So what do I do with the house to myself and no boys, no testosterone, no football, soccer, rugby, F1, Simpsons – anything boy-ish on the TV? Hubs is out with his best friend at the football, Roger-the-lodger is collecting his fiancée from Canberra, it is just me and the fish.
I crack open a bottle of red and catch up on Oprah. That’s what I do with the house to myself.
I record it daily, as Channel10 show them in a completely random order, I never know if I am going to see them from this series or from 2 to 3 years ago, so often with the ones I saw on TV back in the UK, I can just delete them. Every so often I’ll see a new programme, or one that I want to watch again, I’ve even dropped a few to DVD for posterity. But tonight, I’ve just watched 2 back-to-back with Dr Laura Berman, who is the patron saint of saving American marriages and just literally paused the remote because Rosie O’Donnell is on now and she’s said to Oprah: ‘You’ve play a central role in the movie of my life, only you don’t realise you’ve been cast in that role.’
I wonder how many women around the world that is true for? I am not going to hide this, my idolisation for Oprah Winfrey is long and deep. I’ve watched her for over 20 years; I’ve laughed, cried and nodded along with her as she’s interviewed all sorts of people. Wondered sometimes what she was doing when she went a little off the rails, but when she is allowed to do what she wants to do, rather than interview someone who is promoting a book (ironic I know considering A New Earth and the ground shuddering impact it had on me), or a film or whatever, she is quite simply brilliant. If you don’t believe me, go to iTunes and download her “Soul Series”. Where it is her talking one on one with completely random, unconnected people about spirit, spirituality and the path they have taken to get to where they are now. From Reverands, to Rabbis, to Seekers (I fit into that category) to people who set up meditation practice in prisons, this is an interviewer who is at the top of her game, talking about something that genuinely interests her. If you don’t listen to anything else, just try to find the Soul Series on the Dhamma Brothers. It will change you. It may even make you understand that she is wasted on interviewing people like Sarah Ferguson, and why she is off to produce OWN. Which may well force us to get Foxtel, even if the AFL doesn’t.
I wrote on my last blog, before I hid it, a love letter to Oprah. I owe her so much, I queued today for 10 minutes to buy the latest edition of her magazine, because my subscription ran out and in between starting it up again, I’ve got 1 month missing. So what? It is a magazine!! Yes, yes, I know. But the quality of writing in it is exemplary. It is like your own personal cheer squad every month. (TMI coming up now, I am sorry). It normally arrives just after *that* time of the month, when ANY woman on the planet needs a boost. First I dip into it, by going straight to the back page, then to Martha Beck’s column, then read it from cover to cover. I tear pages out of it, put them on my vision board, into my inspiration book and have colour photocopied a series of headings from the 10th anniversary edition to make into another part of my vision board.
It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin, my own body, even with my soul and spirit still needing some work on, but Ms Oprah Winfrey has shown and guided me a lot of the way. Yes, she has recommended books for me to read, but through them I’ve found many more people, websites and books to read. Like Rosie O’Donnell says, she’s played a central role in my life. Whether you like her or not, the world is a better place with her in it. Every school in America has a computer that she has donated in it. The charity she set up The Angel Network was one of the first into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. People laugh at her taking so much care over the girls bedrooms in her school in South Africa, but for the majority of those girls, those bedrooms will be the first time they have ever slept in a room on their own. Why shouldn’t they be nicely decorated? And if you are so goddamned critical, you set up a school with your money.
But for all her faults, when she remains true to who she is as a person, the programmes that she produces are good television. Period. I know that this last couple of months, where I’ve remained true to who I am as a person, my life has been so much better, so much easier. That can only be a good thing, but being given permission for me to live my life without having to worry about what other people think of me, has taken me a long time. And the person who shoved me, gently, along that path was Oprah. Every day I try. Every day I struggle. Every day I question: have I done the right thing? (Some of you who read this will know what I mean), every day I recognise for all the hurt it caused at the time; I know, yes, I have, because I no longer have huge conflict in my life.
I know this because instead of fighting against the current, rowing crazily upstream, and trying to change something I cannot. I’ve settled back in the boat, and I am letting it take me on the journey instead. I’m going with the flow.