The FOMO plague returns!

Just before Thanksgiving, last year, I shared a bit about a case of what my wise friend, Yasmin Nguyen of The Joyful Living Project, refers to as FOMO. Or, Fear of Missing Out. Rather like the fear of not being enough, with which many of  us struggle, at least occasionally, FOMO is a plague that returns especially in times of stress or impending change.

I seem to have had another attack.

In one sense, I’m not all that surprised. In a rather odd way, my recent FOMO symptoms may have been both the result of “a bit” of stress in our world and the outcome of a lot of newness.

Here’s what I can tell you… I got all wrapped around the axle again about what to eat, which is kind of ironic, all things considered.

I know a lot about food. Especially the local, organic, sustainably raised kind. I’ve written a couple of food memoirs/cookbooks. I’ve gotten quite adept at juggling some fairly diverse eating patterns in our family. And I’m determined to model food sanity for my girls!

Nonetheless, I found myself hunting, not for new strategies or ingredients so much, as for the answer. Which, in many ways, is generally a trap.

I forgot that we’re all different. I forgot that there are actual limits to what can be accomplished with a magic wand.

And, I forgot that just about everybody with an opinion on the subject of food is trying to sell something.

Supplements, often. Magic fat-melting tea, inexplicably full of things like xylitol. Miracles claiming to make everything easy. Miracles that are often far away from being actual food.

So, I read a lot of books. And spent some money. And got oddly less connected to myself.

All the while, I was learning other door opening things. Things having to do more with paint than with food. With physics and deep wisdom. With the created world. And with profound connections between past and present.

And then one day the new things I was learning began to heal my FOMO plague.

I picked up a book I’d read 10 years or so ago. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan who, to the best of my knowledge, is only selling books.

Pollan has written a couple of more recent books. I’ll report back when I’ve read them. But, for tonight, Pollan’s three point plan for turning down the shaming, blaming chorus that lives in so many of us about food. Are you ready?

  • Eat food.
  • Not too much.
  • Mostly plants.

That, I can wrap my head around.

Now, before you run screaming to the place with the golden arches, Pollan is not anti-animal protein. (Which would be difficult, to say the least, at my house.)

His focus in on real food. As close to nature as possible. We’re pretty good at that, except when we’re not.

He also makes a strong argument for variety, which way works for me.

And, at the same time, his work is a good reminder that too many absolutes tend to make us cave in and lust after brightly colored things that are a very long way from food and much closer to science projects.

I feel back on track again.

Centered. Calm.

Back to making choices that have integrity for me. That fit with my values. Many of them all at once.

Things seem clearer again.

There’s an enormous pot of bone broth on my stove and all those veg I bought during my well-invested hour on Wednesday have actually been eaten and enjoyed.

Tomorrow, more hunting and gathering.

Tonight, gratitude for things to be learned, even from outbreaks of FOMO. And dots to make!

ps – Just in case you’re intrigued by the Intentional Creativity stuff… here’s a link to a new course I’m really excited about!



Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach