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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April 3 – skin to skin

253/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Most of my friends are white.  Yeah, I said it.  I’ve been told that I have sold out as I don’t hang with my own kind?!!  Wow, that’s a whole lot of subtleties in one statement!  My question – how does one sell out their own ethnicity??  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  Just because a lot of my friends are white means I have left my ethnicity behind?  Uhm, no.  I have similarities with people who enjoy the same thing as me and the majority just happen to be of a different skin colour than my own.  As well, I don’t consciously choose my friends based on skin colour – I choose them based on looks (LOL, I kid, I kid).   I actually have very cool Indian friends.  And Chinese friends.  And Filipino friends.  And Black friends.  And white friends too.  Finally, I wasn’t raised very Indian even though I came from an Indian family.  No fault of my own.  I am being true to myself – not denying my ethnicity.  My soul sister who I believe totally gets me is Orene.  This awesome, funky, cool, stunning black girl understands that your outside skin colour doesn’t define who you are as a person.  We became friends about 15 years ago but were not as close as we are over the last year or so.  Because of other friendship dynamics, we didn’t really keep in touch with each other personally as sides were taken over friendship breakups but we always were on the same side of friendship ourselves and reconnected over Facebook.  Even that connection was slightly superficial so we took it upon ourselves to meet for lunch which turned out to be an afternoon of craft beers and Top Model posing on the streets sometime last year.  We then started bonding over our love of The Walking Dead and Orphan Black and bringing back others into our fold that we had also lost touch with.  Orene is honestly another sister from another mister as she gets what it is like to be a person who is defined by most others by your outside skin colour but really colour really has nothing to do with who we are except that we are human beings that should be seen as that first.  We are both fortunate that we have the majority of people in our lives who fall in the latter category and see us for who we are and not our stunning complexions 😉  Orene is also just a great ego booster for me – I can do no wrong in her eyes but on those rare occasions, she tells me like it is.  But I gotta boost her ego – she is an amazing mom and creates amazing clothing for herself and her kids as well as a fashion bag line while still working outside the home.  Yeah, she does it all.  I am so very glad we reconnected and even more glad that I am sharing tonight’s Walking Dead finale with you and yours!!  To our continued friendship Orene!!

March 28 – escapism

247/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I love to talk.  I love to express myself.  I love to share my opinions.  I love to be heard!  LOL.  If you know me, you know that all that is true about me.  I also love to watch tv and get involved in any discussions regarding the shows that I watch.  I also love music and espouse the virtues of my favourite artists at any turn.  As well, I’m a fan of books and movies and can find myself in enlightening dialogue regarding characters or plot development.  I think this is what makes entertainment that much better – being able to engage into it further than the initial viewing, listening or reading.  About a decade or so ago, I was a moderator of a music forum with a few others.  New singles and artists were introduced (yes, the days of Napster!!) and threads were opened to discuss the merits or faults about the song and I could spend hours embattled in what I felt was a great song or what should have been a huge hit – I enjoyed making ‘friends’ and being able to have lively debates about whomever was artist du jour.  With books, I’ve entered into forums on a work chat site over the years convincing others of the merits of an author and listening to thoughts about others based on what I read.  Not always are the recommendations great, but they do always allow me to expand my horizons.  When it comes to movies, I go to critic sites and see what others are saying.  I also take to heart word of mouth recommendations from friends who I consider would know my tastes – not always have they been right  – Birdman??  Hated it!!  But the follow-up dialogue was better than the movie.  Finally television allows me to engage with people I would not have had things in common with – there are tonnes of co-workers, hockey parents, gym buddies, and Facebook friends who I can text, email, talk to about the episode and come up with theories around the next episode.  To all of my entertainment friends, I love having you around (whether we agree or agree to disagree) about what we have in common – our love for escapism!

February 14 – The Walking Dead

205/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. It’s VDay!! All about love! Love can be anything – that special someone or someones. A passion. Something that gets you through the day. Or the week. Of course, I’m going to take this blog in a different way rather than talk about traditional love as I’m not ready for that J However, today’s Valentines’s is so much more because of the mere fact that one of my favourite tv shows is back. This is the show that my son and I sit down and watch. Having a teenager, there are very few bonding moments as connections are different but this show gets us together once a week for an hour (sometimes two with the follow-up hour). What’s the show? The Walking Dead. The non-converted may think it’s just about a bunch of zombies and gore but that is just the surface – it’s so much deeper than that as character development, societal breakdown, loyalties and so much more come into play and the show is not afraid to kill off main characters. My son and I have been watching this show together since last year (he Netflix binge-watched to catch up to me) and there are moments when the house explodes with both of us freaking out about what just happened. However, this show’s bonds go far beyond just the father-son ties – in fact, it cements friendships with people one doesn’t even think would be/could be watching the show. The follow-up show Talking Dead, the inevitable internet search regarding what just happened and the Twitter/Facebook diatribe about the same thing in addition to the next day talks at work about what just took place – this is The Walking Dead experience that bonds so many people and I love that I am a part of this phenomenon in this day and age of a million shows available on TV, streaming, specialty networks etc. Here I am less than 30 minutes from tonight’s mid-season premiere waiting in anticipation of what major events will take place and the follow-up chaos – bring it on Walking Dead, I’m ready!!