Over the past few years, I’ve discovered something about myself. Something others may call a “disease” or an “affliction.” But unlike most illnesses I’m not aware of any official name or diagnosis. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s somewhat unique to me since it comes from a combination of my parents’ personalities.
I’ll call it ARFOMO (Anal Retentive Fear of Missing Out).
You’re probably aware of FOMO, a pretty commonly-used term. Once my family heard other people use this phrase, we were relieved to know that my mom suffers from a well-known issue (previously, we called it “But I wanna goooooo too!!!”
And anal retentive is pretty obvious; I get my need-to-know-each-moment-of-my-day/week/life-in-advance from my dad, a retired teacher and coach.
These two characteristics, along with my first-born natural desires to impress everyone in my life, make for some pretty interesting internal battles I have. “Ooooh!” I’ll think, emotions guiding me like my mom. “Kelli and Oscar (my sister and her husband) just moved into a new townhouse that has a pool, AC, and most importantly, screens on the windows! I should go visit right away!”
Then my dad appears on my left shoulder. “Do you have your 76th year of life paid for yet? What if you need cataract surgery unexpectedly? WILL YOU BE ABLE TO PAY FOR IT?”
Yes, I’m exaggerating (we’ve already determined I have a penchant for drama), but hopefully you can see my dilemma. You may be able to understand that when I spotted $210 roundtrip tickets for the first weekend of the summer, I went a little nuts.
“Going to see Kelli for $200?! That’s such a great deal! And really, now killer lizards won’t climb through the windows and eat me – I pretty much have to go.”
“But Traci, you and Russell just bought VIP tickets to a music festival. You agreed you’d stay at home the rest of the summer eating cheese sandwiches to replenish your savings.”
“TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR TICKETS? How can I pass that up?”
Anyway, this story has gone on longer than necessary. My mom’s genes won and that’s how I found myself on a plane across the Gulf and Caribbean to see my little sister.
To be continued…
Update: Part II here
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