Sophia Petrillo thinks you should practice mindfulness
We all know that the Golden Girls were ahead of their time; they discussed topics that were considered taboo and had conversations that people in the 80s and 90s probably only imagined actually having. When you consider how ahead of their time they were, it isn’t a surprise that Sophia Petrillo was an advocate for mindfulness, especially before it became such a mainstream buzzword (though certainly not before it ever existed.)
[To be clear: I'm ALL ABOUT mindfulness. I just feel like it often gets thrown around like "natural" and "organic."]
In this episode, Dorothy is shaken up by the death of one of Sophia’s closest friends, and decides that she and Sophia need to go away and spend quality time together. Instead of just spending the time together she tries to orchestrate bonding with photo albums, a journal to write down all of Sophia’s one-liners and slideshows. Sophia, who just wants to have a good time and enjoy their time organically (see what I did, there?), finally reaches her breaking point and leaves the hotel room to get some space.
As usual, they talk it out and Sophia lays down the smack with her typical sage words:
“Quality time has to come naturally. It happens when you’re not thinking about it…it’s the same with all magical moments; you can’t capture them forever.”
When you think about it, Sophia was an advocate of mindfulness before it became a “thing.”
With the explosion of the internet and social media, while invaluable tools for myriad reasons, we’ve been immersed in a culture of (what the kids call) FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.)
I went to the Governor’s Ball over the weekend, to see Florence and the Machine. The entire three day event was strategically designed & catered to create opportunities for concert-goers to post FOMO-ish pictures and stories on Instagram and social media. Seriously, that was at least 45% of the purpose of the event.
[From a business perspective, I completely get this. GovBallNYC must have cashed the f*ck out because so many of the attendees were attracted to the opportunities to share with everyone and anyone that they were at this event. But I digress…]
Where they went, what they ate, who they stood next to, etc. were all posed and planned. I don’t associate with people like this on a regular basis so I find it all the more jarring when I'm surrounded by tens of thousands of them. As I looked at them I wondered, if you were to put away your phone and post nothing (ultimately getting no 'likes,' comments, or evidence of social approval and/or acknowledgement), would you actually believe that what you are doing is fun?
Both scenarios are about not being present and trying to construct reality instead of just existing within it.
Sophia was really telling Dorothy to be present, and enjoy life as she was living it, which is very, VERY sound advice. Sophia knew what she was talking about then and it still applies today, so please put your phone down, and focus on what and who is in front of you.
Enjoy life AS it's happening.
In friendship and cheesecake,