I heard this term recently somewhere (and I totally forget where) and it stands for:
THE JOY OF MISSING OUT ON/IN REAL LIFE
Sounds totally counter-intuitive but bear with me …
As we come out of some of the significant restrictions from COVID and so many things begin to re-open, I am struck by how so much of life feels odd. For example, my son broke his iPad the other day and I had to go to an apple store to get it swapped out (Thank God for the Apple Care insurance!!). The Apple store that had the specific iPad we needed in stock was in a large indoor local mall. As I walked down the hallway to the Apple store, not too far from the entrance where I parked, I found myself literally feeling my skin crawl as I attempted to stay socially distanced from the all the people there. Most were wearing masks, but the feeling of being so close to people I didn’t know was so foreign, so odd, so unwelcome, so scary.
It took so long for all of us get used to staying six (6) feet away from people and wearing masks and washing hands that anything outside of those new norms feels wrong. And I’m not sure we “SHOULD” go back to those old norms, the hustle and bustle and busyness of life where we don’t spend as much time at home and with our loved ones, where we don’t see the inside of our houses for hours and hours during the day and don’t enjoy the spaces we have curated carefully over these last months of quarantining and hunkering down.
Did we learn anything about a slower pace of life?
Did we learn about getting back to nature?
What lessons can we take from this slower paced time?
Before all of you extroverted people being flipping out because you NEED face-to-face time with people in order to feel energized and fulfilled, I am speaking from the perspective of an introvert. Everyone has different needs in terms of interaction with people and I know that only children or people who live alone have struggled in different ways.
I think the forced separation from activities that have become routine has showed all of us a different way or at least the possibility of a different way. While I know many have missed out on the regular interaction with coworkers at the office, I am hopeful that we will generally see more remote working, which allows for greater flexibility and lower overhead and the inclusion of talent a business might not be able to attract otherwise. While many of my doctor’s appointments need to be in person, I do enjoy the benefits of tele-medicine and would hope that some permutation of that will continue. While talking on the phone can meet the requirements of communication over long or short distances, talking to each other via zoom or other platforms where we can see each other’s faces is much preferable. While I know that many/most conferences will return to mostly in person, which I personally miss terribly, the fact that there are so many robust platforms for virtual conferences means that more and more people will be able to participate, regardless of location and ability to travel.
There is joy in silence, in getting away, in spending time with those you love and I, for one, hope that we don’t rush to get back to something that wasn’t working for so many in the first place.