The 2K11 24/7 CCCXXIV: One Last Post

Well that didn’t turn out exactly as planned — ended up some posts shy of my original goal, but I managed to get a lot out, a lot written, and make some progress in life.

The 2K11 24/7 Wrap-Up

I’m happy to have made it through 2011 in one piece with plenty of hope and positive prospects for 2012 afoot. 2011 was my most challenging year so far — here’s a monthly look at just what went down:

  • January: Win a $2000 Wolfram Mathematica licence in the Wolfram|Alpha Holiday Gift-Away: Deck the Halls with Facts & Knowledge thanks to friends and family; win a new Cisco router at #ReGiftTO
  • February: My boss left our branch, changing the entire dynamic and environment of our office
  • March: Found the AMAZING Burberry suit that I’d wear to the wedding
  • April: Lots of wedding prep and finding time to hang out with friends before becoming a married man
  • May: Got married, had a crazy bachelor party in Montreal, head off to Europe on honeymoon for three weeks, going well into June, bought an iPad
  • June: Come back, face reality. Work hard.
  • July: Decide not to throw any more birthday parties and travel instead, go camping with the in-laws
  • August: Montreal Part 2, hit up the de Bruyn cottage in Quebec for an extremely relaxing weekend, start new job!
  • September: See high school friends after a very long time, take up sewing classes
  • October: Cottage Antics at another cottage
  • November: Headed out to Boston only to find that Toronto’s better
  • December: Start yet another job, have some crazy times with Twitter folk at HoHoTO, and wrap up a very busy year.

Living a life filled with regret isn’t what anyone wants — we focus on the years of constant lessons; figuring out who we are, what we’re about and where we’d like to improve; and we acknowledge the progress we’ve made and where we’d eventually like to get to.

And that’s simply for the things we do casually.

What if you work on something with a little more intensity? If you do something very regularly, the improvement to your task happens over a much shorter time than one might expect! It might take 10,000 hours to master something, but by no means does that mean it all happens at a constant rate!

For me, in 2011, it was definitely this blog.

Lessons from the 2K11 24/7 — What I Learned from a Year of Almost-Daily Blogging

When I started writing the 2K11 24/7 back in January, it was primarily just to prove that I could write a blog post a day. All I had at the time was a catchy-enough name. No real theme. No real idea of what content I’d write — just a name.

The blog took on a life of its own as time passed — I found myself really assessing my life, trying to learn more about the world and why it was so messed up — writing all the time had me thinking about things I hadn’t dredged up in my mind in a very long time.

On top of this blog’s message, I learned more about what it means to be a blogger. I learned about marketing, coding and analytics; got more involved in Toronto communities both online and offline — all things I didn’t know would be fundamental to my success as a blogger; I just discovered it all as my journey progressed!

Lots of major events and life changes, but it wasn’t without its disappointments as well. Life isn’t perfect and neither are we — in 2011, I strove to put out a blog post a day, but in November, the malaise that often comes from too much repetition and routine would find me, sending me off to look for other projects and to finish the year with a blog just 30-40 posts short of 365.

While on one hand, I could beat myself up for not having made it all the way, that’s over 300 quality posts! 300 posts of blood, sweat and tears invested in posts of various topics — forgive the visual.

2012 will be even better — I look forward to not chaining myself to the computer in search of things to cover each and every day!

What’s the plan for next time? Just wait and see!

–Casey E. Palmer

324/365

2011. Signing out.

The 2K11 24/7 CCCXXIII: What’s in a Year?

When the new year rolls around and you try to commit to a new resolution, do you really know what you’re in for? Will you be able to stick to it no matter what crosses your path in the 360+ days ahead of you?I don’t think we really think these things through — especially on January 1st, as we’re reeling from the aftermath of having closed out the previous year!A year is a long time to stay committed to something — it’s arguably too long. We don’t have the attention spans that we used to, and our world is filled with more distractions than at any point before in history. Trying to envision what something will look like several months down the road isn’t something that most of us grasp easily.But a month — a month we can do!

The 2K11 24/7 CCCXXII: Superstition

“When you believe in thing that you don’t understand, then you suffer — superstition ain’t the way…”

–Stevie Wonder, “Superstition”

I’m told daily to knock on wood when I talk about bad things happening to prevent them from coming true. I know people who won’t make a decision without first consulting their horoscope, making sure that they’re not setting themselves up for failure. People refuse to test umbrellas when they buy them indoors, later complaining when they’re stuck in the rain with a dud.

When did superstition get such a chokehold on our lives?

What does superstition add to our lives?

The more you believe in superstition, the more likely it is to come true. The more of an effect it has on your life. You might not realize it, but it’s like holding a magnet for things to occur without you even realizing it’s in your hand. What’s the point of superstition? Believing in so many rules, regulations and traditions about every little thing we do can make our lives way more complicated and confusing than they need to be. The more we change our paths to make our way around black cats, hop over cracks (so as not to break our mothers’ backs) and whatever other nonsense gives you some peace of mind, the less time you have to simply enjoy your life. The less control you have over your life. And while too much control is a bad thing, there’s also something to be said about letting your superstitions run your life for you.

I say we stop knocking on wood. I say we stop relying on luck all of the time. It might not seem like it, but unless you have quite the exceptional life, you’re only going to get out of your days what you put into them. Things may seem to come out of the blue, but they’re usually a direct result of past actions and decisions.

It’s time to take a look at what rules your life, and to find out whether it’s worth keeping around — the last I checked, rubbing a bald man’s head didn’t do anything for my luck.

–Casey E. Palmer

322/365

The 2K11 24/7 CCCXXI: The Danger of Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

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There are some things that genuinely make me sad. The dissolving of a solid friendship when I put a ton of effort into something only to have it fail miserably. Sometimes though, it’s the difficult choices we need to make in life and doing things we  might not want to do, but have to.
You might see a bit of contrast between this and my general viewpoint of engineering your life so that you don’t have to do the things you don’t want to, but some things are simply unavoidable.
This time it was delivering news I didn’t want to deliver.

The 2K11 24/7 CCCXX: La Passione

How long can we remain passionate about something? Is our passion a flame that can burn eternally, or is it something that goes the way of most things, fizzling out with the passage of time?
What good are we to the world if we keep operating beyond our limits, trying to eke out just a little more greatness?

What do you write about after so much content? The brain gets drained, the topics feel used up — what else could there be?

These are the questions that haunt me as I try to wrap up a year of posting, with pieces of blogs scattered from place to place across computers and stored in the cloud.
Once you fall off of the track and don’t do things with the pace and intensity that you’re used to, it’s hard to get back on. I’m almost a week behind in posts, and I don’t feel the same sense of urgency that I used to in catching up when I’ve lost time.
Have I lost my passion for blogging? Have I given up and chosen to take life in a different direction? Does this happen to everyone who devotes 365 days to doing something? Have our abilities for commitment waned so much that we just can’t devote our lives like we used to?
Sometimes it just feels forced.