Posted by: sistermom1 | September 3, 2009

I love Oprah!

I am currently watching a repeat of Oprah.  If you decide to visit this blog often, you will learn that I am a huge Oprah fan.  Not like those women who have pictures of her pasted everywhere and who don’t make a move without consulting her website/magazine/TV show, but I am totally impressed with her as a person who is truly fulfilling her mission in life.  She helps countless people fulfill their dreams every day, asks the tough questions of all the most famous people in the world, and introduces us to wonderful people like Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Oz — all while wearing fabulous shoes. 

I only became a real Oprah fan about 10 years ago, when she stopped having negative surprises on her show (are you my baby’s daddy, did you cheat with my husband, etc. – remember when she used to do that?) and started “Change your life television”.  I have a great deal of respect for Oprah and her many accomplishments, and hold her in high esteem as another example of the impact you can have in the world if you live your life “on purpose”.

That is something I am really trying to do – live my life “on purpose”.  According to many buddhist teachings, everyone has a unique mission to fulfill during this lifetime with which we have been blessed.  Before my diagnosis, I had a specific set of ideas about my purpose in life and the ways in which I would fulfill it.  I had been recruiting senior-level professionals for a wide range of organizations for over 20 years, and I was very good at it.   I was active on many local boards – focusing primarily on children and families, as well as two local “Leadership” organizations.  I was very proud of the work I did, and the causes I was connected with, making good money and having a great time living the life that I was living.  Despite being married with young children, I was out many evenings at professional events.  My husband really sucked it up, despite his working for a major corporation for longer than anyone I had ever met in my life who was our age (Thanks honey!).  

I had no clue at that time how quickly life could change.

So many of the things that I have experienced since 2005 have been so unexpected.  I start with the difficult challenges (only a few, I do not want to depress you or myself!)  The weakness in my legs makes it difficult to walk or stand on my own, even with a cane.  So much for all of those networking receptions.  I do use a scooter occasionally, but sitting in it puts me below eye-level for most people.  A disadvantage that I will write more about another time.  Bladder and bowel control issues make going out for long periods of time difficult for me, especially when the handicapped bathrooms may not quite accommodate the size of my scooter.  My memory issues make meeting large groups of people much more difficult than they used to be, and my usual memory tricks no longer work for me.

On a more positive note, I am learning a great deal about myself and the other people in my life.  My illness has forced me to prioritize professional activities, only participating in those that will net me the best result.  I have become more thoughtful about planning  my weekly schedule (resting appropriately), and am learning much more about using technology to help me make a difference.  I am home more – and my husband and children have expressed their appreciation that my focus and energy has been more on home.

And what does this have to do with Miss Oprah?  I am really not sure, except that I am learning more about what my true mission really is (not being at all of the after-work events is a start!)  Not being afraid that it might be something much bigger than I ever hoped for myself (after all, didn’t Oprah already say that God has a bigger dream for you than you ever could have for yourself?  I know I’m Buddhist, but the thought behind the phrase is still very powerful!)  All I can say at this point is that as long as the positive lessons continue to outweigh the negative ones, I consider myself to be a winner.  Even though I am unable to wear fabulous high heels right now!

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