I have a new guilty pleasure – the Oprah channel on XM radio. My lunch break is planned around the Gayle King show. I sit in my car and eat while I listen to the show. Loser-ish? Totally. But I love it. Then, on my 25 mile drive home, Dr. Laura Berman teaches me all about sex and relationships. It’s like radio crack and I love it.
Sometimes they play old Oprah shows. One that I caught the beginning of today was about living your best life. I’m all about living my best life. Sounds cool, so why not? But I’ve come to the conclusion that Oprah would not like me very much. She does all these shows on spiritual awakenings and being in touch with the universe and blah, blah, blah. She reads books like “Eat, Pray, Love” and “A New Earth”. It’s all kinds of new age mumbo jumbo. And to this I say, “Massive eye roll.”
Perhaps this makes me unenlightened, but so what. I believe in good old-fashioned common sense and hard work. I don’t seek some deep spiritual or philosophical meaning in everything. Here’s what I think: as long as what you’re doing is working for you and the people you care about, keep on trucking. If it’s not working, fix it for crying out loud. I listen to these people talk about meditation and past life regression and being one with the universe, and I just wonder who the heck has the time for that. You spend more time thinking about life than actually living it. I can’t think of a single instance in which over-analyzing has done anyone any good. This could be why I’m so sucky at yoga.
Anyway, not sure why any of that matters. It just occurred to me earlier as I was stuffing my mouth full of McDonald’s double cheeseburger and listening to Oprah radio. I’m sure that’s not helping me live my best life. Oops.
I got my Real Simple magazine in the mail today. I love that freaking magazine. One, it’s thick. So I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. That’s lots of shiny pages of joy. Second, it has great advice and ideas and the articles are actually interesting. Third, and most importantly, it’s pretty. It’s the little things. Tonight I read an article and there were a few things that stuck out to me. I’ll leave you with them…
These come from the article “10 Truths I Wish I’d Known Sooner” by Amy Bloom
“Events reveal people’s character; they don’t determine them. Not everyone with divorced parents has terrible relationships. If two people are hit by a bus and crippled for life, one will become a bitter shut-in; the other, the kind of warm, outgoing person (cheerful despite everything) whom everyone loves to be with. It’s not about the bus, and a dreadful childhood is no excuse. You have the chance to be the person you wish to be, until you die.”
All I can say to that is, “Amen!” I can’t tell you how many times this has proved itself true in my life. There have been times that I have questioned whether you can truly know another person. I’m not sure that you can. Because sometimes people you thought you knew, people you thought you could freely love and trust do such horrible things that seem so out of character. The truth is, though, that they aren’t out of character. It just wasn’t apparent before. I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people in the past year. It’s been a year full of pain, heartbreak, tough realizations, and cold reality. I have one friend in particular that rocked my thoughts about relationships and trust and the goodness of people in general. Think of the worst thing that someone very, very close to you could do. She did that to me and then some. It changed who I am and how I look at other people. It was one of those defining moments in my life. I truly think that tough times make you a better person. Although it hurt me more than I could ever explain, her lack of character only added to mine. For that I am grateful. I have never believed more strongly that circumstances reveal a person’s true character, and that that character will remain unchanged because it is part of the fabric of who they are.
That got longer than I intended. Just brings up some still fresh and very painful parts of my life. But never fear, I made it to the other side. Although I’m not unscathed, I am better for it. Anyway, here’s the other part of the article that really spoke to me:
“Mean doesn’t go away. Some people get better looking with age; some don’t. Some people soften’ some people toughen up. Mean streaks tend not to disappear. A person who demeans and belittles you and speaks of you with contempt to others is probably going to be that way for years. The first time it happens, take note. The second time, take your coat and go.”