I miss Oprah.
When I was on maternity leave for the first time, one of my ultimate pleasures was spending a few hours on the couch each afternoon with my newborn asleep on my chest, a box of cookies nearby and Oprah on the television.
I would nod along somberly at her pearls of wisdom and cry at her boundless generosity. I would laugh at her road trip episodes and wish I had a Gail in my life. Other times, I just liked watching her interview celebrities (because who knew celebrities could be just like us??)
When her final show aired, it stuck with me. On it, she had no guests. She conducted no interviews. There were no huge surprises or car giveaways. It was just Oprah talking. Yet – it stayed with me.
It was on that last show that she introduced me to the concept of life whispers. And my post-natal, hormonal, new-mom body and brain was captivated by the idea.
“My life is no longer just about me,” I would think as I stared down at the tiny face asleep on my chest. I had an actual person I was responsible for. I would have to guide and teach and set an example for her little life. I had to do good. Be good. I had to start now.
I sat there wondering what was next for me. What was my real passion? Was I following it? Would my daughter see that? What was my life whispering to me? Was I hearing it?
Later that night, a friend posted a clip of her 4 year-old son’s school concert on Facebook. He, along with a class full of other fresh-faced little ones, was singing about fishies.
When the curtain opened, one particular little boy with a wild cowlick and bright red hair saw his parents in the audience. I could tell because his entire face lit up. As he shyly launched into the fishy song, complete with hand actions, the smile never left his face. His eyes never lost focus.
I burst into tears for that little boy I didn’t know. I burst into tears because I knew it was very likely that there was a pair of eyes staring back at him, never losing focus. And a smile plastered on a face, just for him.
“This,” I thought. “This is it. My life is whispering to me.” It was telling me that proud children, joyfully belting out songs about fish, thrilled beyond measure simply because their parents were there to watch them – that is what life is about.
It’s something simple. A proud moment. A song about fish. It’s gratefulness and gratitude and luck and meaning all rolled into one. It’s happiness. Happiness beyond any kind of measure – even on the really hard days.
I know what my passion is. I hear my life whispering to me.
I hear it every time I see my kids' faces break into a smile for me. I hear it when their little arms wrap themselves around my body. I hear it when they race to the front door to see me. I feel that passion every time I remember that these little humans are who they are because of my husband and me.
I’m a mom now. And when I walk into a room, someone’s face lights up, just for me. All I have to do is be. All they have to do is just be, too. My face lights up for them.
I hear my life whispering. It’s whispering loudly to me now.
“Enjoy it,” it tells me.
And I do.