In the last few weeks, I have seen two Broadway musicals, prayed every Friday night with my community, toured the Guggenheim and taken part in endless seminars on marketing in digital media. And all of this without leaving the plush La-Z Boy like chair of my living room. Yes, in the absence of events and the possibility of wandering more than 100 meters from our homes, we still have access to numerous cultural and educational events.
But, I loved roaming the city and attending the copious live events that were once offered in Tel Aviv by the municipality. I was always scouting for the upcoming concerts, happenings at the museum, movie nights on the roof. Although I enjoyed them greatly and my friends were always impressed with how “in and happening” I was to know about them, I realized that I suffer from a true case of FOMO — the Fear of Missing Out. When it came to the events with many choices like the “Houses from Within”, I was overwhelmed, but studiously went through the list of homes and public buildings that we could drop in and see. Who could resist the voyeuristic pull of seeing people’s bedrooms? Sometimes, I had to decide which event to attend — always afraid that I would miss the event of the year.
And now, I have transferred my FOMO to online events. There was one day in which I actually attended three different online webinars — there was a session on marketing for digital media, a webinar on how to use Zoom meetings and a seminar on using video for small businesses. They were all great, but by the third, I grabbed a glass of wine and hoped that I would actually remember a bit of what was said. Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing that people are offering this kind of content and usually for free these days. After all, if I can’t work, I may as well enrich myself, right?
The problem is that there are so many offerings and, with my FOMO, I sign up for too many things. And sometimes, I forget. I just received an email from Coursera asking whether or not I plan to finish the course “The Science of Well Being from Yale”. I had to fill in a survey and explain why I hadn’t finished. The reasons they gave in the survey included: “I’m not motivated” and “I’m busy with work”. After choosing the reason, they asked what they could do to help: “Help me stay motivated” or “Help me plan and schedule my Coursera learning”. The truth is with the plethora of offerings of courses and events online, I just plumb forgot I signed up for the damn course. I realized that I don’t always mark these online events in my calendar. And, sometimes I’m just too damn tired and depressed to be motivated to enrich myself. You would think that if ever there was a time to actually take “The Science of Well Being” course, that time would be now!
I’ve realized that I need to prioritize what I really want to do – whether or not it “should” be good for me, what I must take advantage of, or in the words of all those self-help gurus — what gives me joy! I try to plan the day to include work — writing articles, blogs, contacting customers, making videos with tips on communication (I’m also trying to have fun with this) – my walk up the bigass hill in the neighborhood, another class of Pilates or Yoga online, video chats with loved ones and yes, binging on “Tiger King”, “The Crown” and movies I never got to.
I thought this closure would mean a time to slow down, reflect and not worry about all the amazing events and activities I might be missing, but no, it’s become even more intense. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals are only available for a 48 hour period! What if you missed Skazi’s live online party from his living room? Whether irl (in real life) or online, I guess we have to just take a minute and breathe!!