The 2017 100 Wrap-Up: 31 Successes.

Last updated on April 30th, 2021 at 04:56 pm

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!

Tradition, Tailoring and Tilling My Land

Last updated on April 5th, 2021 at 12:44 am

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\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!

What Makes a Good Dad? The Road to Fatherhood!

Last updated on March 30th, 2021 at 01:57 am

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The dad is the unsung hero of parenting, and it’s easy to see why. They don’t grow babies inside of them for 40 weeks. They don’t breastfeed or have the same degree of parental instinct as mothers do. In many parenting situations I’ve seen, the role of the dad is ambiguous. Secondary to the mother. Perhaps a pale shadow of motherhood, expected to do her same function, but perhaps with a slightly masculine twist to it.

What is a dad’s role? What Can We Learn from the Dads Who Came Before Us?

The sonogram of Casey and Sarah's unborn child, turned into a meme by Justin Baisden.
Our sonogram meme’d by Justin Baisden.

Our memories are shorter now than they’ve ever been (thanks, technology!)—there’s a lot about my Dad I remember from my later years, but much of my childhood is a blur. And in a family with both parents working to make ends meet, what I do remember is lots of time in my Grandma’s basement, watching TV or horsing around with my brother until my parents come home to resume the parental segment of their lives, tired or not.

I have a wealth of social cues on what it means to be a Dad—so then, why do I feel woefully unqualified to carry it out?

Of Resting, Wrestling and Lessons

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 12:15 pm

A shot of me at the Walmer Retreat taken by Niki
Casey Palmer in the early days of Movember with little but a 5 o’clock shadow upon his visage!

Ask anyone I know, and they’ll tell you that at times I’m totally an overgrown kid. I let my imagination run away with me, I rarely let myself by limited by the concerns that most adults focus on, and believe that life isn’t worth living if it isn’t kept interesting. It’s hard to get me to sit still if you haven’t given me a task to focus on, and I rather do things until I’m totally wiped out than waste a single moment sleeping.

I don’t wanna grow up—but we don’t stay young forever.

Ain’t Getting Any Younger

Let me tell you a bit about my church.

With a congregation of about 150-200. Black, White, young, old, rich, poor—we cover multiple spectra.

Every year, we go up to the Muskoka, ON area for a church retreat—a weekend dedicated to worship, togetherness, and maybe most important—rest.

The encouragement cards we fill out for one another to keep everyone going through the hard times.
One of the big takeaways of the weekend are the encouragement cards we fill out for one another with kinds words and thoughts.

I’ve been 4 or 5 times now, and while I’ve enjoyed it every time, I don’t know whether “restful” is something I’d call it from my experience.

But that could have something to do with my unexpected role as a makeshift babysitter for the church.

Misadventures in Makeshift Babysitting

Some of the younger ladies at church basically trying to find out how strong my back is.
The upside to this? At least I know my spine is strong.

It’s been going on for too long to remember when it started, but for some years now, I’ve served the role of an unofficial mascot for the kids at church. While I’m not ready to have kids of my own (though to hear most fathers tell it, who ever is?), I have a huge soft spot for kids. If a child in a stroller waves at me or says “Hi”, I go into instant smiley-face happy mode and do the same back.

Oh God. I’m channelling my mother. Ugh!

Anyway, for the reasons I stated at the beginning, children seem drawn to me. I play their games. I speak to them like equals and not dismiss their ideas. I never underestimate them, as kids are capable of more than you could imagine. And so, out of just about anyone in the church, I’m the one they flock to after the Sunday services.

But after an hour of being chased and pulled around the sanctuary; poked prodded and jumped on; and generally fulfilling my role as a walking, talking jungle gym—I’m exhausted.

There’s another guy who helps out—here’s 14 or 15, and I wish I had his energy. But here I am in a body that’s been well-used these past few decades, and I’ll admit—it needs its rest!

But if I’m in need of a nap after an hour… imagine how I’d be after a weekend???