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SAD and FOMO: Can You Relate?

SAD and FOMO: Can You Relate?
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Now that the summer is over, I have a little confession to make. Please don’t judge me.

I hate summer.

I know, can you believe I just admitted that so publicly? But it’s true! And what makes this so awkward is that summer is usually everyone’s favorite season of the year. Is it yours?

I’m convinced I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) coupled with a fear of missing out (FOMO) in the summer. As soon as I hear people start discussing their Memorial Day weekend plans with glee, I break out in a sweat (both figuratively and literally). It’s only right after Labor Day weekend that I can click my heels knowing that the dog days of summer are behind me.

I didn’t always feel this way.

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I remember how perfect the temperatures were in June, July and August. And who could forget the Indian summers in September – remember those? The average temperatures would be in the 70s, with blue, sunny skies back then. We didn’t have to worry about SPFs, heat waves or zika virus either!

Fast forward to present day summers. Is it just me or are those gorgeous days of summer from the 60s and 70s just a distant memory now? Can you really reflect back on this past summer and talk about weather like that? I can’t.

I’m not sure when I started to feel ‘SAD’ in the summer. I think it began back in my 20s during the hot summers in Philly. Everyone cleared out of town on the weekends to go ‘down the shore’. I wasn’t really familiar with that concept when I moved to Philly in my 20s, but I feared that I was missing out.

Who knew that FOMO even existed back then?

In my mid-30s, my 3 friends and I decided to join a rental beach house in Ventnor, NJ. We slept on mattresses the thickness of a pringle’s potato chip, and shared the house with 12 other people. Unfortunately the ratio was 4:1 (4 women to every guy). The women in the house would leave post-it notes about ‘not emptying the trash’ or ‘ not changing the empty toilet paper roll’. Dinner plans involved a 2-hour discussion about where to go.  OMG!

After two summers in the beach house, my friends and I decided that wasn’t our scene. Was it yours?

Moving to NYC in my late 30s, the mass summer exodus occurred on most Friday afternoons, when Penn Station (and the highways) were jammed with commuters and locals who were “jonesing” to get to the beach for the weekend. The Hampton Jitney always had a line of people wrapped around the block, anxious to escape the city heat.

By 5pm, the city took on an eerie silence from the emptiness.

I used to head to the beach in those days but at my age, I’m too ‘hyper’ to relax on a beach for hours on end and am trying to minimize my time in the sun (although I guess a big umbrella is always an option).  My summer FOMO starts to creep in when I’m reminded of those beer commercials where everyone is thin and athletic, engaging in a fabulous beach volleyball game. Afterwards, they’re usually laughing and drinking cold beer out of a cooler.

And where were those people when I was in Ventnor I ask you?

While I know I might be in the minority when it comes to being a “heat hater”, I know many of my friends suffer from SAD in the winter months, as the days are shorter and it’s dark outside when they leave for work and when they return home. They complain that it takes too long to bundle up and heat up their cars every morning just to stay warm. They bemoan the fact of how freezing they are every time they must take their dogs outside in the winter too.

I wish I could relate to all of that. Unfortunately, I am that person you see in the 30-degree weather walking down the street with a big smile on her face. My FOMO seems to go away as I look forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, my November birthday and the first snowfall of the season.

Now that the summer is over, do you find yourself becoming depressed about the long, cold days of winter around the corner, or are you like me, clicking your heels? After looking at people’s photos on Facebook in the summer, did you also find yourself with a little FOMO? We can’t wait to hear which seasonal camp you fall into.

As you ponder those questions, please excuse me. I must now go dust off my snowshoes.


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