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.
344/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. For as long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by females. Born in New Westminster, my mom just 19 would stay with her aunts and nieces in Vancouver while my dad was at work. I was told that I was passed from female cousin/aunt to female cousin/aunt as they were all older and I was the new toy. I was with them for about the first four years of my life. Nary a male around. Growing up in Richmond, my own siblings and first cousins were born and they were all female. I stayed with my aunts, sister and cousins while my mom worked. Once again, usually the only male child around. I can admit that because of my earlier nurturing, I have an ease with females that eludes many a male. In high school, I related to the females who would say that they found it easy to get along with males as fellow females didn’t get them. I felt this way with males but once I hit university and found my stride that all changed and I easily made friendships with my male counterparts just as easily as I did with the females. I recall sitting down at a lunch table with a few female staff members who were already engaged in conversation. I gleaned that they had an informal top 5 list of male staff members that “creeped them out”. I was taken aback – no, not at the list, but if I had ranked!!? I asked them as much and I was told that I could never, ever end up on such a list. Phew! Then of course I had to know who made it and was told and given an explanation for each and I realized that I was the antithesis of every single guy on the list based on their characteristics and qualities that made these women (and I suppose most women) uncomfortable. Even tonight, there was a mini work reunion of sorts and it ended up being four females and myself and yes, when I initially heard about the guest list, I was missing the male camaraderie but moments into the festivities, friendship and ease took over and once again, I was in my element with these ladies cracking jokes and just reminiscing. Thanks to all the females in my life when I was a young child as you totally shaped me into the man I am today allowing the females who come into my life today to appreciate the man I am and I thank you ladies as well for being a part of my life and accepting me into your fold. Here’s where my girls are at!
337/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I’ve heard the city I call home being referred to as Ditchmond instead of Richmond. I guess it was coined back in the day when Richmond was mostly ditches but I guess it’s now come to mean its boring-ness and lack of anything fun to do? I could be wrong but whomever has that perception hasn’t really had the experiences I have had. It’s weird to me but as soon as I cross any bridge or the tunnel back into Richmond, I feel a sense of ease – weird, I know. I was born in New Westminster and moved to Richmond when I was 7. I remember the old Richmond and the sense of community we had. Yes, I am saddened by what I see in some parts of Richmond – yes, change is inevitable but you don’t have to like it. I am very fortunate to be living in a part of Richmond (Steveston) where there is community – the neighbours talk to you and wave, the dog walkers give you a nod, and a lot of people know who you are. I went to a wine festival last night and there were so many Richmond-ites. I knew a good dozen or so and it was nice just saying hi and connecting. The other day I needed some supplies for a Prince inspired costume – our staff has amazing year end parties – and I put my message into a Richmond forum and was given a purple umbrella, purple hair accessories and a purple shirt (all free) to use and then return. Wow! You really don’t get to pick where you live when you are growing up but you do as an adult. I have stayed in the same city where I was raised and probably will move when I retire – Europe baby – but until that time, I do like the inhabitants of Richmond who make my city a place I want to continue to live in (and work in). Thank you fellow Richmond-ites for keeping the Richmond that I grew up in more or less intact and for making me feel happy to live in this city!
322/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Do you remember much about elementary school? Especially the early years? I was born in the royal city – New Westminster. My parents moved to Queensborough where I went to school from Kindergarten to grade 3. With no one to take me to school, my mom had arranged it so that two girls in the neighbourhood on Lawrence Avenue would walk me to and from school with them. I, with a few of these gratitude honorees, do not recall their first names but do remember their last name – Kandola. One of the girls would have been a year or two older than me and the other one would have been at least 5 or so years older. It was very comforting for me to have these older “sisters” to watch over me and many times, I would stay at their place until my mom could come and get me. I don’t recall where my sister was during this time (as she wouldn’t have been in school). The Kandola girls showed me what kindness was and this was the safest of my times as a child as no bullying happened to me until we moved to Richmond in grade 4. I didn’t realize how great I had it and have reflected upon it several times. I remember being in my mid 30s or so being at a reception party and the older of the sisters coming up to my mom and giving her a hug. I didn’t know who it was and when my mom pointed me out, she was in shock but came in for a big hug like a long lost adopted sibling. It was surreal as I do kind of remember her but it was also very heartwarming as she felt like I was her little brother. We reminisced for a short while and although, at that time, I wasn’t able to express to her how safe she had made me felt and how it was nice to have older, caring kids in the neighbourhood, I feel that she probably had an inkling. Thank you Kandola girls for giving me peace and tranquility in my younger years before the eye of the storm would eventually make it my way – perhaps I needed the comfort and care of you two sisters and the memory of it to get through all the tough times. Here’s to you both!