#569 Sharing your stories with friends

Howdy, y’all.

As you may have noticed by the pictures up here, The Book of Awesome was recently made available for pre-order. I’m massively pumped about it and wanted to share my stories and my excitement with you this week.

Now, over the past year, many folks have mentioned how much reading about Awesome Things has meant to them. Of course, writing about them has meant an enormous amount to me, too. Part of the reason I wanted to write the book was because I know there are lots of folks who maybe aren’t online that much, don’t read blogs, or just haven’t found us, who might enjoy Awesome Things as much as we do. I hope the book helps spread the awesome and makes more people smile.

And, let’s be honest, this is really all because of you. This book wouldn’t be here without your support and anyone who ever receives a copy from a friend or family member owes you a boatload for tuning in, commenting, voting us for awards, and spreading the awesome around the intertubes.

With T-minus-2 months until the book publishes on April 15th, I thought now might be the right time to share some stories about what led up to this blog and book.

I’ll share stories about me for the rest of this week but start today by sharing some that have been sent in which the authors have kindly allowed me to publish. See, I don’t mention it much but there have definitely been many late nights where I thought I might not be able to do it anymore. There have been long days and bumpy moments where I thought maybe I’d run out of steam and would need to stop the awesome countdown.

But it’s stories like the ones below that pop up in my inbox and give me energy right when I need it most.

I hope you like them.


——–— Forwarded message ———-
From: Kathy
Subject: Your site
To: 1000 Awesome Things

Since my husband passed away in 2005 at the young age of 58 and leaving me a widow at the very young age of 50 and greiving simply and fervently for almost 6 months, I came to realize all the simple joys in the day. I now work at an activity center for developmentally disabled adults, our mission statement is ‘helping them become more independent and integrating them into the community’……..and a lot of the joy I have in a day happens there.
Today I came across your website and I have to say…….this is the absolute BEST website on the internet. You have created something that the worlds population should go to every single day of their lives and read at least one awesomething…..It puts the world into perepective and helps realize that life isn’t so bad…….and theres always something to find joy in…..always a little thing to pay attention to….something to make the day better and make tomorrow something within reach no matter how desolate our situation is.
Thank you for creating your site…..I have bookmarked it and put a shortcut on my desktop as a reminder to go there daily……keep up the good work…….you have made my day brighter!!!


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sam
Subject: just wanted to say thank you…
To: 1000 Awesome Things
Depression is something I have to struggle with on a daily basis. Some days are worse than others, and this past weekend has been unusually rough for me… I found the site, while reading through the comments of another site… and I just want to say thank you.

Some of the items on your list afforded me a much needed smile, and every so often a near medicinal chuckle… from the bits that affect me today, to the ones that made me feel a bit nostalgic…. it has been an interesting read thus far- but I thought you needed to know you made someone smile, when it mattered the most.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Nancy
Subject: 1000 Awesome Things
To: 1000 Awesome Things

Hi Neil,

I did a great ‘lesson’ with a grade eight class at my school. I showed them about 40 of the awesome things from your website. I picked things I thought they could relate to and they did! Then, the kids got into groups and made a list of their own. Each group then presented their ideas to the class. I instructed each group to pick their two favourite and I am sending you those now.

Taylor, Marysuzan, Natalie, Jenn: Running through a ribbon after a race, When your fashion style is the new trend

Matt R, Matt H, Josh: Giving an expensive gift that you got for free, Jumping off your roof into a pool

Cody, Mitan, TJ, Joey, Kareem: Blowing out someone else’s birthday candles, When live performers fall off the stage

Brooke, Najah, Lavan: Finding a chocolate bar in your pocket that you think is melted and then finding out it’s not, Putting McDonald’s french fries in your hamburger

Odane, Zakk, Brad, Naser: The smell of Grandma’s house, Placing your belongings in a friend’s afro (weird?)

Hope you enjoy these awesome things!!!


Yes, sharing stories with friends brings us all closer together. In these anonymous days of gated communities, big-box stores, and rampant Interneting, stories have a magnetic power to connect us and help us realize we’re never truly alone. Whether we’re talking about wordless apologies, intergenerational dancing, or tripping and realizing nobody saw you, it’s always inspiring to realize we’re all in this together, moving forward day by day, on the same big ship, on the same big ocean.
Here’s to sharing your stories with friends.
This post is Part 1 of 1 2 3 4 5
Photos from: here, here, here, and here

67 thoughts on “#569 Sharing your stories with friends

  1. Love the kids’ list, especially the race ribbon and the non-melted chocolate bar. Have loved your site since discovering it. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Karen.

      I hear you on the chocolate bar. The race ribbon, yeah I can’t relate on that one. Sounds pleasant, though!

      1. I think the afro one is the best! I used to stick pencils on my friend’s afro who sat in front of me. One day, it was like 8:00 pm and he called me and said he had just found a pencil on his hair! I couldn’t stop laughin!

  2. Great stories. I look forward to more of this behind the scenes stuff. I also can’t wait for the book, I get excited every time I login to Amazon and I see that pre-order reminder at the top… it’s like they’re counting down the days until it ships too!

  3. Great stories, thanks for sharing! Will the book be available in large print? My 91-year-old grandmother is on the mend after breaking her hip and could really use a bit more AWESOME in her life… but she has trouble reading small print.

    1. Hey Michelle,

      That’s a great question. I’ve seen the draft copies of the book (that’s what’s in the picture above) and I estimate the font size to be about 10-12pt or so. I know that the e-book (comes out same day) can usually be enlarged, but I don’t think there are currently plans for a large-print version. I’ll do two things — put in the request and come back and reply here if the plans change.

      By the way, congrats to your 91-year-old grandma on being 91!

      1. Being 91 and having a granddaughter that cares enough to ask about an awesome book in a large font?
        I imagine that would be awesome.

  4. Perfect post. I think that your readers have captured in the most beautiful way how we all feel about your posts (and soon to be book!!!). Whether in the face of life-altering devastation, days of ‘down-ness’ or the trivial cranky of day-to-day, your posts and this community teach us so much about how to wake up everyday. More than allowing people to ‘get through’ or cope, your site has helped me to truly relish in the small awesome things. I don’t have any hobbies and am not particularly good at anything but I’m slowly mastering the art of awesome thanks to you.

    Big High Tens for you, my friend!!!

    1. Hey Jay Pee,

      Thanks for the kind words. By the way, I disagree completely about you not being particularly good at anything.

      You’re a really good writer.

  5. You are being published on April 15th? Awesome. Here’s one for you – getting your taxes done well before “The Book of Awesome” is published. Awesome!

  6. Pre-ordering the book of your favorite blog, so you know you will be one of the first people to get it and start reading it? Awesome!

    Love the stories, and can’t wait to have the hard copy of all the awesome in my hand, to flip through the pages.

    Keep up the great work!

  7. I found this site a few months ago on a comment from a different blog. I have been depressed for a few years now and this site gave me just what I needed to pull me out of my funk some days. Now my mother has just recently left my dad, my sister, and I. Nothing has shaken my world more. Reading this blog helps me so much. I’m going to pre-order a copy for my dad because he doesn’t read blogs that often. I think it’ll lift his spirits a little. Thank you for this blog!

    1. Hey Jo, sorry to hear about all you’re going through and thanks for the kind words. As I’ll share in the rest of this week’s posts, awesome things have really helped me get through some tough times as well. I hope you pull through.

    1. Hey Randy,

      Great question. The book is approximately 150 of the most popular awesome entries from the blog (many revised / expanded / edited etc) as well as around 50 all-new entries.

      Slapped with some fresh photos from Sam Javanrouh (you can see his website at http://www.dailydoseofimagery.com) and wedged between hardcovers, it tops out at 400 pages.

      Thanks for considering it.

  8. I think this is my favorite post so far. Thanks for sharing how much this means to you, it means a lot to me and my friends, too. Every day I read the most recent awesome thing to at least one of my friends, and it definitely our days that much more awesome!

  9. Neil,
    Your book would make a great “One City, One Book” selection. Would you consider making a personal appearance if this happened?

  10. i e-mailed this to Neil, and i’m going to post it here so that others can see this too :)

    Message: well hello there, for the record, i know you started publishing stories and im absolutely not looking for that to happen, i just really want to tell you all that you deserve to hear:
    your idea for 1000 awesome things was probably the best thing that could’ve happened for a lot of people. i am a 17 year old girl and through the past couple of months ive been dealing with heartbreak, death, and some other tough challenges that sometimes have made me feel like there’s no hope. then, thanks to post secret, i found this website, and was utterly amazed. for so many of the posts i was nodding and laughing and thinking, “that’s so true!” and i never realized that there are so many things in life that people overlook or take for granted, but when i took the time to sit down and think about it, i could bask in the glory that is the little things.
    also, one of my all-time favorite posts from you is entry 601, “Getting through it.” it inspires and comforts me, and makes me feel like i can get through this tough time too.
    so, basically, i wanted to thank you so much for creating such a clever, true website, and to compliment you on your writing and everything because that too was awesome, and basically, you’re awesome!
    i hope you have a great day :)

    -i hope others share my story as well, because then i’d know that other people in pain are being healed too :)

  11. This is a great entry :) I can especially relate to the second writer, the one with depression.

    It makes me appreciate the little things in life.
    I introduced this site to my father and everyday we think of our own “awesome things.”
    Today’s was warm bread :)

  12. The afro comment is very appropriate. I’m a teacher also and every year this is one kid who has an afro in one of my classes. Without fail, the afro attracts all sorts of objects: pencil crayons, pencils, rulers… one year a student in a socials 11 class marched out of class with over 100 pencil crayons stuck into his afro. It was just too AWESOME to shut down.

  13. It’s true what everyone else is saying… this site is such a bright shimmering light of positive energy and I’m not surprised at all that there are so many people touched and empowered by it. Bless you… I love reading your words as do so many people. I can see buying several books for people because of the focus on the small (and big) wonders of the world which anyone would love to hear. Wonderful.

  14. or tripping and realizing someone _did_ see you, and got a good laugh out of it :)

    Keep up your awesome work! thx!

  15. I WANT THAT BOOK. i come on this site every week day because every thing you talk about is completely true and how awesome would it be to have it in a book too! you know how on facebook now there is a fan page for every little thing in life?…wellll that is basiccallly your site. and i love it.

  16. 1. First off: let me congratulate you again on all of your successes from this website!
    2. I have finally pre-ordered the book!
    3. That’s how many copies it took to get the free shipping!

  17. Hi Neil!

    First off, I want to congratulate you and thank you for putting so much hard work into this awesome blog. You helped push me through a tough time in my life, for I had been struggling with college applications to the U.S. and having to cope with the idea of leaving my country and you just gave me a chance to blow off some steam and forget the huge change my life is going to experience in just several months.

    Now to the real question. I was wondering if the book will be available internationally because I live in Venezuela and, to tell you the truth, getting it shipped from the U.S. is extremely expensive for me. I have passed the link to several friends of mine and they have loved it so you will surely have plenty of buyers!

    Thank you for everything.

    PS: I’m expecting to see bedhead baby in the book!

  18. In that picture with The Book of Awesome, the man in it is wearing an awesome sweater. Good attention to detail.

  19. It really is great. I want you to know that I was just having a terrible day. A bunch of little things decided to get together and attack me, in a way I could handle, but not without sacrificing my good mood. Your latest posts managed to turn my day around, melt my anger, and convince me to be happy again. Thank you a million times.

  20. This is one of my favorite posts because of what the children had to say. I hope you’re able to stop by more classrooms and share their awesome things with us.

    I’d thought about your book but didn’t think it was something I would spend money on until I read your stories about Chris and your mother. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I will definitely buy the book to show my support now.

  21. i love these posts. some of them remind me of my life. most of them make me laugh. a lot of them make me think of the love of my life. totally worth getting on this website everyday. :)

  22. Congratulations on your book!! I love hearing about stories like yours…when someone unexpectedly gains success from doing something they love… Good on you!

  23. I think this post is even more meaningful to me because it’s on my birthday. When I get your AWESOME book, I’ll gladly share it with my friends. I love your blog and all the little things that most people don’t notice, but you do. Thanks for the laughs and keep up the good work! :)

  24. I love sharing stories, (a lot of stories actually) to my friends, too… And also to my students.. i also love it when my students share their own stories, trying to relate them to our lessons (though sometimes they are not related anymore :p)
    I love reading your posts, especially this one because of those awesome things the kids shared. Lovely,really awesome! =)

  25. I am going to gladly share it with my friends. I like your blog and all the little things that most people don’t notice, but you do. Thanks for the laughs and keep up the good work! :)

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  26. I love to discover and spend time with story tellers; there’s nothing can compare to actually feeling, seeing, being a part of it all; the energies generated, the start and the middle but not always looking forward to the end since I’m not good at good-byes at all…too final.
    So here’s to the sharing of a Never-ending story of Awesome Things and looking forward to an Awesome-Ever-After for this community that goes on and on with family and friends.
    Thank you:)

  27. Hey ummm Neil? I don’t know if you either look at these posts anymore or if you can see my email but if you do read this I have a question! Does the book have different awesomes than the site or app?

  28. ok this post is very very AWESOME but i have to admit that i could use a date rewrite. i mean a) its past april 15th and b) theres the book of even more awesome out now!!! but other than that, AWESOME!

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