#BlackDadWorries | Worrying About Raising Black Children in a World That Doesn’t Value Them.

Yesterday, thanks to the advice from a friend to save my Instagram story to my profile, I came up with a new hashtag #BlackDadWorries that spells out how I feel in the face of all this death. And death isn’t even calling it what it isβ€”murder, with Black livesΒ continuallyΒ cut short, and the message made clear: there’s nowhere out there where Black people should reasonably expect to be safe from a world that’s trying to get them.

#BlackDadWorries β€” My Two Boys in the Kitchen My boys are still young, but they’re growing up quick, developing worlds and lives of their own. And while I’d love just to sit back and let them develop on their own so they can build senses of self in theΒ truestΒ sense of the phrase… the world we live in won’t let meΒ do it. Yes, they’re six and four, but they’re six- and four-year-olds who hear they look “dirty” because their skin is darker. Six- and four-year-olds who hear they’re not white enough to play with other kids. I’d love to take things slow, but their world’s developing quickly, and it makes me wonder when I’ll need to sit them down and tell them what the world’sΒ reallyΒ like.

Why I Made The Corona Chronicles A Series

Casey's Corona Chronicles β€” How to Outlast Your Kids in the Midst of a Global Pandemic β€” Empty Grocery Store Shelves
Is this what the world’s end looks like? Credit to AndrΓ© Proulx.

What do you even write about when the whole world’s burning down? Multibillion-dollar sports empires ended their seasons early. The travel industry shut down in one fell swoop. I didn’t start talking about COVID-19 right away because it was all anyone could talk about, but as soon as we closed schools down for three weeks across Ontario, how could I not?

When I first published The Corona Chronicles on March 13th, though, I was so short-sighted. I called the three-week quarantine “March Br3ak”, thinking this would all somehow resolve itself by April. I didn’t jump on long-term prep right away, figuring I could do some catch-up once things calmed down a bit.

But then our businesses shut down on the 16th. Travel another four days later. We learned that this was no small thingβ€”we needed to learn a “new normal” with a very uncertain future ahead. This was no three-week ordeal.

And as the days dragged on and I kept writing about the experience, it only grew clearer there was more going on than a single post could contain. I needed a full series.

So here, in week eight of The Great Quarantine, I’d like to welcome you to The Corona Chronicles: The Series, where we talk about life as a family in Toronto, trying to stay sane each day as we find new ways to adjust.

I, for one, look forward to returning to some semblance of normal soon, but until we do, you can expect me to keep writing about it.

Be well, everyone, and keep doing what you need to to make it in these times!

Until the next, I remain,

cep wrap-up logo

The 2019 Wrap-Up: Design of a Decade

β€œReality tells you what youΒ can’t do.”

β€” Rick Rubin on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, Season 2, Episode 4

It’s theΒ end of aΒ decade, and I can’t help but reflect on where I amΒ now versus where I was back in December 2009.

The 2019 Wrap-Up β€” Design of a Decade β€” Looking Back

ThisΒ entire decade, pretty much, has been the balancing act between the blog, the family, and the day-to-day work as a public servant for Ontario.

Back then, I’d just started my first job out of the Ontario Internship Program, putting my time and energy into that and the time I spent with Sarah. I didn’t even really useΒ Facebook at the time, much less everything I’d get up to on Twitter just a yearΒ laterβ€”the world I spend all this time on now as a Canadian Dad was utterlyΒ inconceivable to me back then, because so much less was on theΒ line. Nor was I married. Or had anyΒ kids. So many of the things thatΒ make me a better man and keep me coming back to do the best that IΒ can for all that are things I wouldn’t appreciate until IΒ had them.

But a decade later, my friend Ramy put it to me bestβ€”the more you do something, the more your capacity grows to take on evenΒ more, and that’s the mentality I’m keeping with me as I get ready for 2020. Work smarter. Plan better. Make better decisions. I’ve comeΒ this far this last decade while doing whatever I wanted and getting better at it along the way. But you eventually hit a point where that just doesn’tΒ cut it anymore, and in 2020, I think I’ll finally learn whatΒ I’m made of.

LESSON ONE: Success is More Than Just a Number on a Screen

One thing I can tell you that separates the me today from the person I was aΒ decade ago is that IΒ think differently.

When IΒ started this blogger journey, I treated success like it was a quantifiable measure. That I was the sum of the followers I had. Or that I should measure my happiness by the number of comments I got on my work. I would chase after engagement rates, post frequencies and Domain Authority scores, thinking that they were theΒ keys to my success, but what I understandΒ now is that they’re all just indicative of something muchΒ larger at play.

It goes back to what I’ve been saying all alongβ€”the medium doesn’tΒ matter if you’ve got an amazingΒ story to tell.

The 2019 Wrap-Up β€” Design of a Decade β€” Flying for My Hopes and Dreams

When I took a break from creating as intensely as IΒ usually did in the last few months of the decade, it made me understand that it was what I probably should’ve been doing allΒ alongβ€”taking the time to make my workΒ great instead of justΒ good. You get used to trying so hard to beΒ first or trying to be onΒ trend that you forget that great workΒ usually doesn’t just pop out of thin air. If you don’t spend the time andΒ nurture it, you’re only doingΒ yourself a disservice.

What that sweat equity looks like forΒ me is bleeding pens dry. Blazing through as many notebooks as I can. I’m trying to spin gold from a dining room table full of strawΒ every night, and as much as itΒ pains some right now to see me work as hard as I do, IΒ keep doing it because I know there are higher heights I can reach if IΒ try.

Rick Campanelli | I’m Where I Need to be Right Now | Chatting with Casey S01E15

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, holidayΒ traffic, and a whole gaggle of germs with cold and flu season upon us… just in time for the holidays.

Chatting with Casey 0015 β€” I'm Where I Need to be Right Now β€” Christmas β€” Must Buy All The Things

With our youngest hit by a pretty nasty cough over the weekend, productivity ground to aΒ halt. You can easily take for granted how much you’re doing until something more important comes along and forces you to reprioritise. I learned over time to feel the pressure a little less and accept that my family doesn’t need me to be the best creator in the gameβ€”theyΒ need me to beΒ present.

And so as I lay down in the bottom bunk of my sons’ bed with a kid who woke up for maybe the twelfth time that night, I put all thoughts of podcasting aside and took care of home as Dave Hollister aptly put it back in 2000.

But now that he’s up and running again, so am I, and it’s time to continue our storytelling journey with Chatting with Casey, Episode 15β€”I’m Where I Need to be RightΒ Now.

Carlos Diaz & Rob Tinkler | It Takes Two to Tango in Friendship | Chatting with Casey S01E13

It’s always nice to take a break from our lives and spend a little time on vacation, but when you own your own business, you need toΒ plan for that.

Eight Tiny Reindeer, Two Great Friends, One Awesome Episode!

One thing 2018’s taught me is that I need to getΒ ahead of my schedule if I ever want to spend any timeΒ apart from it.

Chatting With Casey 0013 β€” It Takes Two to Tango in Friendship β€” Rob, Casey and Carlos

The last third of this year’s had me hustle to get everything off my plate, knowing that as soon as the holidays finish, I haveΒ substantial obstacles ahead. So I’ve been working days, weeks and evenΒ months ahead to create myΒ best content to avoid ever being backed into a corner again.

And this podcast episode’s no exception.

Recorded on November 15, 2018, after plenty of texts back and forth between Carlos Diaz and myself, Chatting with Casey episode 13 started up with a misbehaving SD card, quick sprints to Shoppers and Rexall, and the hope that one day I get myself a studio so I can do these conversationsΒ justice.

But regardless, it was aΒ great convo between Carlos Diaz, Rob Tinkler and myself, and I hope you’ll be ready when 8 Tiny Reindeer debutsΒ this Saturdayβ€”may you enjoy listening to it as much as these guys didΒ making it!

But for now, you can hearΒ all about it on the podcast!