Friday, May 10, 2013

What "Friends" Taught Me About the Present


     
    I've had this odd day dream in my mind lately of Ross and Rachel and all the Friends crew talking and sitting around Central Perk, the coffee shop they always hung out at. I've been asking myself: How did they just sit there so relaxed? Aren't they thinking: I have to go get some work done! I need to clean the house! Go to the bank!... ? It never seems like it. They took time for that stuff and then they made time away from it. They are always so present in those moments, enjoying each other's company, passing the time with stories. I guess it helps that they have fictitious jobs and that Joey barely ever has one, but there are aspects of those scenes that I want for myself; moments in the day when I feel totally unconcerned with anything but what's happening in front of me: my life, my only one. 

     When I'm on a wave I feel like this, so long as I'm not too occupied by some grudge against a chauvinistic dude. I can even feel the way the wax moves under each one of my toes. How often, outside of the ocean, do I ever think about what my toes are feeling? Never, really. Some waves, the really good ones, even seem to move slower than the rest of life. I notice the way they change colors as I ride them. I'm happy to realize I'm so present in my surfing experiences, but I want to transfer this to the land, as well.

     I want to say I'm good at being present, being satisfied with what I have and who I am and not letting my mind wander to what I should be doing or what I want to accomplish, but I'm not sure that's true; at least not as much as I would like it to be.  

     Let's just say, I'm trying and I'm going to try harder and during all of this, I am going to think of those moments the Friends crew had sitting around Central Perk waiting for Gunther to bring them their drinks and how unconcerned they seemed with anything else. How they were making the meaningful memories then (and not worrying about Instagramming them). And picturing this is going to help me visualize what I want, at least some of the day, even if it's just a story.



Are you good at being present? How do you manage to stay in the moment?

16 comments:

  1. oh I LOVE that show. and yes, i learned that too. your words are just better

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  2. oh I LOVE that show. and yes, i learned that too. your words are just better

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  3. I love this! And I love the show Friends. In my own life I'm not great at being present. I'm easily distracted, I have anxiety, and am not great just enjoying the moment. But I really WANT to, and am trying to get better at it.

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  4. I'm good at it but that's because I live in a state of denial. Yes, that homework can wait. I can type up that paper tomorrow. Reading is just so much more soul-soothing for me.

    And then I kind of regret it when I'm frantically doing work last minute. But not really.

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  5. so true! i love FRIENDS but it is a but too unrealistic :)

    staying in the present is a great goal for me,too

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  6. I think that Central Perk was just their downtimes. Then again they always seemed to have downtimes at each other's homes too. Monica's apartment was always the den for "hangouts" (I think Rachel brought the party ;)

    I think most coffee shops are like this. When we go to one here on Saturday AM's it seems like there are many people stopping to sip their coffee, taking in the day, planning the rest of the day but relaxing at the same time.

    We all need our time to just escape. You have surfing, others have coffee. We all just have to find our peaceful mind space, so we can learn to let go, take it all in and be present :)

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  7. People always say how unrealistic it is that they were always hanging out there, but as a die-hard Friends fan I like to give them the benefit of the doubt. They lead fulfulling busy lives! (yes, they're real people in my mind). They are just able to shut it all off when spending time together, which is something I strive to do as well.

    This reminder was great for me today, since I'm camping for the weekend in a beautiful space and was thinking how bad the timing is, because I have SO much to do. Now I can't wait to just escape and spend some time in the present with good friends.

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  8. Hmmm, have you ever read FLOW, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? (No, I did not just randomly type a bunch of letters!) I know exactly what you are talking about and was thinking recently of just this amazing thing that happens when you are hanging with people all relaxed and happy and there's just this perfection in it. So hard to find as you get older! (I'm 50) I don't surf well enough to get it there but sometimes just when I'm quietly resting on my board in the water it happens. It happens snowboarding, and when I was climbing and when I used to be with climbing buds. This post is a GREAT reminder to find more of it and especially more of it with friends. (the real kind not the tv kind!)happy Weekend!

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  9. A lovely post Devon. Sometimes I find it so hard to put the worries and anxiety to one side and enjoy the here and now, but I know that one day I will look back and wish I had enjoyed the moment more. I am going to focus on being present this weekend. Connecting and just being there. Thank you for reminding me how important that is.

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  10. What a great analogy! That is one of my all time favorite shows. It's amazing. I've always wanted those tight knit friendships they have with each other, and the way they all came together at the end of the day no matter what happened.

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  11. I <3 friends! Funny that show has come up in conversation a couple times this week. Maybe we're all yearning for some of that unplugged-presence of mind? I guess even realizing this is the first step...happy weekend!

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  12. I have never thought about that while watching Friends before, but you are right. All they cared about was the moment and each other, which even though it was just a tv show...why can't we be like that? I'm such a huge list person and it's more about what's in between the items on my list than it is crossing things off. Does that make sense??

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  13. That's so true! I never thought of it but you're right about the friends on Friends. They were just there and enjoying and being and living. How you describe being in the ocean and riding a wave is exactly why I think I fell in love with surfing so quickly and why I am drawn to it - it's for that feeling of being completely in the moment.

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  14. i love the image of them all sitting around central perk. and you're right. it was so without a care in the world.

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  15. This is such a great post! I have a hard time living in the present, but your description of how you feel when you're surfing - that is so great. I'm trying to think about how I feel when I am doing things I'm passionate about, like writing. It's easier to be in the present when I am doing what I love - although, it's hard to make time for those things in the first place!

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  16. I never really thought of that, but now that you point it out I can totally see it. I mean, I guess it makes sense that the show teaches you about friendships since it is called "Friends" but it really does demonstrate how important surrounding yourself with good people is to a fulfilled life.

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