July 22 – U

363/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  Wow, only 3 more gratitude posts left including this one!!  When I started this journey a year ago, I was a little nervous as to if I would have 365 people to thank.  I didn’t want it to come down to posts such as thanking my mailman for the flyers he delivers in that they were the ones that led me on to some awesome deal!! ; )  Early on in these posts, I started hearing from friends that so and so had made “the list”.  I didn’t understand what that was until I was told that it was my “gratitude list”.  That put some pressure on me to say the least as there was now a “list”.  I didn’t want it to be a list and I didn’t want it to be some type of contest.  Then I heard that some people mentioned they were in the 80s and others were in the 200s!  I do have to make it clear that I haven’t had an order as to who I thank and thus whatever number gratitude post it was has no relation to ranking.  Most posts are the night before or a couple of days before.  Yes, I saved my dad for his birthday as I did with my children for theirs, my mom was first because well she is my mom but save for them and the final two gratitude posts, no one had a day or a number.  The list by the end of Sunday is far from complete.  I could thank another 365 people who got me to where I am today and this is what today’s gratitude post is about – to all of the people I didn’t name and there are hundreds of you that have impacted me!  So many former students, co-workers past and present, family members, inlaws, bosses, professors, fellow students, random strangers, neighbours past and present, friends, backhanded gratitudees (bullies and the like), service providers, celebrities etc, etc – just so many people who have made me who I am and to all of you un-named in this past year, you are part of this gratitude journey just because you were not personally mentioned here doesn’t mean you weren’t recognized by me.  To all the new people that will come in to my life, thanking you in advance as some of you will change and influence me in new ways.  Thank you to all of you who came along with me on this 365 day journey as well.  Your encouragement and support has gotten me to this end point.

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June 12 – cyberfriends

323/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  This gratitude post is a strange one for me in that I am different than most people from my age group when it comes to the online world.  I have been connected to cyberspace well before it became mainstream.  I was on ICQ, the way, way old version of messenger.  I was on a bunch of forums.  I followed rooms (the earlier precursors of blogs) before they became de rigeur.  I followed an online music forum and became “friends” with people from all over the world and ended up becoming a moderator for the website – over a decade ago.  We had a community.  Almost 2000 followers.  I spent countless hours in front of the computer moderating various threads on music.  Jenna, Liam, Brett and myself were the admin.  We were approving who got into our music sharing forum.  It was the new era of the internet.  It was slightly bizarre for me.  I didn’t really believe in online friends but here I was with online friends!  People that I had never met in my life.  It became surreal when I received Christmas cards in the mail from them!  Today, no one blinks an eye in that one has “friends” in cyber world but I still am surprised that I, a guy who is in the here and now world, got caught up in the virtual world.  I guess I am slightly embarrassed as for a while, I spent a lot of time with my “online” friends than I did with the real world.   Today, I’m all about the real world and the online world is where I do this – blog my gratitude.  However, I can not totally dismiss the online friends and life I had a decade or so ago because if not for them, I would not be expressing myself and using cyberspace as a valuable tool to let everyone know about how grateful I have been and I am for all the people who have come in and out of my life to make me the man I am today.  Thank you cyberfriends for giving me a perspective and insight into cyberworld as a medium for expression and for being!

January 27 – i hide it well today

187/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. For as long as I can remember, I have been overweight/fighting a weight problem. In elementary school, my mom could not find belts to fit me and I had to resort to wearing suspenders to hold my pants up 😦 In high school, I was 250 pounds and all of it fat which definitely contributed to being bullied. I didn’t learn how to eat well and thus ate anything that tasted good but wasn’t definitely good for me – I mean, I recall eating spoons of salted butter or the fatty rinds of pork chops and my favourite part of KFC was the skin and potato salad. I guess I really didn’t help my own cause. I also remember my mom making me workout (squats for half an hour or running around the yard for half an hour) before she’d let me eat – many times I just gave up and didn’t get dinner. Although cruel, I understand that she was trying to help me out in her own way – not great parenting but hey, it is what it is. With a crazy late start to puberty (yup, Grade 11 – oh how the Gods must have been having a heyday with me!!), I ended up shedding the observable excess weight just before entering university; however, I still had chunk and could and did easily put on the pounds because I still knew nothing about nutrition and healthy eating. Because of the pre-Internet era, I would only catch information through television and the one show that I did watch was “20/20”. I happened to catch and episode on meat-processing which started my vegetarian ways 23 years ago. In the last decade or so, I have given over to watching the occasional documentaries and reading about food online which has helped me to maintain my weight – I’ve been able to curb refined sugar significantly, jump into veganism but quickly jump back out, give up wheat for a while (William Davis), try the 25 mile eating plan, think about McDs and what it did to my body (Morgan Spurlock) and even get into juicing (Joe Cross). As I sit and write this, I am on day 4 of a juice cleanse (but let’s be real, it’s a liquid diet) – I’m doing it to reset my body as I have been making poor choices and have gained weight especially since my injury and not being able to work out. I am very grateful that these documentarians have shared their journeys and influenced mine as without knowing about their experiences, I would not be changing mine. To all the healthy eaters that I have read about via blogs and books and that I have seen on through documentaries and testimonials, I raise my ginger, beet, tangerine and kale juice in your honour – here’s to getting back to my summer weight!