Our summer joy of missing out & the contemplative life

Pro and con lists may illuminate opportunity cost to make certain choices or decisions. Our digital world, full of social media, may enhance "FOMO" or fear of missing out. Trusty Wikipedia defines that as, "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent." As a parent of active boys with a 7am start-time in the office, the desire to be my best and most well rested self often trumps FOMO.

This Mom clicks a lot of heart emojis as she swipes on Facebook and smiles at friends gathered on the Wrigley Field lawn to watch Home Alone and other fun outings. Maybe we'll join them next summer. Thankfully, those same friends met us at the park after Mass that Sunday.

We wonder and explore with cousins. We watched July 3rd fire works on the lake with cousins until almost midnight.

The New York Times'  article, "How to Make This the Summer of Missing Out," demystifies the intuitive "JOMO" or joy of missing out. The article suggests healthy boundaries for professional expectations and online use. The author, Hayley Phelan, recommends we, "Do things with intention."

Looking up toward etched names of Renaissance painters

Peering at etched names of Renaissance painters

How can we make sense of that practice? Meghan Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame opines on this. When asked about the meaning of life, she responds, "To seek the good, and contemplate it forever."

Why not allow your summer joy of missing out aspire to Aristotle's contemplative life? We stumbled on what that means in Doctor Carrie Barron's Psychology Today post.

Cultivating an authentic and meaningful contemplative life can come from formal practices such as meditation but can also come from experiences with nature, art, music, poetry, relationships and many other things. Everyone is contemplative but not everyone relates to formal practices such as mindfulness and yoga.

Living a contemplative lifestyle is something that intersects all aspects of human life and activity. This includes work and professional life, as well as our social and family life.

The excitement of our recent family hikes in Arizona overshadowed the inevitable chaos and stress. We nudged our boys to write stories each day and draw pictures about our adventures. Although we contrasted the Zen setting, a daily flute player enhanced the ambiance at dusk.

Let's Go!

Let's Go!

Back to reality, but still in summer mode -- we recently watched the Jurassic World movie with our boys. We then visited the Art Institute of Chicago. When my husband asked our boys what they saw in various masterpieces, they responded "dinosaurs fighting."

We talked about the movie on our train ride home from the museum. It demonstrates ethical dilemmas that science and genetic engineering may pose.

Onward & Upward!

Onward & Upward!

What are you up to this summer? Hope you also experience the joy of missing out! XOXO

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