fitness · holiday fitness

Catherine’s slowness plan update: replace FOMO with POMO (pleasure of missing out)

Last month I wrote about my slowness plan for the summer of whatever-this-is-with-respect-to-the-pandemic. If you missed it, here’s the short version:

Feel free to go slow.

Just to clarify, the slowness plan is not this:

Cutesy but demanding message saying “it does matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”. No.

Nor is it this:

Go slow to go fast? Not part of my slowness plan.
Go slow to go fast? Not part of my slowness plan.

My slowness plan is about paying attention to what I want to do, how I’m feeling (physically, emotionally), and how adjusting my pace or frequency or duration will affect my ability to do things and also my satisfaction in doing them. This reads well on the page, but is not so easy to implement in reality. Why? FOMO– Fear Of Missing Out.

I love being with my peeps, doing what they’re doing. Saying no to something that’s potentially fun or interesting is hard.

But, this weekend, on a trip with friends to Cape Elizabeth, Maine (yay for vaccination!) I tried out POMO– Pleasure of Missing Out– instead. How is POMO possible?

Because, in reality, we all have needs and limits. Some of us (in this case, me) aren’t early risers. Others of us, aren’t into ocean swimming. So we don’t all need to do all the things all the time. We can take a pass. As my friend Madeline says, we don’t need to have ALL the fun. Wise words, those.

So I did, on Saturday morning. Instead of cycling to the coffee shop and cute general store 3 miles away, I stayed in bed another 45 minutes in a very quiet and peaceful house. It was … heavenly. Then I got up, made myself a latte, meditated, and worked on a piece for my writing class (I’m a student for the next month! Yay!)

When the coffee riders returned, I was happy to see them. Michele offered to take a short ride with me to nearby Kettle Cove. It turned out to be a sort of POMO pilgrimage site– not much going on, but loads of pleasure in just being there.

You might be thinking, hey– you didn’t miss out! You did a thing and enjoyed it. How is that POMO? Well, for me, giving myself space to NOT do everything that’s offered allowed me to take great pleasure in the things I ended up choosing instead:

  • sleep (oh, sweet sleep!)
  • coffee (oh, necessary coffee)
  • meditation (…)
  • impromptu short ride with friend

Hey readers, have you tried saying no to a thing and watched what happened (and didn’t happen) instead? Have you pulled off the POMO state? I’d love to hear from you.

3 thoughts on “Catherine’s slowness plan update: replace FOMO with POMO (pleasure of missing out)

  1. Such a timely post! I am reading this at almost noon, still in my pjs, having decided to skip my planned bike ride. I regret nothing.

    1. Thanks for this! I see the JOMO acronym now. There is indeed lots of joy in slowing down in this way.

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