Three hundred and sixty-six

Three hundred and sixty six days

I made it through it all.  All 366 days of it!

Normally I do a recap of the month, but as this month was a bit of a recap of the year, I’m going to skip that and just do a final post of the year.

Recap of the year

Where do I even begin?  So much has happened over the past year.  I’ve decided the best way is to share my favourite posts, divided by the months.  Although I have lots of ones I am proud of, these in particular resonate with me for some reason or another. (If you want a short description of what I got up to each month, click on the monthly topic below and it will take you to my recap posts for that month.)

MARCH 2011 – Extreme Couponing

APRIL 2011 – 30 Days of Art

MAY 2011 – 31 Days, 31 Dates (there’s a tie with this one – I also really enjoyed my dating advice at the end of my final post for that month)

  • The speed-dating date – I have always wanted to go speed dating and it was quite the experience.  It was one of the worst ‘dates’ of the month, but also one of the most memorable.
  • The social experiment date – A confusing date that forever changed my life, the way I feel about myself, and my future plans (we had a short, passionate affair that ended badly, then I drove across Canada with him during First Kiss Interviews month, we hated each other, then became sort of friends, he made me doubt all the great things about me, and now we don’t really talk – advice to all the ladies out there: listen to your instincts and don’t get blinded by a pretty face).

JUNE 2011 – Cooking 30 Countries (funnily my two favourite posts this month were meals I shared with the man who taught me stop motion animation and the one who confused me)

  • Italian with the Italian – a wonderful evening with a wonderful man, and lots of practical information about Italian cooking.
  • Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi – Kangaroo and Tim Tams.  It reminds me of living in Melbourne, and some very interesting facts about kangaroo meat included.

JULY 2011 – Only Online Purchases

AUGUST 2011 – Out of My Comfort Zone (there were so many great posts this month, but here are a few of my favourites)

SEPTEMBER 2011 – 31 First Kiss Interviews

OCTOBER 2011 – Vegan for the Month

  • Freeganism – I find this world of living without money fascinating, and although extreme, I think we can learn from them.
  • Raw Vegan Food Diet – Another extreme way of eating, taken from a lecture I went to at the University of Toronto.  Lots of great information.
  • Makeup and Skin Care – Interview with Kait Gray from Arbonne.  This changed the way I look at the cosmetics industry.

NOVEMBER 2011 – 30 Holiday Celebrations

  • Guy Fawkes Day – A fascinating discussion with some of the Occupy Toronto camp.
  • Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day – I was a model for the Toronto Star and did an online video for them!
  • Happy Movember – I love this holiday.  Men with moustaches for a month – very sexy in a Tom Selleck sort of way.

DECEMBER 2011 – Good Deed a Day

  • Extremely good and bad people in one day – A shocking negative event followed by an equally shocking positive one.  It brought tears to my eyes.
  • Hitting the bottom mid-month – including a very personal (yet very public because it was on the blog in the comments for all to read) debate between a friend of mine and I which almost cost us our friendship.  The debate crossed several posts, with this being the finale.  It really opened my eyes to my own views, but also how others perceive what I write.
  • The science of good deeds – How good deeds affect us mentally and physically.

JANUARY 2012 – Life at the Poverty Line

FEBRUARY 2012 – A Photograph A Day (month suggested by and voted on by the readers)

What I learned

In each of the month recaps (click on monthly topic above to read them), I talked about what I learned as an initial reaction.  As a year-long learning experience, I have no idea where to start.  I have learned so much from skills to knowledge to personal growth.

I am a different person than when I started March 1st, 2011.  Besides physical changes of losing weight through being vegan (and keeping it off through keeping up the no dairy and yoga), there have been many emotional and psychological changes.  The knowledge I gained about the different topics has given me a wider perspective on the world.  I feel like I have a purpose – like I’m fulfilling a need in myself and sharing it with others.  I am now part of a community of bloggers who are as supportive as they are talented.  I am happy and calmer, but also a bit more jaded with the world (damn porn cinema!).

I gained skills like extreme couponing (the auto correct on my computer kept wanting me to write extreme “coupling” – when you’re tired like I have been on numerous occasions this year and am right now, you find this very amusing) and cooking.  I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to do this and I have such amazing people in my life who support and encourage me.

I wrote this on Day 100 and it still rings true:

There have been days when I’ve hated that I’m doing this – that I’d love a ‘normal’ life where I don’t have to blog and make Taboulleh at 1:30am.  But most days I love it.  I love that I’m learning something new and writing every day.  I love talking about my project – still.  I love sharing my experiences with other people, whether by the blog or by them being a part of whatever adventure I have planned for the day.  I love that I’ve created this for myself (with the help of so many great people) and I feel so fortunate every day that I can do this.  Whether this turns into a million-copy selling book becomes less and less the point (although that would be fantastic).  It’s about the experience, the knowledge and the growth.  And the chance to share that with you.

Where do I go from here

The plan is to write the book about my experiences.  I will also be blogging at least once a week.  Every Wednesday I will post a recap of how things are going with me.  Sometimes it will be a comment on a topic or research on a subject that I’ve discovered about one of the ideas from the year.  And sometimes it will be just about how I’m feeling.  A bit like the daily blog posts I’ve been doing, but on a bigger scale.  I will also be posting occasionally during the week if there is something that inspires me to write or a very interesting or timely topic I want to discuss.  So keep reading for all that.  I will also be updating you all on how the book is coming along and my search for an agent and publisher.  This could be interesting to those of you out there trying to get your own work published.

I’m also going to stick with some of the things I learned this year.  I’m still trying to buy all natural cosmetics, and not eat dairy or pork.  I am determined to pick up my guitar again, paint, make pottery, sew more and do all the other projects I started during art month and never finished.  I still use my online and coupon shopping skills.  I’m still pushing myself to  do things out of my comfort zone on a weekly basis, and I’m a fountain of dating knowledge for my single friends out there.  I’m working on arranging some more volunteer experiences for me to help out more in the community.  I’m donating money regularly to help those less fortunate.  All of these habits I learned through experiences in the past year and I am grateful that I can stick with them.

Thank you again everyone for following along through three hundred sixty six days of posts!  Check back next Wednesday to hear how much I miss my blogging routine, how the book is coming along, and hopefully some other fun information.

139 thoughts on “Three hundred and sixty-six

      • Thanks Radiant Robin! I started on March 1st because I wanted to end on the 366th day/February 29th. It also was a convenient time after lots of changes in my life at the beginning of 2011 that catapulted me into this idea and this year-long project.

        Thanks for the support!

    • You should do it! It was challenging, but such a great experience (well maybe not every day of it, but most of it!). Going out of my comfort zone every day really pushed me in emotional and physical ways that changed me – hopefully for the better!

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  2. I wish I had found your blog sooner to read along as you experienced real life, a REAL FULL LIFE! There are other 365(366) blogs out there but they focus on a single topic (Lego photos, burgers…) This blog that changes month to month is very interesting, a fantastic idea and I wish you well with the book. I’ve looked at for self-publishing, I’m sure Toronto has some agents tho.

    Best of Luck!

  3. This is great inspiration! I’ve recently decided to do something new each day, be it big or small, and document it on my blog and just reading your blog has gotten me all excited to begin! thanks! 🙂

    • Great! That’s a wonderful idea and I’m so happy I can play a small part in inspiring you to do it. Doing something new every day really made me excited about life – excited and a little scared, but so worth it.

  4. I love that I can know nothing about you, never have heard of you before, yet find your blog and be inspired and impressed by you. What a funny place the internet is…

    Best wishes with the book!

    • The internet is a very funny place. Especially with blogs, you can really get to know someone without ever meeting them. It’s a bit crazy, but amazing too.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  5. Wow, I only recently came across this on Freshly Pressed (congrats) and totally hate that I haven’t followed you on this journey. It sounds like an amazing experience and I can’t wait to catch up on your blog!

  6. Congrats on making Freshly Pressed! Being committed and keeping up with something every single day (for me it’s 365 photography) is sometimes challenging (as I’m now experiencing) but overall very exciting and rewarding. I plan to read through your past year experiences. And yay for accomplishing your goal!! 🙂

    • Thanks Corrie! It’s definitely challenging, but I agree so rewarding. Setting such a big goal can be overwhelming at times, but I guess I just kept thinking of it in smaller chunks.

      Love your photos and your idea!

  7. I am gonna go out on a limb and say that you will never blog only once a week again, unless you have a fmaily thing going on. I made a personal and secret) challenge to myself to blog daily starting January 1st. And I have kept to it. And I have times when those around me are like “really, this is something you are going to blog about?” Yes is the answer. And I love it and even on those days where I think “oh man, I have to post a blog.” the time happens, the blog happens AND the views happen. To think that people are reading what I write, looking at my photos and learning with me is such an honor. Knowing that they enjoy my work so much keeps me going. I have self-published three books already, so if you need any advice, just ask! Congrats on the start of something new again this 12 months! What we measure grows and you sure have done lots of growing this year. Keep it up, you are helping others grow also! AmberLena

    • Thanks AmberLena! It’s pretty amazing being able to share my writing with the world and feel grateful that there are those out there who support me and read along. I’d love to hear about your self-publishing. I’m trying to weigh all my options of whether it’s better to go the traditional agent/publisher route or do the self-publishing thing. There are pros and cons to both, I’m sure, and I’d love to hear your views on it.

      Thank you so much for the support. You are right – I have grown tons this past year. I also think I’ll be blogging more often than once a week, as I love to do it! It’s a bit addicting – in a good way. 🙂

    • It’s been a great year. I loved the First Kiss Stories because I traveled across Canada interviewing people (after a few days of shyness!). The country is beautiful and the people were just as lovely!

    • Thanks Allison! I almost did a few times, but I’m so proud and happy I made it! I hope you had fun with my parents and your parents. From the e-mails, it sounds like you all had a great time!

  8. That’s just great! Now what am I going to read every morning!
    Way to stick with it Lindsay.
    I know for you some months were a blast and some were bummers, but they were always a good read for me.

    • Thanks Uncle Jim. You were one of most loyal readers all the way through and I appreciate it more than you know! I know you liked some months better than others too, but I’m glad you kept reading all the way through! Thank you.

  9. I just found your blog, I think it’s such a great idea and very inspiring. But I have to be honest I felt a little let down when you mentioned you are did all of this with the purpose of writing a book in mind. Maybe coz I am the spontaneous, romantic, getlucky kind of woman and I quite often don’t have a clear agenda. So probably it’s more about me. I like the ride and I find the destination can always change. Good luck with the book!!

    • I totally understand what you’re saying. I have loved the ride and have gone with the flow as it happens. I love that you are like that!

      But I’m also trying to be able to make a living writing. I’m a writer and being able to be a writer full time would be amazing. We all have to pay the bills and although I love my job as a waitress, I would love to be a writer who waitresses occasionally as opposed to a waitress who writes.

      Thanks for the luck. 🙂

  10. Wonderfully assembled 366 days 🙂 The beauty of blogging is that ideas and personalities which were once squelched by the assured nature of our culture, are now breaking free. Your serendipitous year acknowledges what we have personally known all along, and held in social amnesia: Each life is an art in expression. It is the squelching which causes conflict, not the expression.

    Yes, grab a guitar you love and write 365 songs. If you are like me, then 364 of them will really suck. One will not. It will be worth more than all the others put together. A treasure which cannot be taken from you.

  11. Wow. Congratulations on making it through 🙂 I’m currently working on my own Project 366, a photo a day project. I hope it turns out as spectacular as yours did!

    Excellent job! 😀

  12. Wow! I am so bummed out that I found your blog only now……..guess I’ll just have to start with your first day and get through the 365 then! And I must say, having read only this entry, I am already inspired by your idea. Thanks.

  13. A-mazing! I don’t normally comment on “Freshly Pressed” blogs because it only gets lost in the crowd but your commitment to such a unique and interesting project is inspiring is very awesome. You are a special person- congrats on the life changing experiences and good luck 🙂

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  15. I really like the post and found it amazing!..Can I ask you for help? I hope it will not sound rude, but I am doing a coursework and I have to collect as much as possible opinions for a product, which I chose to be “The Secret” book..I am quite new to WordPress and I actually do not know anyone here … If you be kind to go to my post and just leave your opinion would be so helpful for me. Again, my aim is not to be rude but to ask for help… Thank you in advance

  16. Wow and you aren’t even middle aged. I’m so impressed you did this when you are young. I am in those crazy middle aged years, when the kids don’t need you and suddenly you don’t know what to do with yourself. I now have some good ideas although I don’t think the teen’s would like the dressing like a tramp option (would be funny though) I’m trying the “new things” experience myself but not nearly with so mucn intensity as you. Starting with blogging and photography, see where I go next.
    You are truly an inspiration and I really wish I had stepped out of my comfort zone earlier.
    Good Luck with the book and I lood forward to reading it.

    • Thanks Sandra! I’m not sure your teens would like the tramp option either! ha ha. But it’s great you’re trying new things now. I think everyone should try to do at least one thing new every week. It makes you feel alive and keeps your brain fresh and learning!

  17. I am so proud of you Linds. Good work for sticking with it. I can’t wait to see you again to hear some of your crazy adventures in person. Great work for being featured on freshly pressed. You are a star now 🙂

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  19. I have always wanted to start something like what you have done. I have even started twice but it is really hard to carry on doing it according to schedule regularly. You have definitely done something very inspiring for me. I will give it a try again.

  20. Wow! I’m so impressed with all of your adventures and creative ideas. Congratulations on a very successful blogging experiment for an entire year. I clicked through a few of your links. I especially enjoyed the “Good & Bad People” day and the “Wearing a Diaper” day. 🙂
    Congrats on Being Freshly Pressed today. I’m sure you have inspired many of your fellow WPs. Keep up the great work.
    – Cheers, MoSop

  21. Congratulations….can’t wait for the Book!! I’m really going to miss reading your blog everyday, but willing to settle for once a week!

  22. All I can say is…I wish I would have found your blog 366 days ago! Wow-such an incredible idea!

    Keep writing! 🙂

    P.S. You should consider getting this published!

    • Thanks Fia! A lot of hard work, great support system, but mostly just sitting down and doing it every day. It becomes habit. It’s also nice to have the accountability of the blog format to keep going. I promised a post every day, so everyone was expecting a post every day. Some days were harder than others though (and those posts were probably not my best writing!)

  23. This is very encouraging! I just started blogging about a trip that begins at the end of this month ( I feel like I’m beginning right as you are finishing. At the end of my journey, I pray I have grown and changed the way you have. Thank you!

  24. Way to go on setting a goal for yourself and finishing it a confident, healthier, and seemingly more knowledgeable woman! Just reading your recap I am so excited to click on each of your links and read about your endeavors. Kudos on finishing 366 days!!

  25. You are in short, AMAZING. I love the ideas you have in capturing the highs and lows of your experiments publicly of your personal experiences, reflections, and thoughts on the day to day musings that we all think about. Publishing is definitely an option and Indigo does offer that tool on their website called iUniverse, however, you can also approach publishers as well.

    Above all, I now have many blogs of yours to read and share my cheer for your journey in inspiring us to all do the same, move forward and onward to greater heights, and hopes.

    Thank you. 😀


    • Thanks Pink! And thanks for your support! I’m weighing my options to do with publishing at the moment, but i have heard of the Indigo self-publishing option.

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