363/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Wow, only 3 more gratitude posts left including this one!! When I started this journey a year ago, I was a little nervous as to if I would have 365 people to thank. I didn’t want it to come down to posts such as thanking my mailman for the flyers he delivers in that they were the ones that led me on to some awesome deal!! ; ) Early on in these posts, I started hearing from friends that so and so had made “the list”. I didn’t understand what that was until I was told that it was my “gratitude list”. That put some pressure on me to say the least as there was now a “list”. I didn’t want it to be a list and I didn’t want it to be some type of contest. Then I heard that some people mentioned they were in the 80s and others were in the 200s! I do have to make it clear that I haven’t had an order as to who I thank and thus whatever number gratitude post it was has no relation to ranking. Most posts are the night before or a couple of days before. Yes, I saved my dad for his birthday as I did with my children for theirs, my mom was first because well she is my mom but save for them and the final two gratitude posts, no one had a day or a number. The list by the end of Sunday is far from complete. I could thank another 365 people who got me to where I am today and this is what today’s gratitude post is about – to all of the people I didn’t name and there are hundreds of you that have impacted me! So many former students, co-workers past and present, family members, inlaws, bosses, professors, fellow students, random strangers, neighbours past and present, friends, backhanded gratitudees (bullies and the like), service providers, celebrities etc, etc – just so many people who have made me who I am and to all of you un-named in this past year, you are part of this gratitude journey just because you were not personally mentioned here doesn’t mean you weren’t recognized by me. To all the new people that will come in to my life, thanking you in advance as some of you will change and influence me in new ways. Thank you to all of you who came along with me on this 365 day journey as well. Your encouragement and support has gotten me to this end point.
227/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Do you have a song in your life that just moves you? Or lyrics that get at the very being of who you are? I love music but more for the beat or melody – rarely for the lyrical content. However, there is one song that lyrically gets at how I want to and try to live my life. It’s called “Happiness” and it’s by an artist that I do admire and it’s very apropos that I choose today to post this gratitude blog as the singer “liked” one of my social media posts today. Although I want to keep the celebrity gratitude posts to a minimum (thus far, I can count them on one hand), I must honour Vanessa Williams. I’ve always thought highly of the first black Miss America and also the first Miss America to be dethroned as she became the most successful beauty pageant winner thus far in history in what she accomplished since her pageant days – television, movies and music (the latter by far my favourite). I mean, what a way to not let negativity destroy oneself and ignore all of it and become the best possible person ever – responsible for your very own Happiness! It may sound like I have digressed but no, this is about her song “Happiness” which gets at my core. With lyrics such as “Life is as good as I make it, I can’t sit around while you make it for me” and “I’m the only one responsible for me having fun and you can’t take my Happiness” is exactly how I live my life – I am the one responsible for what happens to me and I try to live my life trying to be happy. I also try to avoid as much negativity as I can. Time and time again, the lyrics of this song come back to me and remind me that I am in control and I can either feed into things or move on into my own Happiness as I’m the only one who can fulfill myself. Yes, sounds like an inspirational poster but isn’t that what most songs are about and why they move us. This is my song. This is my mantra. Thank you Vanessa Williams for bringing these lyrics into my life and reminding me to always be responsible for my own Happiness!
172/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Growing up, I really never saw any Indians represented in the media probably creating the guy you know today. I am not upset by it as I like who I am but I could have totally grown up to be a different man if I had which would be interesting. Today my kids have tonnes of Indo-Canadian entertainers that they can relate to and I do see the influence on them. My family did have a tradition of watching Miss Universe when I was growing up and even though you may think it’s sexist, outdated programing, back in the day it was a different world and beauty pageants were not negatively perceived. The show was the first instance of Indians on television I actually saw – Miss India. I recall seeing my parents being proud of their homegirl being called into the finals whenever it happened. This pride filtered down and I’d be very happy when the delegate from India would hit the catwalk. I kept watching the show over the years even after leaving home as it sort of became a tradition. I had no other connection to these Indian beauties other than that my ancestors came from the same mother country but that was enough for me to root for them. In the 90s, almost every year saw the Indian girl hit the finals with two taking the crown – that was a cool time seeing a sister being recognized albeit for her beauty rather than her brains but hey, she was a fellow Indian and that’s what mattered 😉 Thank you Indian beauty queens for making this Indian guy get his first glimpse of his kind in the media. No runnerups anywhere!