250/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. As I’ve mentioned several times before, as a young person, I had difficulty making friends and having friendships. I was not comfortable with myself I suppose and this was easily read by others (let’s leave all the bullying to the side and focus on my personality rather than my looks way back then). I didn’t have opportunities to make friendships until I was able to shed all the weight, gain some confidence and grow into my looks. Over the years, I have made good friendships but the thing about most of them is that my friends are my junior by a few years to a couple of decades. Initially, I wondered about myself and also about them as to why they wanted to be my friend but to quote Aaliyah “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” and I am so okay with it now. However, making friends, lasting friends later on in one’s life (remember I am 50!!) is a tough thing to do. Even harder is making friends who are your age-mates. Hockey dadding has helped but I have also made friends outside of teaching and parenting. Dean is one of those friends. We met a few years ago and we had an instant chemistry and friendship. A couple of months older than me, he was working at UBC while I had just finished my stint there. Initially, I just thought this was just like many people you meet and might friend on Facebook but rarely talk to afterwards but we have maintained our friendship. We are yin and yang as friends: me, the wild man-bun sporting, loud, out there guy and him, the reserved, GQish, intellect. However, despite our differences, we are friends and in two years, we have created a great friendship and he becomes another shoulder to lean on. He also inspires me – running his first marathon to celebrate his 50th while I ran a marathon as well – partying for 7 days straight with various friends. As well, I want to have a refined fashion sense for a 50 year old man. I don’t! He does! Yes, Dean is probably how 50 should be done! I do question the gin martinis and have yet to convince him of the merits of craft beer but I can forgive that one difference in our tastes. So glad we met and yes, I raise a gin martini (reluctantly) in your honour! You rock!