One of the things I complained the most the last few years was FOMO. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I’d see my family and friends hanging out on weekends or weeknights, while I was sitting at the nurse’s station. Or I was lying in bed on social media, being sad that I couldn’t enjoy the thrill of adventure because I had to work that night. I couldn’t go on vacation because I wasn’t approved to have those days off. It was major FOMO for me.

Nothing was going to change unless I made the first move. The major theme of “intentional living’ is what is your purpose. For me, am I living or am I existing? I made the conclusion that I was existing in other people’s lives, I wasn’t living my own. I was being told what to do, how to do it. I dragged my feet everyday. My world revolved around other people. From taking care of my patients, to taking care of my husband and dog, I rarely set aside time for me to enjoy the world around me. I was present in other people’s lives, but existed in my own. In other words, I need to be present to live intentionally.

I know I am not the only one who falls victim to this. Everyone has some sort of social media that we engage in and it can be depressing at times. Also, I know how hard it is when your spouse brings his job back home. Today’s generation is too caught up on being focused on what other people are doing. Either wishing we were doing what they are doing or bragging to other people what we have accomplished. It’s a sickening cycle and that’s why so many people get depressed. Being present is a movement we need to take seriously. Tomorrow is gone, all we have is the future. Are you being present? Or are you still fighting with the past?

The reason this is important, especially to all my fellow OCD pals, is that we tend to put perfect at the top of the list. Because, why not? We live for perfection, cleanliness, and order. If something is crooked, missing, or simply out of place, our center of gravity is out of whack. Am I right? Instead of putting perfect at the top of the list, I’ve been placing present in the forefront. We need to be present over perfect. If you are too busy thinking about the past, you will miss all the wonderful things around you. If you are too busy texting during a movie/tv show, you will miss an important scene. If you are too busy doing work at home, you will miss out on all the family time you will never get back with your spouse, children, or parents. Ive heard, “I need to work hard now so I enjoy my life later.” That may be true, but you will also miss out on time that you don’t realize you need: relaxation. You can’t pour from an empty glass. I’m not saying be a bum and forget your responsibilities, I’m suggesting you should be present in the moment. Take 10 minutes out of your day to have a meaningful conversation with your spouse, read a book to your child, or call your mom or dad. It’s simple as that to get you recharged. You will never get NOW back, so the next time you think “when is a good time to start?” the time is now.

I never listened to podcasts until recently, because I just can’t concentrate to someone talking to me if I can’t see them. A podcast that caught my attention was Jenna Kutcher’s “Goal Digger.” In one of her early episodes, she spoke about how on social media we post pictures to prove that we were really there or that it really happened in real time. But when we do that, we are not fully participating in the experience. Instead, we are focused on documenting when the best memories are the ones you can tell a story about. After listening to that episode, I realized I was guilty of that. At the next event I attended, I left my phone in my clutch for the majority of the time, took a few pictures but withheld posting anything about it during the event. Instead, I waited until the next day or so to post a picture. By doing this, I was fully engaged at a friend’s wedding. Spent more time dancing and having a good time.

The world seems more wonderful when you decide to be present instead of passing by. You may be thinking, how can I starting being present in my life? I thought I was already present? I have some tips on how you start living intentionally by being present.

Be Present

Put your phone/tablet away and strike up a conversation. Even enjoying a movie/tv show.

Take a break from social media. Perhaps, give it up for lent.

Make time to take an exercise class.

Take an evening walk after dinner.

Before going to bed, do “face time” with your spouse. No phones in bed, instead talk about your highs and lows.

At dinner, no phones or tv. Have a conversation. In fact, it’s actually healthier to have a meal with someone else because it will slow you down as you eat.

Start a journal and write down your thoughts.

Shop local. Meet the small business owners that live around you. Get to know them and support their business. They will love you for it.

If social media is your platform for work, make a cut off time at night so you can enjoy your family. Nothing is worse than spending the night checking emails, posting on instagram, etc.

How do you practice being present in your life? Have you even thought of this as a current issue?


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