Hey extraordinary humans! I did the #JOMO thing this weekend and it was good. I would love to share some pictures of it, but guess, what? I didn't take any.
If you are feeling any #FOMO as you scroll your social media today, it should be the fear that you are missing out on the Joy of Missing Out.
Work-life balance is a term that has all the contradiction of an oxymoron. These are things that are in constant competition and the stakes are high on both sides. Millennial parents with young children and burgeoning careers are bombarded with responsibilities at home and at work. It can feel like doing well at one means not doing your best at the other.
These things are a particular conundrum for women, who are often expected to contribute at work as if they have no responsibilities at home. And in most cases, women remain the primary caregivers in our families and take on the majority of the responsibilities at home.
On it's own, this problem is tough, but it becomes a wicked problem when combined with the wage gap and the other barriers women face in their careers.
At our best, all we can hope to do is integrate the demands of our lives so that we can make the most of our days.
The pleasure of technology
All of this is compounded by easy access to technology. We are always available, always connected and poised for interruption. The notifications, the text messages and emails give us a sense of being needed, belonging and importance. The constant noise from the outside world triggering us into emotions and behaviours that distract us from experiencing the joys that are right within our reach...
Tracing my toddler's chubby fingers while I hold his hand. Feeling his now soft cheek against mine when it used to be like a firm little apple against my face. Signs he isn't a baby now.
What we don't realize, is that when we are absorbed in our phones, they project a force field around us that prevents us from experiencing the moments waiting to happen.
Keep the humans alive or...what?
Keeping the tiny humans alive and ever thriving is super important, obviously. But so is doing well at work and paying the bills. Technology helps us accomplish these things. So what are we parents to do?
My recommendation is to start missing out.
This is what I attempted to do this weekend. I accepted that I was not going to get any work done for Brain Snacks Co. It wasn't without guilt, since I knew I should be keeping in touch with you lovely people. But I just dropped all my social media responsibilities. No blogging, vlogging, posting or sharing.
Jason Osler from the CBC saw my #JOMO tweet this week and introduced me to the work of Christina Crook (her last name is almost the same as mine!). She talks about "finding balance in a wired world." I invite you to check it out.
#JOMO is mo than technology
When I think about #JOMO in my own life, it is a state of being.
In my definition, #JOMO is accepting that your joy belongs to you and no one else. That you don't need to show off your joy, repeat someone else's joy or pretend there is joy. That you are abandoning your #FOMO in all things. That freedom allows us to celebrate the individual joy of others, and discover our own unique joy.
Imagine never experiencing professional jealousy at work. No more work sabotage, competition and mistrust. No more feeling that old twinge of jealousy or resentment when something good happens for someone else. The pressure to "keep up with the Jones" is gone.
Is it possible that #JOMO can help us be better humans, parents and employees?
Let's ride the wave
So many good things could come with the tide of #JOMO.
Inclusion, diversity, collaboration, innovation, empathy, peace and yes, joy. Let us relinquish ourselves to our moments and let the tide wash over us.
The water will rinse away the residue of #FOMO and leave us new again.
If this moves you, I invite to you to leave a comment or share on social media.