FOMO- Getting Over Your “Fear of Missing Out”

End of the week, exhausted, I looked forward to the upcoming community festivities with dread. Here in Japan, our cherry blossom season is short but breathtaking! When those pink blossoms start to burst forth, we are all in a hot hurry to get to the nearby castle (which is not so nearby … 3 hours away) to join thousands of others, to claustrophobically capture the fleeting beauty before the branches are emptied and the mote is filled with yesterday’s blossoms. Saturday or Sunday. We had to pick which day to block out for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

I wanted to go.

But I really didn’t.

Maybe it’s that I felt obligated, like going to this event was something I should do, or that I would truly be missing out if I chose not to participate. Afraid that I was about to spend a precious day off on an activity which I was only going to because I didn’t want to miss anything; I was FOMO-phobic.  FOMO is a sweet little acronym that describes the following:

Fear

Of

Missing

Out

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The ULTIMATE Spring in Your Step PLAYLIST

Cherry blossoms, warm sun, and getting to finally use the AC in my car… I love this time of year! Spring has the power to turn just about anyone into an optimist after a long winter (unless you live in Colorado… then you get a mix of summer heat and blizzard dumps this time of year)! I took me almost 2 years to transfer my old music to my new(er) iPod and now my mornings have been pumped up with the peppiest music to start the day! Sharing with you a good mix of my throwbacks favorites and my new loves that getting me moving when I can’t get my lazy butt out of bed! Continue reading

Unplugging to Connect: 7am-7pm

I got my first phone in Junior High…instead of a jewelry, my dad got me a Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go phone (“Purity ‘Ring’”… my dad is as cheesy and practical as I am). I liked having the security of being able to call for a ride after sports practices, but rarely used it because I had to protect those minutes… God forbid anyone text me at 10 cents a pop!

Having a smartphone was never a priority until when my husband and I moved overseas. The GPS helps us navigate nameless roads in Asia and FaceTime connects us to those we love. However, if I’m being transparent, the more homesick I get, the more I cling to the device that helps me feel connecting to the happenings back in the States. Yet, the time drain from these devices is keeping me from being present in where God has placed me now.

I need to unplug to connect.

At the beginning of this month I saw a great challenge to unplug from your phone in the evening and morning hours. I decided to set a 7am to 7pm challenge to turn off my phone and see what kind of changes I’ve noticed.  Barely two weeks in and I can see the impact.

Sleep:

Without a pandora’s box of distractions in my hand, I can actually stick to my early bedtime. I’m not exactly getting up that much early, but lately I’ve been getting about 9hours of sleep consistently and I think that’s my magical “sleep number”. Getting enough rest definitely reduces my stress.

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Winter’s Not Forever

As a teacher, you aren’t supposed to cry in front of your kids. But, today was a hard day. Do you every have one of those weeks where you feel like you can’t win? Situations where you feel like you are doing everything in your power, giving 110%, but the cards are just stacked against you sometimes? One thing after another, built up to this morning, when a simple schedule change at the end of the quarter set my domino train of frustrations collapsing down. As soon as I sent my kids to their Japanese teacher, I burst out in tears, praying I could “suck it up” before my precious little Kindergarteners return. The tears weren’t for the lesson plans I had to rewrite, but for the last couple weeks where nothing could just be simple, or just work as planned. As they came back in, I got the waterworks under control and my classroom aide guided my tissue to get some stray mascara off my cheeks.

But, God sent me some needed grace today.

First, my classroom of five and six year olds, normally lagging in the morning, went through our morning routine with optimism, vigor, and enthusiasm. Dancing and singing, the kids flew through most languid part of their day. At one point during the morning, I got “hug tackled” by 18 of these crazy kids.

After working through lunch, I was again greeted by those little smiling faces. Little hints of spring are coming up around our playground. Teeny tiny flowers are growing in the grass, and my class ran into the room to show me these microscopic bouquets they picked for me during their recess break. I tell you what, a bouquet of weeds from these little ones shows more love than a dozen roses (unless you’re my husband reading this, then yes, I would like flowers please 😉 ) .

This afternoon, my boisterous class and I made a deal. If they were whisper-quiet, I would play Star Wars music during their math stations. On a rainy Friday afternoon, listening to some John Williams and having your 5-year olds work in peace and productivity, was truly a godsend.

Driving home on this dank and dreary afternoon, my eyes spotted little cherry blossoms budding. Here in Japan, that means a magical season of cotton candy colored trees is ahead. Today, in my dreary and despondent mood, I was blessed by simple kindness of my children.  Like the cherry blossom buds, it was a little sign of hope that winter isn’t forever. Spring is coming.

Many Blessings,

kenzie-from-gumptiongrace-com