Being an Older Young Person™, FOMO (fear of missing out) is something I deal with pretty often. What with social media and having a window into everyone’s lives—friends and strangers alike, it seems like everyone is always doing something. And if for a moment I’m not doing things too, I feel like I’m wasting not only my time but my entire youth. I put pressure on myself to always be doing—or, more accurately, to be thinking about what I should be doing.
When I let myself sleep in late, I berate myself for wasting the day. When the weather is nice but I stay inside, I scold myself for not getting out. When I genuinely have nothing to do, I anxiously think about all the ways I could and should be filling that time: writing, painting, creating, cleaning, seeing my friends, going out, volunteering, taking a drive. . . This way of thinking feels so overwhelming that I eventually find myself in a space of anxious inactivity. I’m trying to rest and be still, but my mind is a million miles up the road begging me to catch up.
I know this is a trap. I know there are far more mundane moments in life than exciting ones. I know there’s value in whatever you do, even if it’s just sitting in bed watching a show, because it’s a moment of your precious life. I also know social media is not a true mirror of anyone’s real life and allowing it to make me think I’m simultaneously not enough and not doing enough is foolish. Despite knowing all these things, I still feel like I’m missing out.
We’re halfway through 2022, and in the past six months, I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special or had anything exciting happen to me. Meanwhile, I’ve seen friends and family experience great milestones: engagements, weddings, births, travel, new jobs, new moves, new relationships, etc. And while I’m honestly overjoyed for them, I feel like I’m standing in the same place by comparison.
In the last few months, I’ve settled into a sort of stride where I know, more or less, what to expect from my day-to-day: I work with my clients, I spend time with my family, I see my friends, I run errands—I keep my life going at a steady pace. In some ways, this has felt boring and mundane, but it wasn’t until recently that I understood just how lucky I am.
A dear friend of mine has been going through a hard time with busyness and anxiety. When I checked in with her to see how she was doing and feeling, she said something that made me pause. She told me all about what she was going through and how tired she was and how much she was longing to have just a normal, average day—and I wanted the same for her. Then she turned and asked me about how I’ve been doing and what I’ve been up to. I didn’t have much to contribute.
“Nothing’s really happening with me right now,” I told her.
“That’s wonderful,” she said almost immediately. “You deserve a season of nothing happening—of peace.”
Her words immediately made me think of the old adage, no news is good news. There is a certain blessing in not much happening. In the ordinary. There’s beauty and mercy in having a day be just another day where nothing special or shocking or surprising occurs. Because life has enough busy days. And Lord knows we’ve had enough shock and surprise in the last few years to last us a lifetime. Being booked and busy may be exciting in some regards, but that life is not meant to be a constant.
Since realizing this, I am so humbled and grateful for the season I’m in. It’s a blessing that I don’t want to take for granted. Sure, it will be nice one day to be traveling across Europe or announcing an engagement or promoting a new book. . . And those things will come. But in the meantime, not much is happening, and that, too, is a gift.
So the next time you’re vegging on the couch or looking for something to do, I hope you take a moment to notice the mundane and give thanks that nothing much is happening—that it’s just another day.
What’s something in your life that you find ordinary or boring? How can you look at it in a new way?Leave a Comment