You may know FOMO, or fear of missing out. It’s that feeling you get when a friend suggests that you take a trapeze class. It sounds horrible to you and you dread going, but you don’t want everyone else to do it without you and the fear of missing out wins over your fear of falling off the trapeze.
Last year I got caught in an existential battle between my inner feminist and my ego.
I was giving someone I used to supervise her annual review. I had only good things to say about Victoria (not her real name): her work was excellent, on time, and thoughtful. She was young and early in her career, and I was really happy with her development and wanted her to be satisfied in her role. She’d been underpaid for some time, and I had worked hard to get a significant raise for her approved by my boss. Victoria and I had sometimes struggled to connect, and I was looking forward to giving her the good news.
After I told her that I was really happy with her work and wanted to show my appreciation with a salary increase of more than 20 percent, I waited to see Victoria smile and hear her expression of happiness. Only she didn’t seem especially glad. (read more…)
I’m confused about what comes next in life. It’s not just me. I see others struggling too. I’ve heard the following statements in just the last few weeks:
- A friend: “I just want someone to tell me what job would be good for me.”
- Someone thinking about changing jobs: “I’m paralyzed by a fear of a misstep.”
- A 24-year-old: “I feel like I’ve squandered my life so far. What have I achieved?”
We worry about our place in the working world, and if we are making the right decisions (as if there is such a thing). We worry about which next step leads to the right ultimate goal. We struggle to figure out what are strengths are and how to use them. We worry that we are missing the right/best/perfect opportunity. (read more…)
It’s easy to be disappointed as a mother.
We spend most of our “free” time doing things for our children, or making sure other people — our spouse or partner, nanny or daycare provider — do those things. While some of these tasks are rewarding, most of them aren’t very gratifying. We don’t often hear from our families that we did a good job cleaning the house, doing the laundry, or juggling making dinner with driving carpools.
In my first year as a new mother seventeen years ago, I was often disappointed. (read more…)
I know, intellectually, that failure is part of life. But it’s not something I’ve had much experience with. My life has never been messy, or far from the beaten path, or out of synch with my own expectations for myself. My first 30+ years have provided stability and many rich experiences, but it is not quite the wild and precious thing that I want for the next thirty.
I am in the middle of a change. I’m at the point where I know something is happening, but my ultimate destination is murky. Even though I can’t visualize it (or maybe because I can’t), I am worried that I might fail to arrive in this new place. And that terrifies me.