There are a few things that are constant in my life. My mother will call me every morning to recap the most current of events, my internal alarm will not let me sleep pass 7:30am on the weekends, and everyday for the last 25 years The Oprah Winfrey Show aired at 4pm est. Today however marks the end of an era. I will not ugly cry over this post. What I will do is list the 10 Lessons That Oprah Taught Me. Enjoy.
Never Hold A Grudge:
Okay so my mother taught me this one first but Ms. O reinforced it. I remember her telling this story of how she was angry with someone for some reason that doesn't matter. One day she ran into them and the person was just as smiley and happy and could give no damns that she was mad at them. Oprah recalls that she was carrying the weight of that anger and grudge, meanwhile the other person had moved on and was skipping down the street.
Every now and again Oprah makes a reference about how naive and gullible she was in her 20's. Nothing worse than actually being 20 something and having The Big O praising and celebrating how much she's glad "those stupid days are over". Yes, it struck a nerve and somewhere around age 24 I decided that I would no longer be another stupid 20 something girl stupid in love, in money, etc. It took another 2 years to get smart but she gave me the swift kick I needed.
You Never Know How Another Person Lives:
I believe everyone and every body is perfectly flawed and human. I have never put anyone on a higher plateau than anyone else. I don't care their position in life, POTUS, minister, or doctor. I don't care if they smile all day with their white picket fences and 2.5 kids. You simply never know what someone else is going through or where they've been. So when they hide an affair for over 10 years, father a child, while lying to their family and friends to maintain their political position it really shouldn't come as a surprise.Which brings me to...
When People Show You Themselves Believe Them:
I'm a bit of a jerk. I made this announcement to my hubby very early in our relationship. He of course thought I was being cute and snarky. I was being transparent. He later discovered that I wasn't lying. Everyday someone offers you a clue to the real them. Take it at face value. Don't offer an excuse to it or sweep it under the rug. That's usually the real them.
Never Let'em See You Ugly Cry:
Oh Oprah, that Mary Tyler Moore episode not only ruined your staff from surprising you ever again but it birthed the Ugly Cry. An Ugly Cry is a cry so ugly that instead of people offering you a tissue and a shoulder to lean on they usually hide their kids.
Never Go To The 2nd Location:
Hopefully this is one to know is theory but not in practice. The idea is simple. If you're abducted, fight, scream bloody murder (literally), and do everything in your power to avoid being taken to the second location. Criminals and all around bad people will want to take you to a remote location where no one will hear you fighting for your life. You'll most certainly be killed there. Never go!
God Will Dream A Bigger Gift Than You:
The idea is that sometimes we don't even truly know what we want out of life. Or that we're too humble to imagine the possibilities. You may have a simple dream of selling pies at the local fair made from your grandmother's recipes. Three years later you have a store front. Then 10 years later you become the Million Dollar Pie Lady with 7 locations featured on every major news outlet and endorsed by major celebrities. I made all of this up of course but it could happen.
Celebrate A Person's Life, Not Their Death:
When a loved one passes we want to mourn them in a way that represents our feelings for them. Often times the more connected you are with that person the more you want to/will grieve. It's only natural and it was natural for Jo Ann Compton who was in deep grief since the day her daughter was tragically killed. Dr. Phil, then a staple on Oprah helped her see that her daughter lived 18 beautiful years and yet she only focused on the day she died.
Read A Book:
Another Oprah reinforced lesson. I've been in love with books all my life. I'm sure The Berenstain Bears were the first I can read books I read. That was followed by The BabySitters Club and Encyclopedia Brown. There was also a few terrible years when I read nothing but V.C. Andrews and James Patterson. But then I graduated to mostly non-fictions and magazine clips. Oprah reminded me that it's cool to get lost in make believe again.
When You Know Better You'll Do Better:
Some of us are born with just a bit more know how than others. Some of learn from our mistakes, while others learn from other peoples mistakes. Doesn't matter how you learn as long as when you do you apply it. We know that smoking is bad for you and you shouldn't drink or text while driving. We know that what our children need most from us is our time. We know that you can't sustain yourself eating fast foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you didn't know these things, now you do. Do better!
Thank you Ms. Oprah!
What lessons have you learned from watching The Oprah Winfrey Show? What will you miss the most? What's your fondest show memory? What will you do now at 4pm?