When fear turns into joy

 In Thoughts
Allison and Elsie

Allison and Elsie

The fear of missing out (FOMO). This is what I’ve been experiencing lately and as I read this post from Sarah Wilson on the Joy of Missing out  last week, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me and I’ve come to realise that it’s been a good thing.

Since Elsie was born, I have had to deal with FOMO quite a lot. I’ve found myself daydreaming about Mysore when all my friends were there this year, scheming how I can get to Mark Robberds retreat in July after I heard folk at the studio getting all excited about it; and longing to be able to sit at a café, drink coffee and work on my laptop for as long as I like.  I can’t just go to yoga retreats, meet up with friends, sit in a cafe and work like I used to…37 years of being able to do what I want, when I want is hard to change.

Dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy, the intensity of labour and then the recovery from birth is tough on its own.  I’d have to say it’s been the most physical and emotional experience of my life.  Add to that the huge responsibility of now having Elsie to look after 24/7 as soon as she was born and you’ve got yourself a huge learning curve.  They don’t call raising a family Seventh series for nothing. It’s really hard. Even when I sleep I swear I am thinking about her.  My world and all my thoughts are about Elsie.  My only link to the outside world has been my facebook newsfeed that I can scroll through with one hand while I’m feeding.  FOMO rears its head when I see posts from friends about what they are up to while I feel stranded on the couch.   Now to all my friends, please don’t unfriend me for fear of upsetting me…I do really love reading what you’re up to!

The first month after Elsie was born was particularly hard – I never ever thought I would do anything else again.  Seriously. I thought I was never going to be brave enough to leave the house with this little baby and all that that entails. The day I got outside to hang the washing out was a huge triumph! I thought I would never get on my yoga mat again, let alone get out to a class.  I’d never ever be able to leave her for an hour to get my haircut or get a pedicure again.  EVER!

But of course, slowly as the weeks have ticked by and with Harry’s gentle encouragement and massive support, we have started to make little trips out. The first one was to Battery World!  Harry wanted to recycle some old batteries and so we figured it was as good a time as any (I hadn’t been out of the house in about a fortnight) to get outside and take Elsie for her first drive. We drove to Battery world and came straight back. I didn’t even leave the car. I barely talked. I checked on Elsie every minute!  Over the top maybe? Once we got home (30 minutes later) I was exhausted!  But that trip paved the way for me to be brave again and try another outing a few days later. And now things that seemed impossible back when Elsie was 2 weeks old now seem do-able, still a challenge but definitely do-able.  I’ve managed to start practicing again at home and have been out to 2 classes at the studio!  Go me!

After lots of reflecting about how my life is now changed forever, I am starting to feel Ok at the thought of missing out.  Elsie is an amazing being and I can’t imagine life without her. She has already taught me so much and when she smiles my heart cracks open a little more.   I am now looking forward to just having the whole day at home to just hang out with Elsie and do ‘Mum’ stuff. We don’t do much at all – it’s simple. It’s quiet (most of the time). It’s divine.  It’s Aparigraha or non-grasping (one of the fundamental principles of yoga) at its best…  Not trying to do everything and over do it.   Not trying to do 10 things on my to do list, and getting stressed at everything piling up!  Being happy to miss out on things and just enjoy my new baby.  Life happens so fast so it’s nice to slow things down.  I’m happy stepping off for a while and just taking one hour at a time….that’s all you can do with a new baby anyway ha! So now I’m embracing the joy of missing out.

~Allison

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