I am not a fan of watching television, I haven’t even turned on our TV this year – apart from three occasions, when family visited. For entertainment I will sometimes watch Netflix movies, on my iPad in downtime… but generally any viewing consists of watching material to learn and expand my mind.
So how was it that I went from no TV at all… to binge watching 7 seasons of a TV show in 7 weeks!… Several episodes a night… I got Gilmored!
After 18 months of striving, learning, pushing, running a full time business, launching a second business, studying, attending workshops, dating, financial stress and parenting a hormonal teen… I hit burn out big time and I needed to numb out. I was feeling overworked, overwhelmed and over everything.
Self care during this time, was to make it through the work day, to watch Gilmore Girls in the evenings and even more on the weekends.
I still kept up the practises of journaling, meditation and gratitude for my sanity. I maintained my social feeds and friendships and I worked with a coach… but I took the foot off the pedal, in terms of taking in new learnings, pushing to attract new clients, and working super long hours.
Last year, I had noticed my social media filled with excitement, over new Gilmore Girl episodes released. I had never watched the program and decided to see what all the fuss was about. So I watched the 4 new shows, and to be honest I was left scratching my head a little. What was the big deal about these seemingly neurotic, fast talking women and the other strange characters in this tiny town.
I felt no emotional connection what so ever to any of these fictional characters in Stars Hollow. I thought I should investigate a little further to see if I was missing something… and that’s when it happened. I started with Season 1, Episode 1 and I couldn’t stop!! I watched every single one, from start to finish, and my teenage son watched quite a few of them with me.
So what did I learn from 150 odd episodes of Gilmore Girls….
1. It is ok to escape reality sometimes. I fell in love with the fictional characters, movie sets, plotlines and stories. I became emotionally invested in the character’s heart breaks and set backs, and similarly feel excitement and joy over their wins and new loves. This escapism into something new, was just what I needed, to kick start my heart, after feeling so flat and worn down.
2, Communication is key. Silly breakups and frustrating misunderstandings can be avoided just by talking, having honest conversations and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable – without all the unnecessary drama (granted a TV show does survive on drama ratings). Though, a great reminder that we are not an island, we don’t need to do everything alone, we can and should receive help from others… Communication and connection is what makes life worth while.
3. Rebounds never work. Particularly with an ex from a previous relationship. It might feel good for a short while to be desired and wanted, but these scenarios rarely work out! Rebounds can often do more harm them good and leave you feeling even more heart broken. The person you need to be with most during a breakup is yourself, not an ex or someone new. Take the time you need to heal and reflect on the relationship that was.
4. A clear vision is integral for creating our dreams. With vision and hard work Rory’s dream of being accepted into an Ivy league college eventuated, Loralie built her beloved inn with her best friend and most character’s began committed relationships. Dreams really can come true. When we have a clear vision and idea for our future, it helps us move towards our goals with action and intention. Without a vision and process, we can often procrastinate, put it off for another time and never reach our destination.
5. Children grow so fast. Watching the Gilmore’s mother daughter relationship, as Rory transitioned from teenager to young adult, reminded me to take the time to just enjoy the small things in life. By watching this series with my son, I really slowed down and learned to feel gratitude for his presence beside me, which helped us reconnect after a tumultuous start to the year. I’m thankful we had that time together.
6. Its ok to fall. Failure is part of life, everyone falls at some point, it’s just important to remember not to give up. Take the time you need to recover and then get back into the game. Over the course of the 7 seasons there were break ups, family feuds, damaged property, hardships, mistakes and mishaps – yet each time everything worked out, relationships and structures were rebuilt, people picked themselves up and life went on.
7. Family and friends are everything. Watching the Gilmore Girls attend Friday night family dinners, prompted my son’s suggestion to restore our weekly dinners with his grandparents. Which we did the following week and they lasted for a few months – during that time my parents made the decision to sell their home of 40 years, packed up and left our city to move to the countryside. I am forever grateful that we were able spend this precious time with them, before they moved away.
Initially I felt a lot of guilt about watching this TV series… I felt the entrepreneurial life didn’t call for wasting time on TV. I usually spend my evenings watching lectures, documentaries, online course, webinars, workshops – and I guess this information overload, may have contributed a little to my burn out.
I learned it is ok to occasionally numb out and watch something just for the enjoyment of it. I was able to relieve some of the stress and fatigue I had been feeling, by winding down and not over thinking. I gave myself permission to have a break and I practised my self care. Instead of doing, I was just being.
Interestingly the break gave me time to integrate a lot of my learnings and I bounced back stronger then ever and launched my new programs a few weeks later. It is always ok to slow down… a gentle reminder as we enter the busy season and the rush towards the end of the year.