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.

Kelly Jean

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!

COMIN’ RIGHT UP: NANOWRIMOvember

“Suddenly, a wild November appeared!”

–no one in the Pokémon game series ever

 

Before I start talking about November, let’s talk Halloween.

When Did Your Inner Children Die?

When did people forget how to have fun? When did anyone worry about whether dressing up was “cool” or not? Seriously — when did you people let your inner children die?

I wore my aforementioned Ghostbusters outfit (sans proton pack, which I haven’t fixed yet) to work, only to discover that I was the only one dressed up.

Totally uncool. The fact that everyone was so worried about keeping up appearances (or on the other end of the spectrum, didn’t care enough to bother dressing up) that they couldn’t cut loose for a day and have a little fun (or, again on the flip side, are too beaten down by life to bother) really bothers me. Policies? Guidelines? Permission???

Are you kidding me? It’s HALLOWEEN!!!

Anyway. Gives me a lot to think about — the environments I’m in, the people I hang with — but that’s not the point of this post.

NANOWRIMOvember — Where I Grow Facial Hair and Grow Tired of Writing!

Movember Day 1 with a clean-shaven face and head to match!

So we’ve finally reached the final stretch of 2012, where we wonder where the year went, worry about what to get people for Christmas and get fat off of all the holiday parties that tend to go down!

Well, we’re not quite there yet. We still have to make it through November.

November is an anomaly of a month. Not only is it one of the few months without a statutory holiday in Ontario, unlike its cousin named June, there’s very little that we tend to like about it. No hot weather, no looking forward to the summer — just reminders that we’re getting back to layering up and grey — oh so grey — skies above.

But not all is lost in November…

I Got 50K Problems, Being Done Ain’t One

Can I write a 50,000-word novel in a MONTH? Time will tell…

As if I’m not busy enough (because we Torontonians love to be busy), somehow I decided that being part of the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO for short) would be a good idea this year.

The basic premise: write a 50,000-word novel through the month of November. To put that in perspective:

  • a good length for a blog post is around 400-500 words
  • when you’re writing an essay for school, a double-spaced page is about 500 words

So about 100 blogs and/or 20 or so essays over the course of a month on top of regular blog posts and Mansformation.

Not exactly my brightest idea, but no one can ever say I’m unambitious! But fortunately, I’m brimming full of ideas, so stay tuned, amigos!

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/doomz

Gimme Some Mo!!!

When all else fails, trust the Mo.

With Movember comes events, awareness and a solid excuse for guys to grow some wicked awesome beards! I’ll admit that I never got around to participating until this year, but I look forward to seeing what I can come up with after a month! (If my post-Africa pics are any indication, apparently not much.)

I’ve drawn a quick mock-up in good ol’ Photoshop to let you see what my facial hair would look like at the end of Movember in an ideal world…

I call it… the “Evil Overlord”!!!

…but I fear that a beard of awesome won’t be a dream soon realized.

I don’t fight alone against prostate cancer, though — friends like Amanda Blake are throwing events in support of Movember! You can find me at her After Work Drinks Toronto event (or #AWDTO for the hashtag-inclined) on November 8th snapping photos and hanging out with some great company. With a $10 price tag (going right to Movember) to have free beer samples, more fun than you usually ever do and the chance to win some great prizes, I definitely encourage you to show up!

But no Movember blog post would be complete without a little self-promotion! I believe in supporting causes to help humanity improve — I support friends who climb towersride bikes and do all sorts of activities through the year in the name of various causes, but I rarely enter the fray myself. So now that I have, I hope that friends can give generously and help contribute to the fight for a better (and prostate cancer-free) future!

You can find my donation page at http://mobro.co/CaseP

Play Me Off, Keyboard Cat

So while the news might tell you that it’s time to get yourself in Christmas mode (only 53 shopping days left, people!), November is no month to be glossed over!

So while I’m rockin’ the Mo’ and writing fo sho — what the heck will YOU be doing all month?

–case p.

WHAT YOU MISSED: Cool Connections Toronto

Tash would hold it down, helping people work through problems in their life in some speed-mentoring!

Tuesday night found me at an event due to the prompting of my friend, Tash Jefferies, and it was one of the most productive decisions I’d made so far this week!

Setting Up the Cool

To give some quick context, I’d originally met Tash at my DoomzDay birthday bash back in July, crossing paths with her again at her You… Unleashed! event back in August (but we’ll get to that next week). This time, she was at it again — this time with the strength of a team in Cool Connections Toronto — an event based around (and I say this verbatim) people “doing cool s**t” in Toronto and bringing them together to organically make connections that can help make them rather than break them while they try to realize their dreams.

But How Cool Was It?

I can usually tell how good a time I’ve had at an event by how hoarse my voice is afterward — and let me tell you, I was almost speechless at the end of the night (pun most definitely intended). I’ve been to my fair share of networking event, but this one was different. Run by a team of 12 passionate people from varying disciplines (and put together in the span of a mere three weeks), Cool Connections was more about making yourself vulnerable and leaving yourself open to the possibilities that come from truly connecting with people than it was about simply getting your name out or “being seen”, as is the case with numerous events that I’ve hit up these past couple of years.

One of my best conversations of the night happened to be with someone looking to make the foray into social media and do it right — she was considering her brand, her underlying message, where social media was going in the future and not just where it is today — it was refreshing to see others thinking about it the way I have for a good while now.

You can see a glimpse of what went down that night below or by visiting the gallery at my Flickr page.

 

But what comes next? Only time can tell — my hope is that the people who connected on October 2nd will continue to do so on October 3rd, 4th, 31st, December, 2013 and on. The connections that remain most important to you in a lifetime are not cultivated over a single night, and that’s the message that Cool Connections strove to put forward. The night was productive, but getting to meet someone is only the tip of the iceberg. To keep with the analogy — if you aren’t willing to dive deep to make the coolest connections possible, is it even worth staying stuck in the shallows?

— case p.