So a lot happened at the Dad 2.0 Summit. I made new friends. Finally met up with old ones. And on top of that, I got to meet men I idolised without even realising I was doing it, like Beleaf Melanin and his beautiful family, half of which were there with him at the summit itself!
We exchanged info and became Facebook friends… and if it wasn’t for that, I’m not sure I would’ve been there for what came next.
See, Beleaf Melanin, the rapper-turned-father-turned-prolific creator behind Beleaf in Fatherhood’s video content… he published a book. And I don’t mean an ebook or some YouTuber tell-all at a publisher’s request… he self-published an honest-to-goodness hardcover children’s book: Dad 2.0 Summit, featuring himself and his family as the characters within.
I love reading. I’ve always been reading. As long as I can remember I’ve been reading! My penchant for stories defined me from my earliest days—I devoured tales faster than my Mom could get ’em from the Mississauga Library! I don’t even know what my life would look like if it weren’t for reading—it’s part of just about everything I do. Business case writing. Blogging. Even the spelling bees I’d win when I was eight. Reading’s proved essential to my growth, and I have no plans for my children to do without it, either.
But I should count us lucky. There’re thousands of Canadian kids growing up without a reading culture in their lives. And I get it—parents are too busy. Too tired. And it definitely doesn’t help that thousands of Canadian children don’t even have a book in their homes! Reading’s key to unlocking a child’s potential—if you rob them of reading, who knows what opportunities they’ll miss?
Knowing it’s far better to be part of the solution since being part of the problem hurts us all, McDonald’s Canada introduced an excellent way to get books into the hands of children who might not have them otherwise!
Unless my life sees some major changes this year, 2017 may mark the last list of 100!
It’s January 13th—I’ve spent nearly two weeks of my new year agonising over 100 items that matter enough to hit a list of goals and aspirations for the year ahead. And that’s a key difference from the lists that came before it.
Before it was a task list—I’d look around at everything that needed doing and jot it down, because my life would obviously be better with them out of the way.
But task lists aren’t inspiring. They’re not motivational. As a creative, that’s like dropping a pile of 100 things I dread on my lap and nagging myself to get ’em done by the year’s end.
Once I realised what I was doing to myself, so much so that I just went through my least successful year yet for my list, I knew I needed to make a change for 2017.
I’m particularly proud of the list I’ve put together for The 2017 100. I didn’t take any shortcuts—I wrote out 100 things that’d help me live the life I’d like to lead and prove instrumental along the path there. Rather than hurriedly scrawl out a list I’d likely ignore ’til December, I wrote one that I’d happily check off, knowing that each accomplishment would take me a step closer to a far better 2018. I feel like I’m finally getting it right this time, and I hope that shines through as you give it a look for yourself!
But that’s enough of my chatter—I’ve already made you wait long enough. Here for your consideration is The 2017 100—because it’s not what you do… it’s how you do it!
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Some days, nothing all that amazing happens — some days you’re just maintaining. #100HappyDays Day 15 was like that: just working on keeping things going with lots of emails, Facebooking and tweets to make sure that the relationships stay alive. Went in to the 9-to-5 early, came home early, and spent a bit of extra time playing with DoomzToo since I was home well before his bedtime for once.
But it’s not like I took photos of any of that 🙂
Instead, here’s what I’m reading right now to show my resolve for getting back in the webcomics game!
Dat moment your #PHP be like, "No I don't wanna add another custom post type." #WordPress
I spent some time working on the Fish ‘n’ Chimps website, taking all these pieces of the past decade and putting them together again, trying to build a site that’ll show the journey from then ’til now.
Today was a good day.
#100HappyDays Day 15/100 — finito.
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
When I became a father, many thought I’d have to give up blogging, too busy and tired to bother with social media and my life associated with it. Through 2013, I worried over everything I was giving up with a kid in tow — the parties, the swag, the food — everything that was part of “the scene”. I thought I’d fade into obscurity, becoming an urban legend of Toronto’s social media scene — a precautionary tale to those trying to mix family and Twitter, to show it’s impossible.
But January seemed determined to prove me completely wrong.
Honesty is an important trait — especially when you’re blogging. And to be honest, there hasn’t been much as of late that I’ve cared to blog about!
Sure, I’ve been up to stuff, but summer tends to be a season where I try to spend more time relaxing and less fussing and fretting over my list of “shoulds”. The things I should be doing. The places I should be. Some would argue that at any given time, we’re right where we’re supposed to be.
With that said, here’re 5 of the things that’re helping bring me to peace these days:
One of the things that’ve been missing in the last few years that Sarah’s owned this place is a good grill to char some meat over. Now that the wedding and renovations are out of the way, this past weekend we finally got around to putting our first barbecue together, cooking up some delicious food!
I hate cooking in the kitchen, but by the end of the summer, I’m definitely interested in attaining a “Lord of the Grill” status! (If I actually know you in person, I’ll probably have to have you over sometime for some good eatin’!)
2) Words with Friends
While it’s hard to find friends that’ll play with me after a game or two, I always relish games of Words With Friends. Thought Scrabble’s always the game of choice, it hasn’t become as universally accessible as Words With Friends has 🙂 Too bad they never bothered to incorporate stats into this damn game, though. One day, maybe I’ll move on to Draw Something and find some friends to torment there, too!
I’m not exactly sure how reading wormed its way back into my life — I probably have a little trip to Africa to blame! Over the past few weeks, I’ve devoured both the Hunger Games and Millennium Trilogies, and am now working my way through George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books (which I’m told progressively worsen over time, but I may as well).
It’s weird — after being a gamer for so many years, I barely give most games or TV any notice, preferring to keep striding to catch up with the end of Season 1, which is where I last left Game of Thrones.
(Note: I probably wouldn’t read nearly as much without an iPad, but that’s neither here nor there.)
4) Cleaning My Music Collection
Despite studies telling me that it’s likely to kill my career, I listen to music at work in order to help me get things done. But I found that more and more often, I’d be skipping songs on my iPod rather than bother to hear anything through. Some investigation showed me that my iTunes was filled with 16,500 songs! 45½ days’ worth of listening!
No wonder I couldn’t ever find anything to listen to!
So I decided to do something about it — I organized my music alphabetically by artist and started culling. No moving songs to other folders, no rating things on multiple levels to come back to them later — if I liked it, it stayed. If not — poof! It had to go!
I’m on the Cs now, listening to a Camp Lo mistake I once got, and I’m down to 15,500 songs. Definitely looking promising!
(Other simultaneous activities: using TuneUp to clean wayward tracks; replacing damaged tracks with new versions wherever applicable.)
5) Clearing Up Clutter
If you followed my blog posts from last year, you’ll likely know that one of my big to-dos was to get rid of a lot of the clutter that I’d accumulated over time. Slowly but surely, I’m winning the race by reading many of the old articles I’ve had laying about and trying to make use of everything around me. While we’re trying to have the office cleared out by the end of June, I’m happy to just be learning new things as often as possible.
So despite long hours at work and a nagging sensation that perhaps there’re things that I should be doing more often, these are some of the things that’re helping to keep my head attached to my shoulders.
May I find many tales to tell over the course of the summer!
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: