This year found me deeper in FOMO than most, but not in missing out in new experiences. Read on.
Think back to the last tantalizing meal or conversation you had. Let’s be honest — you probably took a photo or selfie.
How present were you? To what extent did you savor your meal or conversation? What details do you remember? What did you focus on?
At the pace we (I) operate at, I fear that we go through all of life’s motions meaninglessly checking off boxes. I’ve had Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: check. Molly Moons: check. Skydiving: check.
Our Instagram portfolios might as well have default washed out grayscale photos that automatically fill in a la Pleasantville as we accomplish each activity, Mayfair filter and all.
I can’t remember the two pastries that I ordered at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. I remember the neon lights against the painted brick wall, the subway tiles against the back, the line, the embossed door handle, and the honeycomb mosaic floor. I remember the meter I parked at, and the delivery truck that boxed me in delivering food to the shop next door, but I can’t for the life of me remember what I ate.
I find that many others just don’t remember these details and so I worry that we don’t know how to truly embrace each moment. And it’s not so much the food and material goods that I’m concerned about. It’s that many of us are so fortunate to spend so much time with our loved ones that we take in each other’s presence the way we do air. It’s just there, until you’re drowning.
We travel and take random photos. A beautiful facade — snap. A fountain — snap. A historical artifact — snap.
We probably spend more time behind our phones and cameras wherever we are. I took a serious hiatus from my camera many years ago, realizing that my only recollection was looking through a lens.
I wonder if we thoroughly savor each moment or if we have the potential to eke out another 99%.
I feel like we need a lot of cues and reminders, maybe mindfulness recordings for every element in life.
On your way home, notice one new detail. When you get home, appreciate that you have a home and the memories and the tchotchkes within. Close your eyes and draw in the scent. Embrace all of the familiarity. Everything that lets you know that you haven’t walked into your neighbor’s home.
Peel back all the layers. What made that encounter with an old friend so great? Why was that gelato so damn refreshing? Why do we even love In-N-Out so much?
Then again, would it be so terrible if we uncorked a late 70s vintage, peppered social media with posts, and simply declared it as “good”? Would it be so terrible if we woke up each day, did the same thing, drifted through life thinking that our existence isn’t so vacuous?