization. If you want me to make the effort to leave the room where [checks self] all this is happening, you’d better have a big ole happening going on.
Because if I’m there, I’m not here, and here is where it’s going on.
 For those of you who don’t know, FOMO is an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out.
 I’m not as well-traveled as I’d like to be, for example.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.