Matthew Preston | May 25, 2018
Many, many, happy wishes to you on your birthday Scott. I hope you get to enjoy the long weekend as well!

Samir Mehta | May 25, 2018
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Chris Lemler | May 25, 2018
Happy Birthday Scott

Erik Bates | May 25, 2018
Happy birthday, friend, on a milestone birthday.

Samir: I like that idea, asking what someone has learned. Is this a tradition of yours? Not to hijack the thread, but I think it's a really neat idea, and a great way to reflect on the previous year.

Russ Wilhelm | May 26, 2018
A little late, but I hope your Birthday was fantastic. Happy Birthda, Scott.

Scott Hardie | May 27, 2018
Thanks, all! I had a great time. Besides a long day with some old friends yesterday, Kelly and I spent Friday taking some private backstage tours at Disney World. First we spent five hours walking around Epcot's international pavilions, most of it before the park opened to guests, getting a look at the many hidden secrets in the park. Then after a break to rest, we went to Animal Kingdom's savanna and got a private tour up-close with a zookeeper and some of the animals, and ate dinner on a veranda overlooking a huge open plain full of animals. We concluded the night by taking in a few new attractions that we hadn't seen yet. For Disney World fans like us, it was terrific fun. :-)

What I learned this year could fill volumes. I'll choose this particular topic: I've been seeing a therapist and nutritionist for my eating disorder, and I've learned a lot about how and why I'm like this. I have learned how I use food as a shortcut to happiness, especially after taking care of everybody else's needs and not prioritizing my own emotions until it's too late. I have learned how the independence that I enjoyed as a child has left me unequipped to handle not getting something that I want. And I have learned to change my perspective, to think not that going without certain food is deprivation but to think of being fat as deprivation (because being heavy prevents me from doing certain things). It's going to take time to train myself out of some lifelong bad habits, and much longer than that to reach a healthy size, but I'm working on it and the progress feels good so far. I feel hopeful instead of helpless.

Steve West | May 28, 2018
I've been mega-busy which is a lame excuse but nevertheless true. Happy Birthday to a member of the last generation not to have their baby pictures taken with a phone. Congratulations on gaining those new skills that only come with age; being able to laugh, cough, sneeze and pee all at the same time. Many more happy 29th birthdays await from your 110 lb. friend.

Samir Mehta | May 29, 2018
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Matthew Preston | May 29, 2018
Yeah, how does one go about registering for a backstage tour at Disney?

Samir Mehta | May 29, 2018
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Scott Hardie | May 29, 2018
Thanks again! I am humbled and lucky.

Disney has numerous tours available, all of which can be booked by phone as long as you pay separately for admission (we have annual passes). The neatest tour might be going scuba-diving inside the aquarium at Epcot. We did the "Savor the Savanna" and "DestiNations Discovered" tours. My first preference was the "Backstage Magic" tour since that gets more into the inner workings of the parks, but it was sold out; we'll try that one again in the fall. In fact, we had such a good time that we plan to do most of these tours in the future.

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