Texarkana Gazette

FOMO not really an issue these days

- Barton Goldsmith Columnist (Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychother­apist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGold­smit

FOMO is no-mo. There’s no longer the fear of missing out — because there’s nothing to miss out on. For the near future at least, gatherings of almost any kind have been put on hold, or people are doing them small or not at all.

Meetings are available on Zoom, and that’s great, but it just isn’t the same as meeting up in person. We have been living a different life, where we never really get together. The good news is that we are actively living — even though it sometimes may not feel like it. And the vaccine is here, folks, so just hang on a little while longer.

Millions of people have made major adjustment­s in their lives, from what they do for a living to how they spend their spare time to how they maintain relationsh­ips. Yes, COVID-19 has caused us to lose out on many of the things we love, but by taking the hit now, we are preventing it from going on forever. Of course, that fact doesn’t really take away the pain of not going out, mingling with friends or jamming with your band.

Many people are upset about not being able to go to work the way we used to (even though other people love working from home). If you used to spend more time with your coworkers than your family, and going to the office was something you did every day, then working from home may be hard. That aspect of life may never go entirely back to normal, and many people may continue to work remotely because of the financial benefits for some companies.

Whatever changes we end up living with for the rest of our lives, the good news is that we will be alive to enjoy those years. But to get there, we need to continue to be careful during this pandemic.

If you stay in for just a little while longer, you will hopefully avoid any illness and be ready for summer or that day when life can really begin again. Remember that now is the

most dangerous time to be out and about, so get creative and know that you have something to look forward to soon enough.

Even after the vaccine, I’m not so sure that large crowds in closed spaces like music venues will be advisable. I plan on doing outdoor concerts in the future — and am looking forward to that! We’ll see how it goes.

After eating homecooked meals for this long, I’m less excited about dining out than I used to be. I want to support our local restaurant­s, and we get takeout pretty often these days. But I’ve also begun to appreciate the benefits of making our own dinners. I think we have gotten used to a healthier diet, and our bodies are rejecting foods that are too rich or are harder to digest.

In some ways this time has made many of us stronger both as couples and as families. I have seen some relationsh­ips and businesses flourish and seen others struggle through this turbulent time. It seems like people are learning how to better support one another emotionall­y, because of all the chaos we have

gone through together. And together we support each other and that makes learning how to accept missing out much easier. The really good news, once again, is that the end is in sight.

Yes, I will take the vaccine, as will my family. But I have spoken to a number of people who won’t, aren’t sure, or still think the virus is a hoax, so it’s up to us to set our own boundaries and be responsibl­e for our own well-being. For a little while, our collective psychology will continue to be a bit confused, but I do believe that in time the vast majority of us will be on the same page. And that, my friends, is something to look forward to and celebrate.

 ?? Getty Images/TNS ?? ■ Confetti fills the air on a mostly empty Times Square on New Year’s Eve in New York City. Due to the coronaviru­s outbreak, Times Square was closed to all but a few revelers.
Getty Images/TNS ■ Confetti fills the air on a mostly empty Times Square on New Year’s Eve in New York City. Due to the coronaviru­s outbreak, Times Square was closed to all but a few revelers.
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