#8 Looking back, smiling, and saying thanks

This is the end, beautiful friend.

Late next week 1000 Awesome Things will hit #1 and we’ll have finished four years counting down one awesome thing every weekday. So… like Luke Skywalker’s triumphant final battle against the Fish Monsters, the Jamaican bobsled team’s mighty last-second push to capture gold in ’88, and Milli Vanilli’s final sold-out show in Wembley Stadium, so too is my time writing about awesome things climaxing in one last blaze of glory.

Four years have gone by like that *snap* and now I’m forced to picture life without steaming burritos wrapped in paper towel on my keyboard, piercing migraines in the morning from staying up too late, and getting together with a group of friends around the world every day to talk about rusty see-saws, glue movies, and almost names.

It’s time to look back, smile, and say thanks …

To Mike Jones, for so many stories and ideas over the past four years. You’ll always be my Superman.

To Frank Warren of PostSecret, thank you for running the best blog out there and still finding time to help me along the way. You have contributed so much to the world and are a true inspiration.

To Drew Curtis of Fark.com, thank you for believing in old, dangerous playground equipment.

To wires, thank you for connecting my computer to people around the world. You turn classy, sophisticated thoughts into pixels and words — filling minds and connecting strangers. You ask for so little and give us so much, wires.

To readers and commenters who are the soul of the 1000 Awesome Things community, especially Freddo, jdurley, Laura, Bekah, Kathy, wendy, simone, lovethebadguy, trixierix, and galileo. I’ve read every single one of your comments and laughed so many times. I’ll see you at the Nutella bar at Freddo’s afterparty.

To the journalists who have written, spoken, and shared stories about 1000 Awesome Things, thank you for being Apostles of Awesome. Special thanks to Misty Harris, Jian Ghomeshi, Nancy White, Roger Ashby, Marilyn Dennis, Darren Lamb, and Dina Pugliese.

To Louis Sacher, David Sedaris, and Bill Watterson, thank you for getting a kid excited about writing.

To nachos, thank you for being my dinner a couple hundred times, after I got home late from work and needed to write tomorrow’s awesome thing. I love you so much, nachos.

To Chad Upton, nobody has supported 1000 Awesome Things like you — from editing photos, submitting links, and sending ideas all hours of the day. You are a truly awesome friend. Thanks for saying yes to this blog.

To Chris Kim, you didn’t get to see this site win awards, score book deals, or get millions of hits. You just called me every couple days when I started the thing to tell me you liked it. Somehow that’s the most important thing of all.

Thanks to the many great teachers I’ve had over the years, especially Mr. OlsonMs. Eales, Ajay Agrawal, Mike Wheeler, and André Perold. Special thanks to Mrs. Dorsman for pushing me out of my shell in third grade.

To Mom, Dad, Nina, Dee, and Leslie, thank you for your patience, ideas, and love through it all.

To everyone who has ever read, blogged, emailed, Spacebooked or Pintweeted any post from 1000 Awesome Things around the electronical intertubes, thank you sincerely for your support.

To WordPress, thank you so much for hosting my site from Day 1. You give people all over the world a voice. (To start your own free blog, just like I did, click here.)

Finally, thank you to you. Yes, you! I’m talking about you! You, the person staring at this computer. You, the person who just read the word poo. I mean you. Nobody else. You! Thank you so much … for reading this sentence. Thank you for giving those eyeballs to these fingertips and connecting our brains.

When we finally hit 1000 Awesome Things I know we’ll both look back, smile, and say thanks many times.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Live in Toronto? Join me next Wednesday, April 18th at Chapters John & Richmond at 7pm to say goodbye to 1000 Awesome Things. I will be signing books and revealing the #1 awesome thing. 

190 thoughts on “#8 Looking back, smiling, and saying thanks

    1. 1001 ~~ ??most awesomest thing??
      looking back at ALL 1000!!
      okay make that 1002 most awesome
      or 1003 most awesome TY!~~~~~ty and ty

  1. No Neil!
    THANK YOU! :)
    without your inspiring blog, my day to day life would have been just so ordinary. I look forward to 2pm everyday at work (australian time) just to read your blog.
    I will miss it very much as of next week, but I know that my life and world has become a better place because of you.
    I appreciate the small things so much more than ever before. :)
    I will shall forever on look back to 1000awesome things and remember all the funny, loving, inspiring etc posts you have written and smile. You and your blog will remain in my heart till the day I die because you have bought so many people together. So many lives have been touched by your finger tips as your write one awesome thing each day.
    You are an inspiration to many and I speak for many many people when I say

      1. simone, that was lovely! I feel the same way. Hasn’t this been just so….uh….AWESOME?!??

            1. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry. Neil, the PEOPLE of 1000 Awesome Things should be #1

              Man, you know when this started I was going through a separation and I think I commented on a post about seeing the light. I was in such a deep dark place then and couldn’t see a way out. That was about 3 years ago. I almost don’t even know that person anymore. My, how this blog has impacted me. It was, at the time, the only great thing I could look forward to every day. The only reason I knew wbout it was because I couldn’t sleep and fell on it. I’ve made AWESOME internet friends and I feel like I know you.

              I’m generally interested in Bekah’s kids, jdurley’s geekteen, Laura’s involvement in education and Freddo’s nutella obssion (and many more!). If we ever meet, I hope Freddo has a gotee, Becka is blonde, jdurley is a tall brunette and Laura is hippie-ciche. It’s how it is in my mind anyways.

              I’m not sad it’s ending because it’s going out on a great upswing but I will miss all the people most of all. Thanks Neil!

              1. AW… sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m soooo not blonde, but knowing someone out there is picturing me that way is very interesting. I am a brunette. Brown hair, brain eyes… kinda boring.
                I too had a picture of what everyone looked like in my head, but those images have mostly faded. Mostly because I have, at one time or another seena picture of them or seen what I thought was them.

                  1. Because “brain eyes” would totally NOT be boring!
                    And I’m a red-head of average height, for the record.

                    1. LOL… Yeah… it would be interesting if I did have ‘brain eyes’!!! I really need to learn to proof read before I post. Great stuff!

              2. Aw…TrixieRix! Go ahead and cry because you just made us all cry! I’m so glad this blog and our awesome community was a positive force in your life when you needed one!
                Thanks so much for your interest in us, and geekteen! I should get her on here to comment some more before it’s too late. Boo-hoo! It’s almost too late!!

              3. OMG, I love this, trixierix! Love love love! Isn’t it funny, the way we’ve probably all imagined each other (those of us who don’t know one another, that is)? We’ll all see each other and have a real group hug … you know, at the Nutella bar. ;)

      2. Shout outs are awesome! If I’m the Kathy in the post, I’m feelin’ a bit like a celebrity…or “web-brity.” Thinking of telling my boyfriend that I can’t be bothered to cook diner or do laundry this evening…being a celebrity and all, I have more important things to do. And famous people get to decide what we watch on TV and I am NOT watching Sports Center and its Golf highlights again…it’s a chick flick for us!

        1. Hehehe.. I love this! You should most definitely get pampered by the BF tonight for your big shout-out on post #8!

          In fact, combine with post #9 from yesterday and give him a long check-list of things he needs to do now that you’re famous:

          1) Dinner
          2) Laundry
          3) Footrub
          4) When Harry Met Sally on DVD
          5) Spoonfuls of Nutella fed directly from the jar

          As a PG website, I’ll leave the rest of the check list to the reader’s imagination.

        2. This made me burst out laughing. Don’t forget to wear sunshades tomorrows on your way to work as to not get blinded by the paparazzi.

        3. Kathy! You always make me laugh. Where will I get my daily LOLs in a couple weeks?! Is there gonna be like a “Best Of” 1000 Awesome Things? You know, like a VH1 four-hour special? We <3 the 1000 Awesome Things & the Comments That Came With It! You and the others in our shout-out posse (yeah we're a posse, guys, I just decided) make me so happy. I guess we'll decide what to do once we're at the after party. We can discuss it as we open our loot bags.

  2. Thank you, good sir. This has been a wonderful read, although I’m fairly new to it.

    And this one is a really good one and can be used in quite a few circumstances (i.e. strict parents, a great mentor, teachers, etc.).

  3. I wish you would have named the blog “10.000 awesome things”… you will be truly missed. Thanks for every single one of your posts, you made my day several times even living in very different places of this wonderful world. Big hugs and the best luck for you from somewhere in South America.

  4. I can’t believe the end is so near! I’ll really miss checking out this site first thing in the morning (Indian time).. the little ray of hope it gives me each morning.. the realization that hope is beautiful and that every thing, big or small matters and can be awesome.
    Its been awesome, its been wunnerful.
    Thank you! (and thanks to ur nachos for fueling your hands ;)

    P.S.: Pls think of a way to keep the awesomeness going!

    1. I know, right? I’m excited to see what he does next, now that he’s being released from the yoke of awesome.

      1. Released! HA! Like he can shake the title of Sir Awesome that easily. He can’t get rid of us! :) Now if only there was a good way to thank him for all he’s done … hmmm …

        Actually, don’t tell him or anything, but Rick Astley and I are actually going to be performing a real, live, human Rickroll at Neil’s door sometime in the near and/or distant future. As a thank you. Very hush hush, though.

  5. I’m crying right now from the picture memories. I was hoping this blog would end on the last day of my high school life but it ends a few weeks before.
    Neil, thank you so much for showing so many people how to appreciate the small things in life. I can’t tell you how many times I checked this page at 12am only to exclaim, “Wow, that IS awesome!” You helped my through the boughs of depression that I often got with you witty, and sometimes thought provoking and moving, blog.
    I know this isn’t the last that we’ll all be hearing from you, but it still feels like a huge hole will be left in the everyday lives of the millions of us that you have inspired and befriended! <3

  6. Thank YOU for reminding us that there is awesome in everything around us. It’s an easy thing to lose sight of.

    Plus, it’s so great to know that what I think is awesome is shared by so many other people! You remind us that we aren’t alone in this world, and knowing that can mean all the difference some days.

    Cheers to Neil and this awesome community!

  7. Thank you Neil! I’m not really sure what I will do with myself every night at 11:01 PM (cst.) Reading your blog has been part of my night time routine for almost 2 years now!

  8. I absolutely adore you Neil! I cannot believe that our wonderful journey is about to end… You, my dear close friend, have taught me to appreciate the small things in life and always give me rays of hope when i’m having a bad day. Can’t you PLEASE make a new blog like 1000moreawesonethings?
    Thank you so much!

  9. Thank you, Neil!!
    You taught us how to find the awesomeness in the little things in life..
    This blog will really be missed by us all!

  10. THANK YOU for this amazing blog! You inspired me on my darkest days and I’m so grateful for every post You wrote. Seriously, I’m so happy that one day I somehow found Your amazing blog which helped me to appreciate awesome things in life much more. I really hope You’ll continue Your amazing work :)

  11. I stumbled upon your blog a bit over a year ago and ever since I love reading it. Funny how life turns out, just a bit before I found your blog I started a journal when my grandfather died and each day I write about one or two good things that happened. Even if it is a bad day I can find something good in it and it makes it easier to get through. Thank you for your blog, it is truly awesome!

  12. NEIL! You can’t make me cry at Post No#8! We’re not even at the end yet — how the heck am I supposed to cope with the final few?!

    You sadistic, emotive-writing bastard. ;)

    Thank you for the shout-out. It has been a pleasure following your blog for these years. Rest assured, I’ll stick around to comment for the next seven posts, too!

    (Also, amen to David Sedaris! Inspirational writers are AWESOME!)

    1. (chuckles and teary-eyed blinks while reading your post…) Sounds like I need to read some David Sedaris…

    2. lol, but it’s just that “sadistic, emotive-writing” nature that you love, amirite?
      Totally agree with everything you said.

  13. Thank you, Neil, for all that you have done for us. You have reminded us readers of the simple joys in life, and that we all need to take a moment to step back and say, “Hey, ain’t life grand?”

    I know I speak for many when I say I have laughed, gasped, and shed a few tears over the years with your blog. So many times I have caught myself shaking my head and thinking “Man, this guy has GOT to be reading my mind!”

    This blog may be coming to an end, but I will never EVER forget what I have learned. It will never truly end for us. Life is surprising, unexpected, funny…………………and just so AWESOME!

  14. this ending is beautiful in every way. i love that you are allowing it to end. i love that you have so much to be grateful for as you wrap it up. beautiful. beautiful. i want to learn to end wonderful, powerful things with your kind of grace and gratitude! gosh! amazing. what now? whatever comes next, in regards to new projects or not, may it be AWESOME! m from kenya

  15. Yes, Neil, THANK YOU! Your blog has been very inspiring. I’ve shared a few on facebook and will share this too. Best blog, and one of the only ones of the ones I’ve found in recent years that I’ve stayed with. Will totally miss this one. Will probably go back and read them from the beginning again!

  16. As soon as I saw the picture of Broccoflower I beamed, but then I started reading and the smile dropped off my face because I realised this really is almost the end, and it was one of your very personal, very emotional and one of your most beautiful posts :) Then I started smiling again, and I finished reading with tears in my eyes.

    Neil, the customer is always right, and the masses are always right, so you had better LISTEN UP! You have made all our lives better, I am sure! with your daily posts. Though I wouldn’t usually be able to say outright that you have made me look at everything in a new way and all that, I realise that since being in highschool, my life has been a lot brighter and I act more like a kid than ever, and hug my Mum more than ever, and love listening to old childhood music and watching old childhood TV shows, and get extremely animated and dreamy over any romantic development whatsoever in my favourite shows, and I rejoice and laugh when it rains or it is perfect, perfect weather, and I often annoy my brother by calling him to look at a rainbow being made on the wall by the sunlight, or a spoon balacing on the edge of my bowl, or to feel my smooth, silky dress. I think a lot of these things can be attributed to making the best friends I have ever had, and learning interesting things at school and growing up and having lots of awesome experiences and singing all the time, but I think that a lot can be attributed to your blog.

    I am pretty sure I started reading in early 2010 (I think I remember seeing “That teacher” when I first went to the home page.) It took me months and months to catch up, reading I think on average about 2-3 posts a day. When I finally caught up, I felt like a true part of the Awesome Community, not just someone watching from times far away. But my start of reading the Top 1000 was in Year 9, and that’s when I really started to come out of my shell and be the extremely happy, bright, optimistic and thoughtful person I am today. I can’t remember what I was like before 1000 Awesome Things, but I can say that YOU Neil Pasricha, are THE MOST AWESOME PERSON ON THIS BLOG. Thank you to your fingers for typing, thank you to your eyeballs and brain for seeing and noticing all the awesome things around us, thank you to nachos for giving you energy, thank you to everyone that has given you ideas and supported you, thank you to everyone here that gives the blog that much more warmth and friendliness, and thank you to YOU, for being the person you are and letting us all have this daily bit of thought, but of wonder, bit of humour and this daily bit of
    PS: This isn’t even the last post. You’ll have a LOT more reading to do from me over this next week ;D

  17. I was not prepared for this when I came on your site today. I’m sitting here bawling like a little baby. I will come back and comment later after I compose myself a bit.

    1. Neil,
      Its been a pleasure and an honor to get to come on here and share so many experiences with you. Its been wonderful seeing the world through your eyes. You’ve opened mine to a brand new world, a world with rain hair and a new appreciation for my favorite pair of underwear. I do know you hear this a lot, but you are the most awesome thing. You’ve given us all hope. You’ve given me the chance to sit back and look at life and smile at the littlest things. Here I am, typing this to you, crying… and I appreciate the fact that I am crying because now I know its ok to. Keep spreading the happy.

      Awesome community,
      I have gotten to know so many of you through all the stories that we share. I’ve learned through Neil’s blog that you also like chips on your sandwich and you like all the same movies I do. I know I’m not alone when I’m rushing to peel off my wet socks because I hate the feeling of them. I’m not the only one reminiscing about my elementary school days. You were all there when I found out I was pregnant. You were all there when I announced his birth. We all tell each other ‘Happy Birthday’ and some of us remember them for the next year. I just wish that I got to know you guys in person. Its been a great ride guys!

      1. Yes! Bekah! It was so exciting to share with you the joy of your pregnancy and your son’s birth! I will always think of you whenever I rush to peel off wet socks! It has been a great ride, that’s for sure!

        1. Yay! Bekah – I’ll always remember the posts about your being pregnant, and the pics of your little ones.

          And I know that I think of you every time I see feet prints on someone’s windshield.. :)

          1. And I guess I have you to blame for me being super into the Hunger Games. I saw you mentioned the books on here and I thought, “Freddo’s never steered me wrong. All those movies he assigned as homework were good movies. These books have to be too.”
            And every time I watch When Harry Met Sally, I shall sit there in my snuggie eating Nutella… you know…they way its suppposed to be.

            1. Now… where in the world is Laura?? I can’t believe she’ll miss out on the last few posts. I hope she’s at least reading.

              1. I read the post at school the other day and knew it was going to be a serious emotion-fest … and I was totally right! I, like you, am crying while typing some of these, laughing at others, and feeling emotionally unstable! HA! I feel SO BUMMED I wasn’t here while this was in full swing. I hope you all (you know, in the posse … and everyone else!) are checking in on this thread … I know I’ll be back, too.

                1. Just so you know, as soon as I saw that you posted on the “School’s out” post, I knew you were back and rushed back here to all the old comments to see what you chimed in with! All of ’em are great, as usual! :)

    2. Buck up, younglady! i doubt the story ends here! They’ll be more books, calendars, coffee commercials, etc. The AWESOME MOVEMENT is too commercially viable for the guys in suits to let it fade away!
      You’ll be smiling again soon!

  18. But… but…Neil! There are thousands more awesome things in the world to write about! I have enjoyed your blog. I hate to see it end.

  19. Oh man, this isn’t even the last post and I’m already tearing up…
    Thank YOU, Neil, for making my life a bit more awesome. Thank you so much.

  20. Yep, I’m crying.
    Thank you, Neil. I have enjoyed reading this blog FIRST thing every morning. I have gifted your books more than once with little mementos tucked between the pages, comments specific to the recipient and I noted on the pages, and I am always glowing from the awesome memories that the pages brought forth. Just like this blog, which has been such a tremendous part of my days. It will be sorely missed. But the awesomeness will go on, for sure! Again, thanks. And best wishes for whatever endeavors you undertake after this!

  21. Thank you so much for coming into my life and reminding me that everyday is filled with so many awesome things to be thankful for. Your book and posts have always made me smile and laugh out loud!
    Best wishes to you from New Zealand.

  22. Thank you Neil for your wonderful blog! I found it at #789 “Putting potato chips on a sandwich” and have been reading and enjoying it ever since! I’ve loved having something positive and fun to read and will miss it terribly. Thankfully we still have your books and website to re-read all the awesome entries. Thank you so much!

  23. Thank you so much for your lovely blog. I can’t even remember how I happened upon it a few years ago but I have enjoyed reading your posts ever since. I will miss it for sure. I would love to come to Toronto (a four hour drive from here)on the 18th to say thank you in person but my husband and I will be celebrating our 31st anniversary that day so I am choosing to stay home and thank him instead (wink).
    Thank you again for making a difference in so many lives.

      1. Thank you Kathy, I used to not like my name so much because it was a different name and I could never find personalized stuff as a kid but I have come to love it.

  24. ” And in the end,
    the love you take,
    is equal to the love you make”

    Neil – you have given us all a place to love and share the awesome in life. Thank YOU!

    1. Ya know, the 1000 Awesome Things song is the perfect accompaniment to this blog, but the final words of that Beatles song are the perfect accompaniment to these final posts. Which leads me to thinking this blog and the people it touches are the physical embodiment of some other very powerful lyrics: All you need is love!

  25. Wow….when I saw all those names of those faithful commentors I started smile/crying! That was so nice!
    Thank you Neil. You have no idea the little bit of sunshine you put into so many days for so many people…..

  26. This sucks! I feel like this blog is a patient in the ICU, and the nurses have just told us to go in one by one and say our goodbyes.
    Neil, thank you for your little idea that grew to be so much. I know you started this for your own benefit, but you ended up helping countless people around the world.
    I’ve had issues with depression off and on since I was a teenager. When having issues with it I’ve always tried to focus on the positive things in my life, but it isn’t always easy. Because of you I will try harder, write them down, and refer to them as often as I need to.
    I pray the rest of your life is filled with boundless love, infinite feelings of peace, infinite wisdom, and bottomless plates of nachos.

  27. What did I say about the tear-jerking posts??

    Yeah, so…sniff, snuffle, wipe….deep breath…

    As I’ve said before, and I don’t mind saying again, this blog has been such an amazing source of happiness, laughter, sharing, joking, teasing, learning, loving and growing for me! Thanks to you, Neil, for giving so, so much of yourself to us. And thanks to you, awesome community, for sharing your selves here on the blog. I will really, really, miss this, but I’m also excited about where we can all go from here. (Freddo’s house, right?)
    Let’s spread our wings and fly, shall we?

    1. Ditto to everything jdurley said here, and everything that has been echoed by all the commenters here. I love coming here to check in on what sort of awesomeness Neil has cooked up for us each day, and to see all the funny and heart-warming things everyone has to say about it all.

      Thank you, Neil – it has been such an amazing four years.

      And thank you everyone who has ever commented – I’ve had more laughs, smiles (and tears) than I ever would’ve imagined when I first saw Broccoflower pop up on my screen.

      I have enjoyed every single moment.

      1. It kinda feels like we all just spent 4 years together in school and now we are graduating, knowing that everyone is going to go their separate ways.

  28. Thank you Neil, the interwebs are going to be a much less exciting place without you around, but the (4…5?) books of awesome that have been purchased for my family will keep the memory alive. You’ve truly taught me to take joy in the smaller things and to sit back and enjoy all the miracles that surround my life.
    1000 Awesome Things lifted my spirits when I was at the bottom of the world, and it’s been here with me as I’ve climbed back to the top. Your contribution to the world is awe-inspiring and amazing. Thank you for dedicating your time and energy to make this big blue ball a better place for all of us to live. For spreading joy and compassion, I name you Hero.

  29. You’re welcome!

    The Internet is a big place, and there’s a lot of mean, hurtful, divisive, negative, and plain old “bad” stuff out there. This blog is one of those bright spots that totally makes up for the rest of it. There is so much positivity, laughter, love, support, and inspiration here. Thanks, Neil, for bringing us all together. And thanks, everyone, for being a part of it.

  30. Please make awesomething 1001: Just when you think something good is finished, you find out there is a little more. The encore at the end of a concert, a cookie hiding in the bottom of what you thought was an empty box, your plane getting delayed in Hawaii.

  31. Thank you for the daily inspiration! I read your blog every morning before I start work, because it puts me in the right mood to deal with everyday annoyances and stresses. This blog has inspired me so much to look on the bright side and I have started my own blog, thanks to your inspiration!

    Neil, may you have success and sunshine wherever you go! You make the world a better place. :-)

  32. Especially through this past year as I have been facing depression and loneliness, this blog has encouraged me to be positive, to look to the future, to appreciate the small things, and to hold the ones I love close to me. So often your posts have been timely, identifying what I was struggling with or thinking about that day.

    The best example I can think of is #19 – Remembering all you’ve learned from old boyfriends and girlfriends. I went through a very difficult break-up a few months ago, and was having a very difficult day. I couldn’t reach any of my friends to talk to, and I felt very alone. And then I logged on to Awesome Things and saw that post – instead of feeling miserable and sad, I instead was filled with gratitude and love looking back on my relationship.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing joy to my day.

  33. Through my own strength and resolve I’m able to prevent myself from crying in my cube. Just barely. In fact, writing this comment is making it tougher. Or I’m just tired and bleary eyed.

    Thanks Neil! For everything.

  34. Thank you Neil.

    I actually nearly cried reading that, it was beautiful! Your blog will always be one of the many AWESOME things that I’ll treasure and I’ll always look back on, or think about something awesome from it and smile.
    Anyone else who has read it and followed it the whole way along, or maybe even only found it recently, I’m sure will agree that it has changed our perceptions and our outlook on the simple pleasures of life!

    Again, thank you Neil. You yourself are AWESOME!

  35. I hope that you are planning to do something else. I only just discovered you this year. It will take me forever to read all the awesomeness. I’m hoping that you are planning to do something else when 1000 (or 1) comes around. Thank you for uplifting my world every day.

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