Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oprah's Final Show & My Calling


Like thousands of women, I grew up watching Oprah. It seems like her voice was always filling the background of my afternoon play times.  She was a constant. Once I got older and started college and then got married, I stopped watching her. Mostly because I was busy and interested in other things. A little bit because she kind of drives me crazy with her self-involved talk. And while I still struggle to see her as a fully genuine person, I really did want to tune into her final few shows.

And I'm glad I did. The words in her final show really struck me.

At one point she said, "You have the power to change somebody’s life, Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it."

My job right now is being a stay-at-home-mom. I'm not sure a day goes by that I don't feel conflicted about this. It's not that I don't want to be at home, because trust me I do.  It's that I struggle to feel that it is enough. When I peacefully go to bed on a Sunday night, not dreading Monday, it makes me feel like my job isn't hard enough. When I catch a nap while Meredith sleeps, I feel lazy, sometimes even dragging myself up to do laundry or dishes so I don't feel guilty. When I hear about moms who are showered, dressed and out the door on their way to daycare by 7 am, I often feel less than.

But today while watching Oprah, I had one of her signature aha-moments as she spoke these words.

"You have the power to change somebody’s life, Everyone has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it."

Because not only is stay-at-home-mom my current occupation, it is also, without a doubt, my calling. When I cuddle in bed with Meredith in the morning, I know.  When I watch her pick up her cut up grilled cheese sandwich with careful precision, I know. When I watch her wave and squawk at the big kids at the park, I know. When only I can calm her crying, I know. When she "helps" me fold the laundry, I know. I know that spending my days elbow deep in the sometimes mundane, often magical minutia of stay-at-home motherhood is, for now, what I am meant to be doing.

I know there is nothing worthier, nothing more important, nothing better I could be doing with my time. There is no job I would rather be doing. There is no job I could do better. Being a mother is my calling. At the moment I might be changing only one life, little Meredith's, but that is more than enough. And who knows how her life will one day change the world. Even if the only life she betters is her own daughter's one day, that too will be more than enough.

So, Oprah, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for restoring in me the confidence that what I am doing is worth something.


colleen said...

this is SUCH a wonderful post. my boss always said that the hardest part in life is figuring out what you want to do, and it's awesome that your calling fulfills you and has a positive impact on another person. and i know everyone has different opinions on oprah, but at the end of day she was a young black girl who grew up dirt poor in mississippi in an abusive home - and look at everything she has done. she is literally the definition of the american dream and her accomplishments always blow me away. and btw, meredith will cherish that picture one day, as i'm sure you do now. love this post.

Melissa Scanlon said...

You should email this post to ;)

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

I need to watch the final episodes, it's the end of an era, I feel like I grew up with her as well.

Angie All The Way said...

What an adorable picture ;-)

I soaked up every word she said. She went on to include that being a nurturer is a calling just like everything else.

She also said this that totally spoke to my core:

"In every way and every day you are showing people exactly who you are, you are letting your life speak for you & when you do that you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have." ~Oprah

I do think she is a genuine person. There has been times that I was annoyed with her too, but I've decided that I do truly think she is genuine. I feel like she has a right to be confident. Her life story is amazing and there is no denying how many lives she has changed and touched. I'm happy to see someone else admit they were moved by her yesterday, I was kind of getting annoyed at all the Oprah cynicism on Twitter, like everyone was too cool to give her props :-)

David McAnulty said...


The Whitakers said...

I finally caught up on Oprah yesterday. Amazing. Yes--- you are doing what you feel you have been called and it is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Remember: you won't be a mother forever... and you have plenty of time to do something else when all the kids move out of the house. For now- you're lucky you get to be with Meredith all day... you're wonderful at it..enjoy it!

jordy liz said...

great post! though we don't have kids just yat, i struggle with the desire to want to be a stay-at-home-mom and wondering if that's "enough". thank you for your words!

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