After appetizers and a glass of wine, my girlfriends and I made our way to CUC (the big events centre). I hadn't really looked at our tickets, so I was shocked to see that we were in Row 9, on the floor. What does that mean? There were 8 rows of chairs in between us and Oprah on stage. Wow! They were incredible seats!
Before the show, looking at the stage from our seats.
Just as a little comparison, this is our view looking behind us.
The show was slated to start at 6:00 pm, but didn't get going until 6:30. The traffic was INSANE in the parking lot and the event organizers decided to hold off the event so most people would be in the building when it begs. I was so glad we had taken a shuttle and come early. Instead of fighting traffic, we were relaxing in our seats and visiting.
Soon enough, Oprah Winfrey was walking onto the stage and the applause was thunderous. I have to say, I am not an Oprah "super fan". I enjoyed her show, but only watched it occasionally. But, when Oprah walked on stage, I had goose bumps. To be in the presence of someone who has influenced so many lives was amazing. Our seats added to the program for me. She was so close, we could make out her facial expressions and it was so real watching her live on stage, not having to focus on the big screen from the back of the stadium.
After she spoke for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, she did a question and answer period with one of her staff members.
Question and Answer period
I could write 10 posts on all of the things Oprah spoke about. I understand now why people brought notepads and took notes during her show. It was amazing and inspiring. Instead, I'll focus on one thing, that I think is doable for each and every one of us. At the end of every day, Oprah recommends making a list of 10 things that you are thankful for. By keeping a "Gratitude Journal", it makes you look at life differently. During the day, you find yourself looking for things to be thankful for. Some days, it's the little things like someone holding the door for you. Some days, it's big things, but every day you are looking for things to be thankful for. It changes your way of thinking from "I wish I had, I wish today had been...to I am thankful for. What an incredible message!
So, here is my list of what I am thankful for from last night:
1. I am thankful for my children and their health. This isn't something I take for granted because my children's health wasn't always a guarantee. A day doesn't go by that I am not thankful that they are here with me today and are healthy and active.
2. I am thankful for my husband. He is a kind, supportive, hard-working man who in the midst of difficult times encouraged me to take today and spend the afternoon with my friends because I needed that. The easy route would have been to ask me to stay home, but that's not the path he took.
3. I am thankful for my extended family; my parents, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my in-law extended family. I am thankful that I was raised and am surrounded by the kind of people who make me want to do my very best.
4. I am thankful my father-in-law is with us today. (More on this story another day).
5. I am thankful for my "old" friends. I am thankful that in elementary school I met people who would be by my side for my life. We don't see each other enough or spend enough time together, but I know they are always there and I know they will always be there for me. Spending the afternoon with these girls reminds me how fortunate I am. In every stage of life, I think we make different friends, new friends, and they are all important. But, it is nice to have people in your life who have known you your whole life.
6. I am thankful for the country, province, town, and house I live in. I am thankful I live with freedom and peace.
7. I am thankful for my health. These days, it seems like everyway you turn, someone is getting sick.
8. I am thankful for the ability to laugh. Because I am so fortunate in my life, I can laugh. Deep, rumbling, uncontrolled-sort-of-ugly, teary-eyed laughter. We all have stress in our lives, but because I am surrounded by such incredible people, they help to bear some of that stress. Laughter really is the best medicine and when you can relax enough to have uncontrollable laughter is enlightening.
9. I am thankful for modern medicine, both "eastern" and "western" varieties. I am thankful because modern medicine saved the lives of my sons. It has helped my father-in-law and helps ease his pain. Holistic medicine has helped many of my family members as well.
10. I am thankful for the shuttle buses from CUC. Instead of sitting in traffic separately, waiting in a parking lot for an hour or more, my friends and I hopped a shuttle bus to a different non-crowded parking lot where our vehicles were waiting. We got to spend an extra half hour together, laughing and joking, instead of in a vehicle getting road rage.
So, there you have it. A brief recap of my "Evening With Oprah", and the first entry in my "Gratitude Journal". If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Oprah speak, I would highly recommend it. She was a captivating speaker and had the whole audience in awe. Her story was incredible and she spoke with warmth, passion, and a candour that made you feel like you were listening to an old friend. It was an amazingly uplifting day spent with good friends and a great message.
As Oprah would say "Turn up the volume on your life. Live out loud!"
Question of the day: What are you most thankful for?