I've boiled down new life philosophy to this: No FOMO (fear of missing out). I'll be writing more about that fear, but yesterday crystallized for me something I should have realized last fall, when my inflated ego led me to rearrange my Chicago trip so I could do a reading at Grand Central Station's Posman Books. I thought I was such hot shit because I was reading at Grand Central. That's not to say it wasn't fun or an honor or cool, but rather that it wasn't necessarily something that was worth changing my whole schedule over. Very little is. Yet because of my FOMO, plus fear that if I don't say yes to every opportunity ever no one will ever buy my books again, I keep repeating that mistake. That's over, and I feel much more peaceful, knowing that my limited time on this earth is mine to control, plan and parcel out.
That's not to say every second of it will be spent doing things I like, or that I can't juggle and rearrange my schedule as needed, or that sometimes, plans go awry. It just means that I have to make smarter, more pro-active decisions and focus on my bottom line. If I do that and keep my actions in alignment with my life goals, everyone wins. I don't want to be someone that keeps making the same mistake over and over, but rather someone who uses her past to better her present. FOMO always leads me down a bad path, because it tricks me into thinking that no matter what choice I make, it's the wrong one. It tells me that every party, reading, trip, concert, movie, lunch, dinner, date, etc., is some kind of magical gathering that I must attend or else, and if I miss it I'll somehow be much worse off, rather than just someone who didn't make it to one thing.
Certainly, if I ever hope to become a parent, or live somewhere more remote, that way of thinking has to die a fast death. Ultimately, the probably with my FOMO is that I'm never at the center of it; it's everything else that determines how I spend my time. It's that external thing that will convey its magic it factor onto me, make me better, rather than me making myself better, me entertaining myself, me working on myself. That is what 2013 is blaring loudly at me, with megaphones and red flags and nightmares and reminders left, right and center to do. Chasing the high of external praise, kudos and events only keeps me further away from that core of me that keeps sending the SOS signals. So I'm listening to her, that core. I'm letting her tell me what matters, what she needs, what her values are. And they have absolutely nothing to do with the outside, and everything to do with this: