FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a real thing.
After living the past two years of our lives through insanity, last Wednesday I was reminded to not let moments go.
Oddly, this column is a fun follow-up to last week’s “Musings,” where I shared a fondness for a few special “things” in my life, even though I’m more of a memories over things girl.
Getting straight to it … I sat out the ladies and libations last week. A longtime tradition that I’ve enjoyed more than not in my 20-year tenure of working at The Leader.
I’ve shared these stories before and often times at this exact time of the year.
The early days of Cowgirl Luncheon with barely 100 in attendance in the courtyard situated between H-B and the Cowboy Museum. Umbrella tables, stocked with bubbly and cowboys filing out from the Bachi’s restaurant side of the historical saloon. Good times and great memories.
This year however, for whatever reason, I just opted to sit it out.
In years past I’ve been disappointed by the lack of respect given during the presentation of the Cowgirl Honoree by the ladies in attendance for lunch. Feelings I’ve shared here as well.
Current Cowboy Museum Director Bambi Porter, however, seemed to have found a way to corral the ladies and get their attention when I attended the postponed luncheon last August. It was commendable, the way she was able to bring silence into the packed Bianchi Community Center for the worthy presentation.
It wasn’t for lack of invitation that I took a pass this year either. Even right up to the Tuesday night before I had friends inquiring if I’d like to join; still I declined. I just wasn’t feeling it for whatever reason.
That is until about 2 o’clock that day.
Oh I hear a few of you chuckling at this and see the others grinning, because you too well know that FOMO is real.
Picking my daughter up at school for the first rodeo Wednesday in I don’t know how many years, just felt odd. I’ve always been fortunate to have my kids covered on that day and this year would have been no different.
Driving through town, I knew what I was missing out on; perhaps that’s part of the problem. All the mayhem aside, it’s just a good time and it took missing it for me to be reminded.
Shortly after noon last Wednesday I received a text from a girlfriend also at work, asking where I would be later in the afternoon as she’d be getting off early.
“I’m sitting this one out,” I texted back. She acknowledged, said she had hoped to catch me for a drink and we agreed to a raincheck.
Fast forward three hours and I found myself at home inquiring where she had ended up. Confessing to the inevitable FOMO. She replied with a simple, “I hate FOMO.”
Later I would confess yet again to my partner how I had learned a valuable lesson. Being the guy who’s always up for a good time, he reminded me it wasn’t too late to meet up with a few girlfriends who had invited me to join them at a spot in town the night before.
“You’re dressed all cute and ready to go,” he cheered, “don’t waste it. Go join the girls.”
It was sweet and probably a moment I’ll not soon forget. But again I declined.
The point of all this rambling and awareness really isn’t to be a martyr or anything like that. It’s simply to acknowledge what many of us already know.
Sometimes you need to miss something to truly appreciate it.
Big picture, this really wasn’t about the luncheons, although I do enjoy all the hugs, smiles and two minute catch ups. It’s hard to find a person not having a good time on Rodeo Wednesday. The laughs are loud and the joy contagious.
I learned a good lesson last Wednesday. I’m grateful for that.
Some may not understand “Rodeo Week” and what all the fuss is about. I’m grateful to know that it’s really not about “fuss,” it’s about community, heritage and good ol’ small town tradition.
It truly can’t get much better than that. Until next year, Cowgirls.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.