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Oprah, Gratitude and Pocahontas

The travel plans are coming together for Oprah’s LifeClass and it’s not the way I’d have planned it. Yesterday I was grumpy about it, I didn’t understand why anyone would travel in this manner and I was ThisClose to just walking away from the project. I am not a low maintenance traveler and it’s not one of things I’m trying to change about myself.

Well, maybe it is.

This week has sort of conspired against me and I haven’t been able to exercise as much as I ought to. I’ve had a long walk but it was a slow walk because it was a cold morning. I had tennis but it was doubles and that’s not always very satisfying, yoga was a bit of a bust too. These aren’t the biggest problems that anyone could have but moving my body is such a link to sanity for me that having three of these days back to back was crushing. I’ve been cranky and ill tempered.

I complained to Chelsea about the flights and thought maybe they’d allow me to travel on my own. To her credit Chelsea did not say, “Listen lady we’ve got 200 people to fly around you’re not that important.” She did patiently explain that hundreds of people would be flying in, which was something I didn’t understand. Then she explained that there were no airline choices, Ms. Winfrey has a longstanding relationship with United. It started making sense to me but I was still irritated and wondering if taking connecting flights was simply a sign that this isn’t the right trip for me. I told her I’d sleep on it.

Shortly after the LifeClass call one of the Pocahontas’ called and asked how things were and she immediately got an earful from me. I was bitching and complaining and what’s in it for me’ing when she interrupted me with he sage mommyness. She began with, “Oprah changed my life.” And then interrupted my eye roll with a story about how she tried writing down 5 things she was grateful for each day and how it reframed how she looked at her life. I was tired, I was cranky (yes I sound like a toddler) and I listened but wasn’t ready to absorb it all.

This morning I went to the kids’ chapel because Jane thought she’d made honor roll. She worked hard for those grades but part of me was a little disappointed that she didn’t make Dean’s List. Negative much? During Chapel (I know… we’re not supposed to) I was whispering with another mom and she asked about the LifeClass. I complained about the travel.

I complained about being called by the Oprah Winfrey Network. I complained about being taken to three cities and two countries and I complained about the timeline. I heard myself talking like an angry and selfish woman but somehow didn’t have the presence of mind to stop.

I went to tennis, singles this time. As I ran across the court I smelled orange blossoms from the tree that stands near the baseline and a wave of goodness crashed over me. I’ll never know if the endorphins or the scent memory triggered it and I’m not sure it matters.

I am grateful. I stood on the court in that very moment and was grateful for the kind of life that has me playing tennis in a friend’s back yard on a Thursday morning while the smell of orange blossoms tickles my nose. I am grateful for a daughter who is both smart and hardworking. I am grateful that I’m able to move.

In that moment I was able to reframe my position and look forward to trips that are going to feed me with wisdom and knowledge. Just like Pocahontas said, the gratitude didn’t change my life, it changed me.

4 thoughts on “Oprah, Gratitude and Pocahontas”

  1. I know what you mean…some days are just like you describe. It is frustrating when you cannot control all of the variables in life.
    Now when it comes to OPRAH …we all know she is bigger than life. That is her business and she does it well…I wrote about my experience as a member of her studio audience which I will share with you…it was “different” than I expected from Oprah.
    Anyway, I am glad you are feeling better but be good to yourself and don’t let Oprah change you too much!

  2. Not only are you traveling to see Ms. Winfrey but you get to see ME as well! See? Connecting flights is totally worth it.

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