Diagnosed: GIAG Syndrome

Before I say anything, I should note this is 1) a self-diagnosis and 2) not a real “disease”. However, at times, it can be an all-consuming, seemingly incurable, inescapable mindset.

We know we love one thing, place, job, and/or lifestyle; we work hard to achieve a balance and revel in the normality of day to day life. But , we want this life to count, to know that we took advantage of every open door.

There are so many options! So many things to see!
So many other places to be…

GIAG: Grass is always Greener {on the other side}
{aka FOMO:Fear of Missing Out}

Lost Lake Nederland

While walking home from the Tuesday night lululemon run a few weeks ago, I realized how routine it felt (ignoring the fact that we recently switched the day of the run). “This is normal, and normal feels pretty good.”

Each week I go to work from Monday-Friday, a luxury I haven’t had consistently for the past two years (by choice, sure). I grocery shop  with D, read the Express just so I can skip to the puzzles, make plans with friends, go to the lululemon group run and see familiar faces, join Kate at our usual running spot, hopefully fit in a yoga class at my favorite studios and come home to the same apartment (another luxury that once wasn’t).

Life is calm, no Jack has popped out of the box lately and everything feels consistent. On one hand, we revel in this, taking genuine notice of it all the time. We’re thankful, relaxed, and going through the motions.

broadstreet10groupyoga mat strap
D cyclingsummer washington monumentD&H Dinner

On the other hand, I see travel specials to Paris and resist every urge to click “Purchase NOW!”. I see pictures of a sunny day in Seattle, a hike in the Rockies, or a beach day on the California coast and think “What if….”. I read everything that shouts a message of seizing opportunities, expressing priorities and making the most out of this one life that we’re graciously given.

What if these years aren’t enough to see and do everything we want? What if one city, one adventure, one sport, one decision is “better” than the alternative? How will we ever know and do all of the things our minds want to grasp, experience and share?

you only live once

These thoughts run through my head quickly, repetitively and to a point where an anxiety decides to set up camp because man, we’ve got decisions to make, like, yesterday!

GIAG syndrome overwhelmingly takes over and tells me there’s too much to {try to} experience in one lifetime to stay put! It tells me to keep moving, keep seeing, keep testing and keep hoping. It doesn’t tell me that things, as they are, can be just fine.

Luckily, I read this little gem the other day, courtesy of the brilliant Tiny Buddha – a collection of writers frequently post and rarely disappoint. I usually skim Google Reader for titles that jump out at the flavor-feeling of the moment, and this past week? I needed to hear this:

You see, the problem with having choices is that we become restless. We can’t settle on what we already have or be satisfied with what we’ve got because we’ll always be wondering about the next big thing.

…..Mindfulness helps you to appreciate life as it happens. It stops us from agonizing over what might’ve been or what could be. It just brings us back to the present.

Because happiness isn’t about where you live or the things you do. It isn’t about being on an impossible mission to do everything, see everywhere, and accomplish everything you ever dreamed.

Happiness is a state of mind.

Happiness is: knowing I have a job that fulfills, challenges and encourages me every day; I’m in a relationship with my best friend, someone I know would take any adventure with me at any time; I have the means to travel, see my family, fill my fridge and buy that cute dress when I just can’t resist.

Happiness is not only embracing my GIAG & FOMO, because they push me to do something different, exciting and new whenever the door is slightly ajar, but also knowing when to rein them in because this routine is a good one.

yoga studio spaceOpen city daterun lulu run


What’s your happiness right now?

Any fellow GIAG & FOMO embracers? Welcome to the club, we meet in the web space regularly, searching for adventure, pinning, writing, wishing and planning.

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19 Comments

Filed under about me, distractions, learning, motivation, things that make you go Hmmmm, travel

19 responses to “Diagnosed: GIAG Syndrome

  1. Great post! I feel like my happiness right now comes on my days off when I actually get to do the things I want to do, embrace and explore things that I am interested in. I am getting to the point where I don’t really care to be a people pleaser all the time anymore and it is so freeing. 🙂

  2. Bah! I totally get a bad case of FOMO if I say no to something! It’s so bad! I end up running around like a crazy person, stressing out over stupid stuff because I don’t give myself 5 minutes to chill!

  3. I fluctuate myself, but I find that patience helps. Usually if I wait, the greener grass ends up happening a little further down the road naturally….

  4. Yes! Applause, cheers. I love Tiny Buddha.

    It’s so important to stop and embrace all the awesome things going on in YOUR life.

    I have so many happy things right now, very lucky. One is being surrounded by supportive family.

    High fives to you!

  5. amen amen! we always feel that way, but then realize we create our own happiness. What we have, what we are passionate about. We don’t have steady jobs, a house, etc. but you strive for making each other happy and that makes you happy. Do i make sense? haha. I love this Heather

  6. khaselkorn

    Love love love. You capture this feeling so perfectly! As someone who sees you (almost) every day, let me just say, it seems like you’ve got it alllll figured out. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one angsting over these things.

    This thought catalogue post is a little fluffy but has some great points along these lines… http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/25-things-ive-learned-in-my-twenties/

  7. I hear ya! I think I agreed with everything you wrote! Pinterest is a great and bad way to realize all you want to do and all you the stuff you can’t do.

  8. This post came at a perfect time! I’ve been having a bad case of FOMO lately and needed this reminder to appreciate the things I AM able to do 🙂

  9. Oh man I love made-up words like this! (like me and OATT syndrome, hehe) Especially when those made-up words or phrases hold such meaning — you bring up such a great point about mindfulness leading to true happiness in the everyday. Not that we should’nt chase dreams or hope/dream, but that shouldn’t take precedence over appreciating and embracing the here and now too. AWESOME reminder, thank you!

  10. Great post, Heather! SO true that embracing the moment is sometimes the hardest because of all those open doors. But walking through open doors isn’t a bad thing either. Sometimes I find myself at a standstill because so many doors are open that I’m just not sure which one to hop through.

    Like the commuter bike purchase I’m debating back and forth…either a total upright steel mixte frame Breezer commuter or a hybrid flat bar Specialized that is affordable enough for me to lock up, but would work for commuting (and some shorter long rides too). BAH. It’s a miracle I’ve traveled or done anything exciting with how indecisive I am. 😉

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more! I often have a similar “what if…” feeling. But you’re right, it is important to learn to become happy with what you have while still keeping the spark alive to continue to learn, grow and explore new things. To me, those are the most interesting people and the ones who are really living their life.

  12. Very nice post. I have gone thru it so many times! ‘Til I read a book called “One Thousand Gifts” I will always say it was a life changer for me. We have to really learn to be thankful even for that good ole’ routine.

  13. Thanks so much for this! It is something I have to remind myself of everyday. Enjoy today, you never know when you will have the opportunity to enjoy these moments, these people, this job again. I’ve been looking for a way to talk to my boyfriend about this because I feel as though he may never be happy, always searching for something bigger, better… Thanks so much!

  14. Ahhh great post! It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things you want to see and do, especially when you see others experiencing those things… good reminder to enjoy where we are and what we have NOW and make every moment count.

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  16. Oh, I loved loved loved this post. So true. Thank you for putting it all into wonderful words.

  17. Wow, I really love this. Almost the OPPOSITE of FOMO and GIAG…it’s actually using that to empower yourself to DO something different, take the leap, take the chance and the choice. DON’T miss out. Such a great message, well put!!

  18. I can’t believe I haven’t commented on this yet, but I fully agree with everything in this post! I don’t work a Monday-Friday kind of job, and sometimes I wonder if I would like the routine of it all. On the other hand, I can take a long vacation without taking any vacation time which is awesome. Sometimes I get sad when I’m at work on a weekend (or Christmas…) and see how much fun other people are having or think about how I’m not with my family.

    But it’s important to think more about what you DO have versus what you’re missing out on. I get to do random things on Tuesdays while everyone else is at work. We still celebrate Christmas, but it might be on a different day.

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