Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) – Halloween Edition

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welcome to november 2nd, which marks less than two months until it is 2016! i spent hours on friday trying to get a post out about halloween but it ate the post up 6 times until i screamed, punched my laptop and cursed the invention of the internet i simply stepped away from the computer.

my husband and i started out halloween strong by dubbing ourselves ‘the most athletic couple’ at 6:30am. i guess for halloween we were ‘sporty spices.’ he went rowing and i went to run a 5k with my friend beki (remember, we are all about focusing on our own goals).

they had a nacho bar after the race (i ate plain tortillas chips but i love all crunchy carbs so it was fine). look at those vats of cheese!

halloweenathon nachos

halloweenathon race

neither beki nor i love running – even when the weather is perfect and we are wearing athletic clothes. putting on a costume and then running? no thank you. i did run in my dobby shirt though so maybe a half point to gryffindor?


the rest of the day resulted in watching portland slowly flood (they even closed down most of our railway systems because water was flooding the tracks) and snuggling on the couch. i was totally and completely fine with this until about 5pm when i looked at social media.

halloween is one of those holidays where i usually really like social media. i love to see the creativity of people that i know, remotely know or just stalk in terms of costume creation and creativity. it is always highly impressive. when i looked around at 5pm and saw everyone having a grand ol’ time dressed up or out and about, i was hit with the ‘fear of missing out’ feeling or FOMO as the cool kids call it (i had to google it when lindsay used it once in a comment).

fear of missing out (FOMO) is basically considering all of the other things you ‘could’ or ‘should’ be doing instead of doing what you actually want to or need to. i had a fierce case of this on halloween night as i scrolled through the creative costumes and people out having fun (well not the trick-or-treaters in portland because they were drenched). i asked my husband about 5 times if we should throw something together quick and go out because i wondered if we were ‘being boring’ by hanging out on the couch, playing games (backgammon anyone?) and eating a lot. i said things like ‘but what happens when we look back at halloween 2015 and this is all we have to remember it by!?’

our halloween

the ‘fear of missing out’ feeling is real and intense but the outcome is rarely good. when i do something just to ‘prove’ that i’m not missing out, i notice that i’m often left feeling unfulfilled, disappointed and anxious.

we did look online to see what was going on in portland (apparently there was an erotica ball happening!) but then my husband said “i like what we are doing, we aren’t going to be able to do this for a while.”

he was totally right. he is traveling to five different places (in the next 15 days) before we hop on a plane to south america and antarctica. we don’t have the possibility another mellow night in our own home until after december 10 and it would have to be squeezed in before we start our christmas travels to dallas and kansas city! yes, we will be doing lots of other exciting, fun and sometimes stressful things but to simply sit on our couch, use our mugs and love on our puppy won’t be happening for a while so it was totally the right call to stay in for us.

plus, it was pretty spooktacular out and this setting just begs for curling up and watching movies while sipping something boozy warm.


once i acknowledged that the feeling i was having wasn’t this longing for unfulfilled excitement out on a halloween night but rather FOMO, i enjoyed our evening much more.

i do have to brag on my sister and her husband for a second because i think they win for the best executed costume! she told me about this idea when we hiked mountains in phoenix but i wasn’t sure how it would come out. leave it to them to totally and completely rock at being black and white film stars! so good, right?!

halloween black and white

next time you get the urge which may feel something along the lines of “ohhhh but wouldn’t it sound/look/be cooler if we were doing _____?!” ask yourself if you are feeling a ‘fear of missing out’ or if it is something that will actually fulfill you!

have you experienced FOMO recently? tell me about your halloween weekend!


  1. Erin @ Very Erin

    November 2, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Sometimes I have a bit of FOMO. My husband and I were old and boring this Halloween and just hung out at home and watched Netflix and hung out. But then I remember that I would RATHER hang out in my PJ’s and watch Netflix with my husband than go out on Halloween!
    Erin @ Very Erin recently posted…November Goals

    • chelsea

      November 2, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      glad i’m not alone in this, erin! i’m glad that you also hung out and watched netflix for halloween erin – that doesn’t make you old and boring but exactly what you said – what you’d rather do! glad you are noticing that 🙂
      chelsea recently posted…Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) – Halloween Edition

  2. Kaz

    November 2, 2015 at 10:07 am

    love the post chelsea…i was out and about in the monsoonal weather on Halloween night and got wet and cold and got home at 9pm to dry a bunch of wet clothes and shoes. i also got halloween updates from family in san diego about how warm they were even at 8pm going trick or treating. if you were warm on halloween i would take that as a win !

    • chelsea

      November 2, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      oh my goodness i cannot believe you were out in that ridiculous mess, kaz! you are a brave soul 🙂 we definitely were warm and snuggly so indeed it was a win!

  3. Audrey

    November 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    More like 10 and a half points to Gryffindor 😉 And 20 points to your sister! Dang! That’s an awesome couples costume!!

    I think I have a FOMO often… My mom teases me and says I was a baby that wouldn’t nap because I always wanted to be in the action with everyone. Now I just remind myself that I NEED those nights/weekends/hours alone and I will be WAY less happy if I forfeit that for an activity I’m not thrilled about!
    Audrey recently posted…End of October Movie Update

    • chelsea

      November 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      haha that made me laugh about points to my sister. isn’t that the coolest couples costume!? ha- i think my FOMO may have started at nap time too and sometimes there is validity with wanting to get out and be part of the fun but only if it’s what we really want. well said about feeling way less happy if it’s an activity you aren’t thrilled about!

  4. Elyse

    November 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Your sister and her husband have a great costume!

    Sigh…I had FOMO too with Halloween and I can’t figure out why, since I HATE Halloween. Maybe since it looked like everyone was having a lot of fun at parties and I was sitting at home? I usually like sitting at home, so who knows…
    Elyse recently posted…Feels Like Home Favourites – Toronto Restaurants

    • chelsea

      November 2, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      i was hiiiiighly impressed with how their costumes came out! yeah, i feel you about seeing others having fun while we were at home, i was there with you elyse! it’s such a weird thing…

  5. Macy

    November 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    YES to this entire post! This was the first time in probably 10 years that I didn’t do anything on Halloween. I totally had FOMO while looking through everyones photos. I wanted to be out there with them, but really it was nice just relaxing for an entire night.

    • chelsea

      November 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      i am so glad you found it was actually nicer to be at home relaxing for the entire night macy! curse social media at times for making us question good nights at home!

  6. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    November 2, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I dressed up for the first time in five years so I guess we are usually pretty boring on Halloween. That sounds like us on New Years last year though but in the end it was so nice to not have all the expectations and figuring out what to wear etc.

    I thought of you this week when I went running for the first time in forever, I stopped a few times just because I wanted to and didn’t feel guilty about it because my goals are just to run for fun. 🙂

    • chelsea

      November 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

      woohoo i’m glad you had some fun this halloween by dressing up, courtney! i agree that sometimes those expectations of having to go out and coordinate sometimes just isn’t that fun!

      SO proud of you for running! YAY and huge high fives for not feeling guilty about stopping because your goal is to run for fun! *high fives

  7. Elizabeth T

    November 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Yep I definitely have FOMO sometimes because the hubs and I are pretty much an old boring couple who’d much rather sit at home and watch Harry Potter than go to a Halloween party. (However since we watched HP on Halloween that means we should get 5 points for each of our houses, right?) I’m glad you guys decided that spending an evening at home was special too. Also huge props to your sister for the costumes–they look fantastic!
    Elizabeth T recently posted…Currently // November

    • chelsea

      November 4, 2015 at 8:43 am

      well if it’s harry potter vs. halloween party i think you made the right call! and yes, your point system is accurate elizabeth! i still can’t get over how cool my sisters costume came out!

  8. Rachel G

    November 4, 2015 at 2:49 am

    I recently told my cousin she has FOMO and she totally agreed with me. I told her to work on that. 😛 I’m such a good big cousin. I’m one of those people who thinks my life is way preferable to anyone else’s life in the whole entire world so FOMO or questioning my choices isn’t really a thing for me. I blame my mom. My family is way overly self-confident…

    • chelsea

      November 4, 2015 at 8:44 am

      whew good thing your cousin has you rachel 🙂 i suppose it’s much better to be way overly self-confident than way underly self-confident so go mama 🙂

  9. Kate

    November 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I used to have major FOMO, especially when I was younger (and single). I hated the idea of missing out on a good party! I think back then, my FOMO was driven by loneliness, and going out and partying with people who weren’t the best influence on me wasn’t the way to fix that. Fortunately, I think I’ve reached a point where I am perfectly happy to be boring on the couch, with nothing interesting to post to instagram (except maybe a picture of the dog).
    Kate recently posted…Gettin’ Weird with Millicent: Basic Doods

  10. Hannah Haworth

    November 5, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    I know this exact feeling (never knew there was a term for it so there you go, learned something new). In fact my husband and I had this just last night. It was bonfire night here in the UK last night, one of my favourite holidays from when I was a child. Typically we would cook a hearty stew and then go out to a bonfire with a flask of something warm and watch the fireworks. In the last few years more and more people are delaying the celebration until the weekend which meant there weren’t any local bonfires or displays on actual bonfire night. Still, I was adamant I wanted to mark the occasion in some way, just because it was bonfire night and I felt I ought to. Andrew wasn’t feeling well and we must have changed our minds on what to do about 100 times, for fear of missing out on the celebrations. When we heard the neighbours setting off their own fireworks through the evening we then made a half hearted effort with a few sparklers in the back yard, which felt a bit forced. We finally accepted we weren’t in a fit state to properly celebrate. Instead we will delay the celebrations (like everyone else) and go see a display on Saturday night instead!