On April 17th one of the greatest achievements of the world wide web will come to an end. After almost four years of sharing joy and the value of simple happenings, “1000 Awesome Things” (1000awesomethings.com) will finally draw to a close. Today #6 will hit the interwebs leaving a mere 5 to go before the list is complete. On that final day, I for one will log off Al Gore’s invention and look upon what is sure to be a bright sunshiney day filled with many awesome things, then take a moment to thank Mr. Neil for all he has done. A tinge of sadness will creep into my mind, a burrowing badger attempting to disrupt my home, only to be swiftly replaced by a smile as I notice the many incredible joys Neil has pointed out over the years.
For those of you that are not familiar with Neil’s masterwork of bloggery, it is quite simple. Every weekday since June 2008 he has logged on and shared something awesome. They are the simple fun in life. The things we think about and laugh, the things that make us smile every time they happen. It’s #997 – locking people out of your car and pretending to drive away, or #916 – the sound of scissors cutting construction paper. As simple as #194 – when insects are struggling to do something and you help them, and as satisfying as #535 – giant morning stretches accompanied by stupid noises. There is nothing complicated about the concept and there is nothing complicated about the sharing of these Awesome Things.
There is no hidden agenda, no message, nothing to suggest deeper meaning. It is quite literally a list of awesome things. In my mind, Neil wakes up in the morning, takes a giant stretch accompanied by dinosaur noises, pours himself a nice cup of joe and stares out the window for a bit. After an indeterminate amount of time he says “Hmmf,” turns away from the morning sun and proceeds to putter. He makes himself a nice omelet, maybe adding feta instead of cheddar if he’s feeling crazy that day and sits down to breakfast with his faithful pet otter Seymour. After finishing his meal and sometime before bed, a lightulb appears above his head and he proceeds to share something good with the world. There can’t be anything complicated with the process, no agonizing over deadlines or worrying about figuring out something that is awesome. The simplicity of the site and of the musings must preclude any complexity from interfering with the process.
To me, “1000 Awesome Things” represents that very idea. That in simplicity lies an inescapable goodness. A simple site reminding us of simple fun in a simple way is simply amazing. I love going back and rereading the literal hundreds of Awesome things that Neil has shared over the years. In fact, I’d like to submit Awesome Thing #1 – spending a couple minutes, or hours, with friends scrolling through the site. You find yourself unable to keep from clicking on that next number as you look at each other and say “He’s TOTALLY right, man that is SO AWESOME. I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!” Laughing and remembering just why all those things are awesome gives the day wings. So take some time today, go and check out “1000 Awesome Things,” it will bring a smile to your face, and that is always time well spent.
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