The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.

Several weeks, a few dozen photos and four thousand words later, we’ve finally made it—the Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad 2017 wrap-up, filled with stories aplenty of 365 days spent in my not-so-orthodox life.

After wrapping the year up on a quiet note (because two sick children under five will do that to you), I still felt it necessary to do this. These year-to-year changeovers offer a lot of perspective for me—with so much happening all the time, I often forget what I had for breakfast, so I write everything down. And if the height of the pile on my desk is any sign, 2017 was quite the year. But it’s also the time where I’m the most transparent, looking back objectively at everything I’ve done and celebrating successes, owning up to failures, hoping all the while that I’m somehow growing from the process.

But yeah—let’s do this as we did in 2016: look at the year in excruciating detail, figuring out what’s worth taking with me into 2018 versus what doesn’t feel part of my world anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present—the 31 things I did well in 2017! Let’s get it!

The Life and Times of Casey and Family — NaBloPoMo Day 3 — Out of the Mouths of Babes.

“Fuckshit.”

I didn’t know it then, but before my eldest started junior kindergarten this September, life was simple. Taking an extra eight months away from the office after her mat leave to be with the boys (and because two kids in Toronto daycare is really expensive), Sarah took the boys on various adventures as they grew. I mean, it obviously wasn’t perfect—I’m not entirely sure how Sarah finished those twenty months with her sanity intact—but for the most part, we were in control. We taught them what we wanted, chose what stimuli affected them, and saw them grow in the world we created for them.

But what we hadn’t considered was a new factor just over the horizon—something we couldn’t control that’d affect our son in entirely new ways.

Other. People’s. Kids.

How McDonald’s Canada’s Happy Meals Can Reveal the Joy of Reading!

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!

Pampers Easy Ups | Getting Aware of the Better Way to Underwear!

Potty training is a pain in the butt.

Pun totally intended.

I’ll look back at this in the future and laugh, but I have a stubborn toddler refusing to do away with diapers. We’ve tried it all—using a sticker chart to reward every #2; promising every Paw Patrol toy under the sun if only he’d learn to use the toilet… even jealousy by putting his baby brother on the potty for some elimination communication, but nothing’s quite stuck.

But we can’t just give up—diapers aren’t a good look for kindergarten kids, so we’ve got just under a year to help him say the magic words:

“I’m ready for underwear!”

See, the transition from infancy to childhood need not be so difficult—parenting in 2016 offers so many options, and Pampers takes full advantage of this with their brand-new Pampers Easy Ups training pants—the better way to underwear!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 51-60: Tradition, Tailoring and Tilling My Land

What’s struck me so far as I write these year-end wrap-ups is that I’m dealing with the list of a maniac. At 100 items, that’s 3.65 days to get each item done, or 8,760 hours.

But if I sleep 6 hours a night, that’s suddenly 6,570 hours.

And with a 40-hour work week (not including my 3 weeks of vacation), that brings us down to 4,610.

Put in a couple of hours per day to eat, shower and other essentials and you’re suddenly down to 3,880 hours, or a mere 161$latex \frac{2}{3}$ days worth of time (or perhaps, a mere 8 hours per weekday, with the hope that the weekends don’t find themselves suddenly overloaded) to do 100 things. And that’s, of course, on top of going out with friends, being a good family man, and perhaps finding time to do things that were never on the list in the first place.

Unless you’ve somehow bought yourself the luxury of unlimited time, a list of 100 goals is best achieved when attainable. You can’t be everywhere at once or do everything at once — sometimes we need humility and a reminder that there’s simply only one of us!

It’s what we do with that one that makes all the difference.

So let’s chalk this up to a learning experience. Let’s figure out what really matters, what’d be nice to do, and what’d be inane to expect with a wife and kid at home, needing me to play my role as a father.

Once more unto the breach!