|There she is, from the plebe seats.
Monday. Returned late last night from my Oprah weekend in Washington. To find nothing had changed. Literally. The freshly folded clean towels were still sitting on the coffee table, along with an empty glass and an opened but empty padded envelope that were there when I left. The clean laundry I’d folded and carried upstairs was still in the basket, no longer folded. Etc.
Ok, to be fair, I must say that there were groceries. But there were also piles of unwashed laundry, the stuff that usually gets done because I either do it, or tell someone else to do it. Why is this? Because I’m the mother. And I was away. Did I leave the offspring to fend for themselves? No, I did not. The husband was there. So there’s pizza wrapped up in the fridge. Ok, shut up. Stop complaining. My point here is really not that the husband didn’t do the chores. It’s that the husband didn’t do the chores. But in a different way. He took the kids on a hike, for example. He took advantage of the good weather and did something fun. Ain’t that the way with dads? The result is that I go away and return to semi-disaster, and the kids don’t even miss me.
Maybe I should be grateful. I was talking to someone who told me that when her kids were little, and she went away, they would punish her when she returned. They would act out, refuse to speak to her, misbehave. Anything to let her know they were not happy.
Weds. Both children have had emotional breakdowns over different topics, birds among them. So perhaps they are punishing me after all.
But I digress. I guess it’s not a digression, since I haven’t even gotten to the topic yet. It’s a delay. I delay. I withhold.
Okay, Readers, yes, I went to Oprah’s The Life You Want traveling revival event in Washington last weekend. How did it happen? Groupon, through a friend of a friend, and a “what the hell” moment. Most anyone I told that I was going to Oprah’s The Life You Want reacted with disbelief and ridicule. Yes, ridicule. You thought you were veiling it, friends. It was unveiled. But whatever. I went in an anthropological mood. And, since you won’t admit you’d like to know what I learned, I’ll give you a few highlights. Because I am transformed and enlightened now, and am no longer petty.
1. Oprah: Put on your oxygen mask first. Also, airlines tell you to do this. They mean it literally.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert: Listen for the whispers of your calling/quest. Slow down so you can hear. And when you hear it, you’ll feel afraid, but don’t make your fear precious. It doesn’t need special handling. It’s just fear. Everyone has it.
3. Mark Nepo: There’s a Sioux saying that the longest journey is from your head to your heart.
This one resonated so much with me while I was in the arena; but when I related it to someone who wasn’t there, she asked, “What does that mean? How do you do it?”
Damned if I know. It’s pretty typical of my moments of inspiration that when I examine them more closely, their impact dissipates, like a hologram, maybe.
4. Soul Cycle: Change your body, change your mind, change your life. We had a 15 minute aerobic exercise session in our arena seats, and it was a great reminder of how fun it is to move to loud music, pump your arms, and scream.
5. Oprah: you are the master of your life. Create a vision of what you need and want, and put it out There. If you’re clear about it, the universe will give you back clarity. This, by the way, is another hologrammatic saying, I find. Or a tautology. Yes, I think that’s it.
6. Iyanla Vanzant: Friends tell you what you might not wanna hear. Life is your friend. Life teaches you lessons all the time. Have a spiritual practice – praise life, be grateful for it. And drink something that looks like champagne in front of a large arena crowd, ‘cuz they like it that you’re rich. Manage to be also homey and comfy sounding.
7. Also Oprah: Make a paradigm shift in your thoughts, because what you say and think is who you are. For example, go from “I’m tired” to “I’m waiting on my second wind.”
8. The whole event was like a 19th century revival meeting with Oprah as the preacher. She travels around and offers spiritual uplift. People get carried away by the group feeling. The language was incantatory, repetitive, and spiritual, although mostly religiously nonspecific.
Oprah is one hard-working woman.
|Dots of light from cool wristbands we all got with our tickets
After the Oprah event, I spent much wonderful, close time hugging and playing with my niece and nephew. Real quality time having my eyeball and my tongue photographed on my sister-the-psychoanalyst’s phone, reading aloud, heads together. Stuff like that. Stuff you love. Until you discover that they have lice.
Then we all spent several hours with Janice, of Lice Happens, while she checked us for nits and critters and did her delousing. I was declared free of lice, and headed home. And now I have a nasty cold.