July 22 – U

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.

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February 26 – to Russia with friendship

217/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. About two or so decades ago, being not sport-minded, not uber-masculine, not a beer drinker, not publicly making moves on the ladies, basically not being very male, I found it tough to make friendships with other guys. Actually, let me correct that – I wouldn’t allow myself to make friendships with other guys as I thought I’d be rejected. I kept more to myself and would make the casual and superficial small-talk and leave it at that. Fast forward a couple of years to Burnett Secondary where I met Rob – Robin Thicke look-alike. Rob was a substitute English teacher and the casual chat at the lunch table started but given that there was more time and no where for me to go, I got to talking with Rob and found that he was nothing like what I thought he should be. He was a very nice guy – kind, caring and just laid back. Somehow a friendship developed and we started hanging out and he introduced me to a few new friends. One spring break, he asked if I wanted to go to Vegas with his group of friends (who I had never met) and not one to shy away from anything, I said yes and had an amazing time. I got to know his parents, his sister and some other cool friends as well as a few girlfriends (one being a common friend) and he got to know my wife and a few new colleagues. We hung out regularly, had beers, went shopping for clothes, hung out with people – basically, we had a bromance before the term was even, ever invented LOL. Rob got a job at an international school which allowed him to travel all over the world, meet his wife, and have two sons. Both my wife and I were fortunate enough to travel to Egypt because Rob was there and stay with him – not even a destination on our horizon but Rob made it a reality. In fact, I was supposed to go to visit him in Russia in a few weeks but because of injuries, visa delays and the like, that won’t happen but for him to open up his home to me yet again, what an amazing guy. Yes, Rob, you were my first true guy friend – I remember telling you that and you definitely set the bar high but I totally appreciate your friendship and advice over the years.  Have an awesome birthday today and I look forward to seeing you again next time you are in Vancouver!

February 5 – my musical man-crush

196/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. So here I am tonight listening to my favourite music on a beer buzz and what do I choose? Well, I’m the atypical 50 year old so it’s not Pink Floyd or the Beatles or anything of the kind; however, if you even have an inkling of who I am, this artist makes total sense. I’m truly a creature who lies outside his territory and my musical tastes are of the same ilk. Since 2002, I have been enamoured with Robin Thicke’s music. Yes, it may not even be on your register let alone make a mark on your musical Richter scale but his blue-eyed soul speaks volumes to me. My Itunes has no less than 70 songs by him and I have a playlist dedicated to his singles. Think all you want to about his icky persona but I can get past that when you have singles like Somebody To Love, Magic, Lost Without U, Wanna Love U Girl, Sex Therapy, Back Together and Calling All Hearts – I mean we can forgive R Kelly, Chris Brown and others but white boy RT gets raked over the coals for being lecherous – whatever. You keep making good music that speaks to my soul and all is forgiven in my books. Plus, he is half-Canadian – dad is Alan Thicke from Growing Pains (a treacly sit-com) – that too is forgiven!! 😉 I don’t have many celebrity infatuations – especially male ones but Robin Thicke is just one under the prince of all time – Prince! That’s a feat! Your music has given me inspiration, made me happy, gotten me through rough times and just got me dancing. Thank you Robin Thicke for creating art that reaches me, enlightens me, moves me and speaks to me!