Saturday, December 31, 2016

The God File

My brother is responsible for getting me hooked on to a number of things.

From TV shows and different genres of music, to the NFL and Ethiopian cuisine, Basil George has impeccable taste and he is my go to guy when life gets boring, and/or when I am in need of money.
Many years ago when he brought home a cassette tape of Metallica’s live performance with the San Francisco Symphony, my non-identical twin Sanjeev George and I were still getting over our love for hard rock, which by the way was courtesy Basil as well. Barely a month before this he had introduced us both to 'Bon Jovi' and 'Def Leppard'.

I won't forget how the three of us sat around our home theater system, which was basically an old Sony car stereo with a couple of cabinet sized speakers, holding our breath not sure what to expect.

Three weeks later we graduated from the School of Rock and enrolled for higher education at the University of Heavy Metal.

I could tell you that the reason I stopped listening to heavy music was because Mom was annoyed by it or that dad wouldn’t allow me to grow my hair more than an inch above my scalp, but the truth is, I was starting to dabble with insomnia at the age of 15 and my attempts at head banging were literally falling face first.
Some of my best childhood memories consist of us three brothers sitting around and discovering new things together for the first time.

I was very excited when dad brought home our first computer.

When the person who installed it got up and left, us three brothers were looking at the bright screen with the same question on all of our minds.

What should be the first thing we do with this amazing device?

We exchanged looks.

Where were we supposed to start?

I am very grateful to Sanjeev who in that moment, opened up a word document and typed in the sentence, ‘Thank You Lord for this new computer’, we watched him as he clicked on the 'save as' button, and named the document as the ‘God file’ before closing it.

Pretty soon, Sanjeev and I started updating the file with everything that happened to us that we were grateful for.

It's almost 15 years later now and each of us three brothers live in different cities, but the God file keeps growing bigger by the day.
Last week tonight is an Emmy-winning tv show that Basil asked me to watch about a year ago.

John Oliver headlines this half-hour weekly special that summarizes the big events going on in the world in a very funny manner.

As usual, his recommendation was spot on.

Watching the show soon became a part of my weekly schedule.

HBO recently aired the finale of its 3rd season.

John wasn’t happy with the way 2016 turned out, the last segment of the show highlighted everything that went wrong this year. 

They even interviewed a bunch of people on the streets of New York and everyone seemed disappointed with 2016.

There was a lot of suffering, some of our favorite artists and athletes died, many of us had personal struggles to overcome and all different forms of heartbreak to deal with, and while on a usual day watching last week tonight gives me many reasons to laugh, John’s year-end review was pretty disheartening.

Here is a link to the video.
Needless to say, when I started my own review of the year gone by, I started thinking of everything that didn't go as I planned. The misses, the losses and all the disappointments.

I was about to put a premature end to my assessment of 2016 and walk away when my eyes fell on the God file sitting quietly on my computer.

It had been a while since I made an entry in it so I scrolled up to the top and started reading everything line by line.

Images from the entire year passed in front of my eyes, like a masterfully designed slideshow.

As it turns out, 2016 was a very eventful year for me.

There were the big happy moments - Moving to a new city, making new friends, my brother's graduation, the cubs winning the world series, then there was getting through the scary stuff - being exposed to identity theft at one point, worrying about the health of the people I really care about, a couple of near misses on the roads, but I guess what really brought a smile on my face was a reminder of all the little things I was able to accomplish this year, from getting a credit card to buying a new microwave oven, it all added up.

Maybe 2016 wasn't the best year of our lives, but come to think of it, when was life ever perfect?

In many ways, we are stronger, wiser and I'll grudgingly admit, a little older than we were 365 days ago, but here is the best part, through all the joy and the suffering, you and I survived, we made it and for the most part, we did it with a smile on our face.
As I sign off on 2016 for the last time, I would like to leave you with a quote from the show How I met Your Mother.

It's taken from a scene where Lily finds a list of things Ted is saying goodbye to before he leaves New York and moves to Chicago.

She tells him:

“You wrote down all these things to say goodbye to, but so many of them are good things. Why not just say goodbye to the bad things? Say goodbye to all the times you felt lost, to all the times it was a ‘no’ instead of a ‘yes,’ to all the scrapes as and bruises, to all the heartache. Say goodbye to everything you really want to do for the last time, but don’t go have the last Scotch with Barney — have the first Scotch toasting Barney’s new life because that’s a good thing, and the good things will always be here waiting for you.”

Before the clock turns 12 tonight, I hope you are able to say goodbye to everything that brought you pain and heartache in 2016, and I hope you able to reflect on all the good things that happened to you as well and hold on to them as you step into the new year with hope.

If you are wondering what plans I have for tonight, I'm working, someone needs to keep an eye out while everyone else is partying right?

But before I leave for the hospital I will find time to update the God file and type in the words 'Thank You Lord, Thank You for another year' :)

Until Next Time

TGV