You know what Oprah has never done?
She has never officiated a wheelbarrow relay.
I, on the other hand, HAVE... and I was doing exactly that (at my daughters' school in the Kitchen Garden Olympics no less) when the call came through to say that I had been invited to see Oprah Winfrey in An Evening With Oprah - in Melbourne last Wednesday night.
A gorgeous friend had won tickets in a competition, and limousine transfers to the show (from Geelong, a sweet, hour-long ride with champagne all the way) - Actually I would've even been happy with just that bit, Oprah was just the (sparkly coral coloured) icing on this random Wednesday night cake.)
How's a wheelbarrow relay judge supposed to focus on the task at hand when you have Oprah all up in your head?! Needless to say, the winning team might've possibly missed a slalom turn, but I think we can hold Oprah responsible for that.
Now, I have to admit - I walked up those stairs into Rod Laver Arena with zero expectations (and a head full of champagne) so I was a willing receptacle for any little pearls of wisdom Oprah wanted to throw my way. And throw them she did, and I actually managed to catch a few in my slightly tipsy receptacle.
She hit the stage to rapturous applause from her adoring audience with a glorious HELLO MELBOOOOOURNE (a totally great Oprah moment). From that moment Ms Winfrey had us on the edge of our uncomfortable plastic seats - like eager seagulls waiting for a chip to be flung our way.
She told the story of her life, and the lessons she has learned along the way, all wrapped up in a super-slick professional package and delivered to perfection by the master of presenting. She was engaging, funny, sensitive, encouraging, generous, moving and glamourous, and completely awesome in her Outstanding Shiny American Oprahness. She was here to deliver the motivation and inspiration to the masses and she dished it out in buckets.
And we Lapped. It. Up.
There was a lot of LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE stuff... a lot of TURN UP THE VOLUME IN YOUR LIFE stuff and so much LOOKING WITHIN TO YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF TO FIND YOUR SUPREME MOMENT OF DESTINY stuff. Phew!!
It was all BIG stuff for a Wednesday night with a head full of champers.
We laughed at her goose story - the one when Steadman was late for dinner... (mental note, never be late for dinner with Oprah). We cried at the collective awesomeness of all the women in the room (and the three blokes - kudos to you fellas), and we swore we'd EXUDE POSITIVE ENERGY, CHOOSE LOVE, WRITE GRATITUDE JOURNALS and make a place to BE STILL AND MEDITATE AND LISTEN TO OUR INNER THOUGHTS AND HONOUR OUR SPIRITUAL SELVES.
There were some pretty tidy life lessons in there for someone who does not listen to those inner voices that tend to YELL at me sometimes and I squish them back down (oops, sorry inner voices) - I shall be sitting under a tree with my phone on silent and listening to whatcha got from now on. Pinkie Promise to the Universe.
One of her wisdoms that resonated for me was acknowledging all the common threads that have been present throughout your whole life, and somehow weaving those threads into some sort of awesome best life. (Oprah said it better, AND she had pretty graphics and a floor length sequinned dress. - I'm on the couch in something from Target.)
I have some pretty weird common threads, (not exactly sure how I'll bring them all together...) but a big long chunky thread (more like a rope) is writing. I have always written stuff. I used to write to the local paper when I was a little kid, I had more than 40 penfriends throughout my childhood and teen years - from all over the world. I'd write (and receive) a letter a day... (and I'm still Facebook friends with a couple of them!)
Naturally, I became a professional writer, I have been employed to write stuff now for nearly 20 years. I know I will write my whole life.
So perhaps I should write a letter to Oprah? I'm sure she'd like an Aussie penpal. I'm sure she'd have time to put pen to paper as she sits under her oak trees on her estate after her daily meditation.
If I do it I'll let you know.
But for now, I'm off to live my best life... after I've cleaned out the guinea pig hutch, in my Target trackies.