...What a long, strange trip it's been.
As I stand on the brink of 2010 and gear up to plunge into 2011, I look behind me at the year that was. I assessed the first part of the year at the half-mark that was my birthday. Lots has happened since then. Some of it bad, but most of it good, especially when I think of how much worse things could have been. The one thing I know is that I am in a much happier place than I was this time last year. But I realize that none of this would be possible were it not for the people in my life. This is an acknowledgment of them for who they are to me.
The beginning of 2010 saw the sad passing of Ginger, which inspired the first blog that I felt I should publish. She touched my heart in a way that I couldn't understand. I realized how incredibly special a dog Ginger was when I lost it, in public no less, upon hearing that she had to be put down. Anyone who knows me will tell you that it takes a lot to make me cry. Anyway, the passing of Ginger saw the birth of this blog. Every time I post I wonder about how my blog will be received. I have got some great compliments from people who read what I write. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Thank you to my cousin Rachel Jeganathan Gooneratne for a figurative kick-in-the-rear to get me motivated and for almost always posting a comment; Cathy Brydges for hitting the "Like" button on Facebook after reading; Lynne Schnell for promoting my blog in other locations; Liana Morgan for mentioning my blog in hers; Rizwan Bhaldar for his kind words; everyone who has e-mailed me when anything I've written has touched their heart (you know who you are). And last but not least, Ingrid Solomon. Ingrid used to be the editor of a woman's magazine. I used to look up to her. She had such a wonderful way with words and I admired her writing so much. So when Ingrid read one of my blogs and commented on how much she liked it, I was over the moon! Thank you Ingrid, Your words of encouragement meant more to me than you can ever imagine.
My business continues to make huge strides and I can actually see my dreams take shape in reality. It is so heartening to get affirmation from people who actually pay money for something I love to do. Again, so many people to thank. People at work, who show up every month when we celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries. People who believe that my business will be a success, and who continue to encourage me. People who don't just pay lip service but actually bring in business. I won't name names for fear of embarrassing them. But if I say, "You're a Schmoopie", they'll get it :-) People who encourage me by acknowledging pictures I post. Parag Parekh, Mekhela Deva, Nushrat Burhani and Aslam Shaikh, thank you.
A shout-out to my extended family, especially the ones who live around the Greater Seattle area. We are so blessed to have them here. I will admit that we sometimes take each other for granted, but when a crisis comes along everyone rallies together to help each other in a way that words cannot express. They will go to ANY lengths to help. They will wake up at unearthly hours of the morning to be there for you. They will take you into their home and provide food, a warm bed and an ear to listen. They will have you focus on the crisis at hand while they take care of your needs. They will organize a pizza party for the kids to help take their mind off what's going on. That's the kind of family I come from. My heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Jeganathans, the Daniels, the Gunasekarans, the Thivyanathans, Suganthi Jeganathan, Santhosh Daniel and Malathi Michael for being there when we needed them. Thank you to the Hanstads for allowing us the use of their home while they were on vacation. Although we didn't take them up on their offer, we truly appreciate it.
Then there are my friends, the positive people I surround myself with, who make every day worth waking up to by just being. Friends at work, friends on Facebook (the ones who are too far away to be in touch any other way), friends on message boards, friends in my life. Each and every one of them were hand-picked by a divine entity to be a part of my life and I can't thank them enough for the ways in which they make a difference. I am so thankful to be back in touch with people I was disconnected from for so many years. The wonderful thing is that we could just get back to being friends without any awkwardness. That is a true sign of friendship, the ability to pick up where we left off no matter how much time had passed. I have to acknowledge Nick Shah, Abusaad Sheikh and Sameena Ahmed for making it so easy to talk to them over the phone. I am so grateful for my CC sisters. I had the privilege of meeting two of them this year, Laurie and Linda. I hope to meet many more of them in the years to come. I also thank my canuck Secret Santa Tisha Hicks who bowled me over with the care package she sent me. LeaAnne Ferreira, my friend at work who I can talk to about pretty much anything because of who she is. Just watching her live life the way she does is such a blessing. She give so much of herself to so many around her, I really don't know how she does it. LeaAnne is God's love personified.
I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my immediate family. My dear brother Jonathan who had his own crises to deal with, but who came through and is such an inspiration. His wife Bini who stood by him and displayed more courage and strength than I had ever seen from her before. They open their home and hearts to me every weekend. The only place on earth where I truly feel I belong, other than in my own home, is in theirs. Their son Nicholas who continues to grow at least 5 inches (or so it seems) every time I see him and who I fear will soon tower over me. No matter how tall he grows, he will always be in my heart my doodlebug. Then there's the rest of my family who is far away, they mean the world to me too, although we don't see each other as much as we'd like to. My older brother David, who at age 3 knew what he wanted to be when he grew up, and followed through. His wife Melinda who gave up a successful career to put her marriage first. Their daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca, who are blossoming into beautiful young women. Finally, my parents, John and Ida Powell. No matter where they are, I will always be a part of them. My father, with all his talent, my mother with her grit, her strength and her tenacity. I don't know anyone else who seized the heck out of every day the way my mother did. No matter what life threw at her, she'd roll with it. And how! She went back to college at age 39. This was unheard of back in the day and back in India. She had a heart for teaching and she opened up her own preschool at age 46. It was a huge success. Then she left it all behind to come to this country. She started a new job, learned to drive and lived life on her own terms. She was WAY ahead of her time in every way. No wonder I would get an earful from her if I settled for anything less than the best. Thank you Mom!
If I haven't mentioned you, it doesn't mean that you are any less important in my life. God Bless you for who you are to me.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed 2011.