Just looking at the week that passed, though I’m constantly updating y’all on my life, there’s sadly so much I can’t talk about. New opportunities. Projects in progress. A whole world of stuff on top of what I’m already putting out there that makes for a very promising 2018 ahead, but learning to be patient and put things out when the time is right is an ongoing lesson.
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!
So somewhere in my crazy mind, I’d convinced myself it’d be a good idea to write my wrap-up for The 2016 100 all as one post, because I’m always so curt with my posts, of course. A few days of working on it quickly killed that idea, and here were are with the second part of my wrap-up, covering the things I didn’t get around to in 2016, but still plan to manage this year, as well as my reasons why.
(Note: You will see these in some form in The 2017 100, so you know—don’t be too surprised.)
What I Didn’t Do, But Still Want to Do Next Year
7) Stop biting my nails — Ugh. What I probably need to do first is reduce the amount of stress in my life to get a better chance of dropping this disgusting habit. I had a good run early in the year, but hey. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time! 8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent — I don’t think those past thank you’s are getting sent. It’s just… not something I’m doing. Instead, I think I’d love to start sending Christmas letters with some personalisation. I’m not a complete jackass, guys, but there needs to be a point where we agree to move on. 13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP — Any outstanding finances in general, really: part of being an adult is knowing how much your insurance will pay out. What your benefits cover. What’s in your stock portfolio. 2017 Casey Palmer needs a better handle on all this kind of stuff!
14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad — I mean, you don’t see the magic happening, but my desk and dining room table are plastered with pages of notes as I draft out my posts. Will it happen? Maybe. Do I want it to? Oh heck yes ?
I can’t even lie, guys — coming up with a list of 100 goals for the fourth year in a row was hard — ridiculously so. I’m a very different me than I was when The 2013 100 came out, back when free time was still an abundant commodity I didn’t even know I was taking for granted, trying to fill it with countless things that’d keep life interesting.
A problem I most definitely don’t have in 2016!
As I work at surviving the upcoming year — especially with our second child’s imminent arrival — I needed to make the list a lot more realistic; I’m all too skilled at chasing ambitions that exceed my lifestyle’s capacity, and I’ll need to keep wary of that in 2016 if I want to see myself make it out the other side!
So without further ado, The 2016 100. It took a couple of days to polish off after recovering from the gauntlet that was 2015, but I feel like it’s a list that will really make waves in this life o’ mine should I see it finished!
But hey — that’s what I say every year ????
Thanks for reading!
1) Write an amazing series for Black History Month 2) Win a vacation for my dry cleaner 3) Watch Creed; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Martian; Ant-Man 4) Take Eric to a sporting event so he can stop complaining about getting left from sporting events 5) Phase my old 3.5″ hard drive out 6) Get rid of my old electronics 7) Stop biting my nails 8) Get rid of the wedding thank you cards I never sent 9) Clean out the basement crawl space 10) Build shelves into the crawl space 11) Give my FWD Powershot 2 to my old manager the hockey coach 12) Do the CN Tower Edgewalk 13) Sort out my old TD employee RSP 14) Consolidate everything down to a single notepad
Though a chiropractor I started seeing late into 2015 told me I’d developed some mild sciatica in my back, I didn’t need him to tell me I carry too much STUFF. In a digital age where we can pack mountains of information into a single device, there’s really NO NEED for me to carry all the draft posts and note that I do — save the fact that working from hard copy’s the way my brain’s WIRED.
In 2016, I need a little more focus to keep all my ideas stored in one place so I’m not constantly carrying EVERYTHING in my house made of paper, knowing that I probably scribbled SOMETHING on ALL of ’em.
15) Sort out the Internet situation at home so I can stop relying on tethering to LTE data 16) Learn enough Spanish to understand my sister-in-law’s Mexican wedding in May 17) Find time for date nights, which will involve finding someone who wants to babysit two kids… how about we just find more awesome things to do at home, just in case? 18) Try Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake 19) Get to 0 drafts on CaseyPalmer.com by converting everything into live posts 20) Install the growth chart for my kids that we got at my office baby shower 21) Update all the old content on CaseyPalmer.com 22) Upgrade the site infrastructure to better support contest traffic 23) Redesign the heck out of the blog (Twenty Sixteen, what up) 24) Find the time to pack more lunches for work 25) Clean up and optimize my Pinterest account (I still have that copy of Pinterest Savvy lying around somewhere) 26) Shave more regularly 27) Hand out my remaining business “cep” cards so I can put in a new order (wait — do we still do business cards?) 28) Clear out the bookshelves to prepare for Baby #2 29) Replace the lost key to our 2011 Ford Edge 30) Figure out what I ACTUALLY need to run my site and invest in THAT. 31) Replace our bathroom sink 32) Meet with the people who I never seemed to schedule in through 2015 (Aaron, Emma, Ria, Adrienne, Dianna) 33) Get a Brookhaven Computer Cabinet
The 1% of the Casa de Palmer workspace I use to do all the things isn’t the best — in fact, it’s falling apart. As I get older and start formalizing my #BloggerLife, Sarah and I agree that my workspace should evolve to show that. It’ll take some saving to make it happen, but it’d be a nice addition to the home.
I’ve been running some numbers lately, and it occurred to me that I don’t have a whole lot of time if I want to get the last 24 entries of the 31 Things series done before my July 15th birthday, so it’s time to get to grind mode and see what I can do!
Truth be told, not everything’s been amazing lately. I’m not the type of blogger who pretends that everything’s peachy all the time — life isn’t perfect, and sometimes you’ll need to overcome obstacles just to keep your sanity.
It used to be so hard to rile me up. I’ve always been about finding solutions, not dwelling on problems, convinced that most of the stuff we fret over simply wasn’t worth the energy. I used to know the few times I’d lost my temper with someone who wasn’t family — the time I’d been wrongly accused of screwing something up at work and tasked to fix it. The time I felt a peer was disrespecting me and undermining my position — one I’d worked so hard to get. Cool, calm and collected were the only ways I wanted to be, and little could get under my skin.
But these days, there’s someone out there consistently bringing my ugly side to light. They don’t respect me or my time, constantly lording their power rather than work with me to get results. They’re a bully to the core, and I’m not the type to take it lightly.
I’d be a fool to think I could solve these problems overnight, though. You can’t change people — you can change how they perceive you, but don’t expect a foul-tempered peer to become your BFF if they don’t want to. I’ve learned, instead, that we need to find coping mechanisms when faced with these struggles, and knowing our individual worth doesn’t always quite cut it.
When I’m so clouded by rage that I can barely see straight, I pick up an old habit of mine and draw. Draw all my feelings, feel it all flow through my pen, and let it express the things that words don’t quite do justice. I don’t always finish, but I assure you — I often feel far better once I’ve gotten a piece out.
So the next time you’re mad, don’t fly off the handle — harness that rage and do something with it! I’ve heard people say they aren’t creative, or complain that they aren’t good enough, but that’s not the point. If you’re creating, you should create for you. When you express yourself, make sure what you’re creating meets your needs. It’s like oxygen masks on an airplane — if you can’t help yourself and make sure you’re getting what you need to live, how can you expect to help anybody else?
They say that you shouldn’t get mad — you should get even; what better revenge is there than showing the people who piss you off just how great you can be?
May your worst moments help bring your best ones to light!
Until the next, mi amigos,
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
And out of nowhere, like a dreaded cold that chills your bones, The Months of Ber have fallen upon us, signalling the time to check on our affairs and tie up loose ends wherever we can.
With summer wrapped up but a wealth of work still sitting on my plate, I looked at my desk and didn’t even know where to start. When I added cleaning my desk to The 2014 100 back in January, it was no joke — the pressed wood of my 2% stake in my home has long vanished under piles of unfinished ideas, half-read books, and a plethora of resources I got with good intentions, but ultimately used them so seldom that all they do is take up space.
It’s time to figure out what really needs doing in my life, and with luck, I can enter 2015 much farther ahead than I was a mere 9 months ago.
It was my son’s 4-month “birthday” today, but I barely got to see him.
In a day preceded by three hours of sleep, fraught with everything from a site crash to slow progress with work things due to the March Break coworker exodus to the site files that refused to migrate, I came home to a kid ready to sleep from a day filled with visitors and stimuli.
My day wasn’t as exciting as his, though. It was all about:
Finding a hidden cache of old posts that were properly formatted, which could replace some old ones on my site that needed some touching up
Trying to delete the old posts, only to find that my site couldn’t handle all the load of deleting 100 posts at a time, crashing the site for a few minutes and making me finally decide to make the leap to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) to handle the stress I put on my site
Realizing that I’d tried all this before, and the ones that were there before were the result of the very same course of actions I was trying
Delete these “new magical files” I came across so I never make this stupid mistake again
But though I nearly obliterated all the stuff I’d worked so hard on (again…), I was happy that my plan to reintroduce Fish ‘n’ Chimps to the world was coming together.
So what if iI made them in an age where 1024 x 768 was the standard resolution, giving me comics that are way too small for the modern monitor?
So what if they show the humour of a Casey Palmer in his late teens and early twenties, utterly juvenile and devoid of a solid storyline?
February ended with a whimper, an exhausted Casey Palmer wrapping up a hectic day’s work with some family dinner time, ultimately choosing a 7:30 bedtime over working on my month-end wrap-up post or one for the #100HappyDays.
10 hours later, perched at my desk over a blank notepad, I searched my mind for the thoughts and feelings to mark March 1st, the month where we finally have hope of escaping the icy death grip of winter!
This doodle (drawn when spacing out on a roundtable teleconference about time tracking tools and how to change our business processes to use the best) marks a farewell to a month of cold, iciness and hibernation. It marks the hope for days at the park, time with friends and everything I can do outside these four walls. This doodle made me happy, because for a moment I dreamt about all the things I could do which weren’t spreadsheets, business cases or PowerPoint presentations.
Too many expectations of chipping in for overly extravagant situations
Too much costing too much too much of the time
Yes, I work a job that pays pretty well. But I work hard – I work DAMN hard. And things just keep coming up. My weekends are full of events all over the map that require my time, effort and dollars… and I think I’ve reached my limit. Art – oftentimes it costs nothing. The resources I use are my imagination and the tools I choose to use to create. The return I get from what I invest is more often than not guaranteed to be what I expected. I just can’t live a life that isn’t reflective of who I am anymore. I can feel it chipping away at my sanity, and I think I’m having no more of it.
But back to what this blog’s really about with that rant out of the way. Why do I draw? Funny story: last night I was in the Yorkville area of town with the girlfriend and some of her crew, and as the night progressed (literally, as we were at Remy’s for 6-7 hours) I busted out the pencil, some paper, and while the red wine was knocked back, the sketches went a-flyin. Our waitress, Celeste, was very complimentary, but what was surprising was that some hot chick (though not as hot as the girlfriend, obviously) randomly made her way out of the crowd and suddenly appeared to my right:
Her: “Are you a designer?!”
Tipsy Casey: “Kinda sorta – I tend to draw tons of different things!”
We talked a little about how she has numerous friends who’re designers and whatnot, and hopefully she’d see my work on the cover of Vogue in the future or something.
Yes. Vogue. Let me clarify.
So when I busted out the drawings, what had been on top of the stack this time were photos of runway models and their crazy outfits. So I began sketching away as I do with anything else. Now, let’s translate this into a mathematical equation:
Yorkville hangout (i.e. Place where people want to act richer than they actually are) + drawing pictures that make you look like a stylist (looks like Cosmo magazine has a purpose after all!) + copious amounts of alcohol (which, of course, is instrumental in many equations in life) = girls coming to talk to you. Learn from me, men. I will show you things in life which you have never imagined. 😉
So right now I’m at Marben Restaurant on Wellington just at the post-meal bill-waiting. The food was alright – your standard small portions, costly place-type fare – but the dessert was pretty interesting; “home-made” sorbet in the following flavours:
The Sorbets served with Marben’s prix fixe menu…
Blueberry Cinnamon was whatev (for I don’t like blueberries and rarely eat anything cinnamon), to me the strawberry mint tasted like… strawberry sorbet… but the lime basil – SO GOOD. They took two of my favourite flavours and combined it into something EPIC. It makes me want to learn how to make my own sorbet so I can make MORE.
Anyway, we got back home in one piece and I’m in dire need of rest, so I’ll close this chapter shortly, I suppose. I’m thinking perhaps next blog I should just upload a ton of sketches and no words? Would y’all like that? Are you tired of my verbose nature?
Holla at a brotha.
Until then, I remain…
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: