Last November, something (I believe is) wonderful happened: the cast of the hit 2000-2007 series Gilmore Girls got together for a four-episode Netflix-only reunion. They did this in response to undying requests from superfans and to answer their own questions about how the original story should have “ended” or played out.

Now, don’t worry: this isn’t going to be a play-by-play of the series. This isn’t even going to be about the series at all, so if you are a less-than-super fan of the quippy, fast-talking mother/daughter dramedy (that’s right), never fear. Hidden in the ramped up press regarding the series reboot was a (I believe) wonderful life lesson from the lead female actress of the show, Lauren Graham. In one of the many interviews she conducted regarding the show’s limited revival, Graham tried to express what is was like to return to a beloved character and story after a nine year gap:

“You hardly ever get a chance at any point in life to appreciate the moment you’re in while you’re in it. And it was sort of the people who brought us back and we got to finish a story that we hadn’t gotten to finish, and this character that I loved so much. … I had so much appreciation it was actually very overwhelming. … I was so thankful, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe it.”

What I appreciate most about this description of her experience is the truth of the moments we’re in while we’re living through them. Most of the time we have no idea what wonderful things are happening around us, to us, right now, here, today.

“The emotion I felt most was gratitude. I treasured every experience and savored every scene in a way that was different from when I did the original show. Partially this had to do with being in a different place personally and professionally. I wasn’t new to the business anymore and I had a much more acute sense of how lucky I was to be part of this cast and crew. … And I now understood in greater depth how rare it was to have had the opportunity to be a part of something this special in the first place. In the flurry of the first incarnation, it was hard to have much perspective. This time, I was thankful for every single day.” — Talking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham

We take moments and pile them together and remember them later and think, Oh, wasn’t that nice. We live in sentiment for the former, which is just another way and reason that keeps us from appreciating the now. I know everything isn’t story-worthy and that not all things can be what changes our lives or marks us in meaningful ways. And knowing later how much these moments are worth cherishing is still certainly a helpful lesson in perspective and gratitude. Many times we’ll rewrite moments we would have lived differently and think about the things we should have said or done, but rarely are we actually given the opportunity to redo those things, fictionally or otherwise. I believe Graham’s testament was to both: to both the snapshot of history she got to step back into and the memorable character she got to bring back to life.

Most of the time we have no idea what wonderful things are happening around us, to us, right now, here, today.

For me, this speaks largely to how we live each moment. Everything is over so fast. Even when the days themselves feel eternal and difficult and unforgiving, even when everything we’re doing seems to be bearing down on us, daring us to fight back without a chance, suddenly we’re past that season and into the light again. And when the days are sweet and whole and simple and all we want to do is linger within them, still the sun sets and everything starts over. Things blend. Years swirls together and memories get coated in dust. We move on without realizing what we’re leaving.

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves." - Rainer Maria Rilke

So what I believe Graham was really emphasizing was the importance of being present, of really being where you are. I don’t think she meant that she didn’t enjoy and cherish the series first time around. Even though streaming TV on your phone and series revivals are stepping into the spotlight now more than ever, life rarely presents a similar opportunity for a do-over. And even though we can’t be present for all things all the time every day, there are always little pockets of stillness that remind us: this is really happening. We are here. There will never be a moment, big or small, excruciating or blissful, exactly like this again. We should fold ourselves into it and love it, for whatever it gives us, so we don’t have to look back later and wish we’d done it differently. 

There will never be a moment, big or small, excruciating or blissful, exactly like this again. We should fold ourselves into it and love it, for whatever it gives us.

Further reading (or, even better, listening):

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Helen Williams is a Colorado transplant who is passionate about cooking and writing and combining the two on her vegetarian and vegan food blog, green girl eats. She strives, every day, to be less sorry. When she's not in the kitchen or working on her startup project Best One Yet (a vegan ice cream Vespa, coming soon to Boulder, CO) you can find her reading, loving the community at Holstee or trying to pet your dog.

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