It’s been the hottest minute since I put out a Week That Was, so much so that I needed to roll ’em up into a month’s worth of material to catch up on the stories! A bit of a fail, I admit, but when you’re simultaneously preparing for Christmas, scribing a lively giveaway series, and trying to keep the rest of your life in order, things are gonna fall between the cracks. But with Christmas over and done with and the new year just around the corner, I’m jonesing to start 2016 with a clean slate, taking everything I learned this year to push the blog in exciting directions!
But enough jabbering about the future when you’re here for the past—let’s take a look at my last five weeks and all the antics that took up my time!
Any blogger who writes a post like this asking “Where do I start?” obviously doesn’t store enough of their moments on Google Photos. Scrolling through a quick search of 11/21/2015-12/26/2015 gave me everything I needed, and jeez was it a lot!
Photo courtesy of Brian Fryd
Though I don’t quite know how I made it this far through 2015 with my sanity intact, November was closing itself off solidly with events like Read for the Cure courtesy of TELUS (where we sat in the closest possible seats to the authors thanks to their status as Platinum Plus Sponsors and Ian Brown gleefully called my wife a “little shit”*), and emceeing DECA’s Festival of Lights, an annual event in my ‘hood to help ring in the holiday season by lighting the trees on the edge of East Lynn Park. I made a new friend—a potential Dad blogger who was visiting town, and reassured me there’re others out there looking to parent how I parent through an enlightening conversation! I won a FitBit Flex and promptly gave it to a coworker, knowing I couldn’t make as solid use of it as some of my gym-going colleagues could; I succumbed to the hype and tried Hot Star Large Fried Chicken to discover it was little more than that—a bit of pounded white meat covered with tons of breading and even more hoopla; and we continued tradition, getting Little Man a snowboarding Elmo to hang on the tree amongst the various Christmas accessories we’d ordered in to jazz up Casa de Palmer!
November was busy, without a doubt, but there’s no way I was ready for what’d come next.
2014’s seen me grow a lot, finally realizing what it’s like to have a voice, believing in it enough to stop compromising and start telling the world how I really feel. I’m not producing as aggressively as I used to, but now I’m giving each post the respect it deserves, trying to outdo myself every time I put pen to paper (literally—that’s how I write my thoughts before they hit your screen!) My blog is my platform to air my thoughts and share my experiences, and despite a blogger industry over 150 million deep, no one does it like I do it.
And that’s what bloggers need to remember—you’re not supposed to do it like anybody else; people read your stuff because it’s you.
But this month more than any this year taught me that my contemporaries are too often scared to have opinions, show vulnerabilities, or be human—in short, too many bloggers spend too much time writing too few things that actually matter.
And May, a month where my nightlife mostly involved playing with my 6-month old and hanging with my wife, it was the month reminding me what I should be doing with my time.
I Go 0 to 100, Man, Real Quick!
May was the first month this year where I really felt comfortable in my new skin—no longer trying to reconcile my #BloggerLife with the new path I’m walking; finding joy in the life of a father, spending less time at events and more in my neighbourhood… in ways, it’s like I pulled a 180º on who I was.
Less social media meant a return to life before tweeting, reconnecting with the family and friends I hadn’t seen as much of since diving into the blogosphere. It meant Saturday strolls with the family to the local ice cream shop, backyard barbecues and friends coming over with gifts and treats to celebrate the new little guy in my life, capturing the hearts and Likes of my social circles. Even as I grew less visible in the Twitterati circles, spending more 9-5 doing the corporate jive and more 5-9 keeping the kid alive, I didn’t feel like I was missing out—a change was in the air, with a new me needed to handle all the adventures laying ahead.
Here’s a look at some key stuff that went down in May, one month closer to making 2014 my best year yet!
Podcasting—More Than JUST a Blogger
Though I’ve yet to launch a podcast myself, I’m not one who’s camera- or microphone-shy. I found some time in May to hook up with Eric Freedlander and Peter DeWolf on their respective podcasts to talk social media, fatherhood, and the constant hustle of life in Toronto. If you’ve got some time to spare and ears yearning for some quality content, you should give ’em both a listen!
With a kid in the picture, our neighbourhood’s embraced us differently—we’ve gone from Sarah and Casey the “nice young couple” to Sarah and Casey the “trustworthy parents”. Instead of East York just being a place I’d go to at night to lay my head I’ve started seeing everything my ‘hood has to offer, its food fare, its parks, its people. The more I immersed myself in my community, the more I knew I needed to get involved.
In May, I started getting hyperlocal in my “urburbs”, linking up with the Greenwood Community Association and the Danforth East Community Association to start telling the tales of Danforth East, using my years of experience up ’til now to help my neighbourhood get the profile it deserves. Over the last several years, Danforth East’s landscape has changed, with plenty of new faces, new shops and plenty of ways to stuff your face. The shots above are just a sample, but you should stop by sometime to see what we’ve got to offer!
Sky’s the Limit
Though no one can believe it, 2014’s almost halfway done. Even a cursory glance at The 2014 100 tells me my paradigm’s shifted considerably these past five months—though I did buy a lawn mower (#61); demolish the hours of TV I expected to consume in 2014 (#67); and shrink the number of browser tabs I keep open by adding everything to my ever-growing to-do list (#71); it’s not like I had room for grandiose travel plans to hit SXSW (#3) or the World Domination Summit (#4). I’ve worked my butt off on the content hustle, churning more content out than ever before, already down to 130 drafts from the 220 I had closing out 2013 (#23). Fixed the wi-fi (#33), sorted the hot mess of a file structure on my computer and external hard drives (#43), rekindled my relationship with my grandparents now that I’m a parent myself (#46)—I don’t even care what the haters say, this year’s been a landmark one for me so far. (Even threw out all the business cards after massively rebranding myself to the new “grown man” Casey Palmer [#64]!)
Couldn’t even honestly tell you what to expect these last 7 months—the only things written in stone are some family time off to show the kid off to some relatives, but I’m on that grind in every other way. 30 years down and an entire future ahead, though many look at this age and decide it’s over the hill—time to settle down—I constantly remind myself that Oprah didn’t even have The Oprah Winfrey Show until she was 32, building one of the world’s greatest brands over 25 long years of work.
This ain’t a sprint; it’s a marathon I’ve run and will keep running until the Lord finds something else for me to do.
Chase those dreams, people—I know I am.
Until the next,
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: