If you’ve been around a while, you’re probably familiar with the lists of 100 goals I’d write every year. And I saying, “But you missed 2018!” And it’s true—2018 came hot and heavy; I wasn’t in any position to commit to a list that ambitious. And I could probably say the same now—with a bigger and better Live from the 3.5 than ever, Chatting with Casey picking up steam and a slew of other things in the works, I likely wouldn’t be wrong. But if you’ve been around a while, you’ll probably know my Achilles heel—much like Marty McFly, I can’t turn down a good challenge.
Welcome to The 2019 200 — Because When You Skip a Year, 100 Just Won’t Do!
It won’t be easy, but I’m working a lot harder than I used to—and smarter, too.
With so much going on in my life, slowing down ain’t much of an option, and my to-do lists are the things that keep me going. But I’ve mostly kept them to myself as I work on all the things—I think it’s time to make ’em public again so there’s a chance I can get everything done.
So without further ado, let’s dive into The 2019 200—because no one creates anything innovative without pushing some boundaries first!
The 2019 200 — The List
So first things first—two hundred items make for a really long list, so I knew no one was about to read this thing if I just put them together without any order. What I needed to do was write the 200 items out first, and then find some way to categorise them so they’re easier to keep track of.
And the easiest place to do this? Excel. Not only could I easily keep track of how many items I’d put together with a simple numbering column, but when I was ready to categorise and prepare for the final list, it was a simple sort away!
But you’re not here for any of that; you’re here for the list. So let’s do this!
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 just don’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!
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!
And we’re finally here—the 28 items that either just didn’t make the cut to come back after 2016, or got tabled for future Casey to handle somewhere down the line!
The more I do these, the more I realise I can’t do everything today, and so I work harder to focus on what’s in front of me so I can give myself the room to manage future challenges!
But hey—if there’s something on this list you think you can make happen sooner, feel free to let me know at email@example.com and we’ll see what we can do!
Without further ado, here’s The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 3: The 28 Items Left Over!
The 2016 100 Wrap-Up — What I MAY Do, But Not Necessarily in 2017
2) Win a vacation for my dry cleaner — One thing I’ve learned as a blogger is that while it’s all too easy to get high on yourself when you have successes, you also need to keep realistic. Though many great things have happened in my #BloggerLife so far, I don’t have the clout nor the contacts to conjure a vacation from thin air. Not yet, anyway. This is one I’ll pursue awhile, yet.
4) Take Eric to a sporting event so he can stop complaining about getting left from sporting events — After hitting a Toronto Argos game last year with a few buddies (and by association the Canada vs. Slovakia World Junior Hockey Championship game I was at just before the new year), I may have promised my buddy Eric that I’d take him to a game sometime. This would make the 2017 list, except I have no idea when I’ll find myself invited to a game next, so we’ll get back to this one eventually.
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.
This year’s list of 100 goals turned out grossly different from I’d originally imagined. Technically, I finished the list on December 31st, trying to build something more reasonable than my 2013 list, of which I completed only 33, or my 2014 list, not much better at 40. In 2015, I approached it with a better understanding of my reality’s cornerstones, knowing not to expect too much travel that wasn’t family travel, or to avoid having too many goals that took me away from my home. But more than that, I learned over the past couple of years that it’s difficult for others to visualize my goals, with previous lists lacking the context to understand where I was coming from.
That in mind, I tried my hand at writing out the reasons why each item was so important to me. I thought it’d be a nice touch, giving a sentence or so to show what’s behind the things that drive me.
But sentences became paragraphs and paragraphs miniature posts, leaving me here most of the way through January without a list of 100 goals anywhere in sight.
And that’s when I remembered something Craig once mentioned of my 2014 #FordNAIAS wrap-up post — I’m a great writer, but much of what I shove into these long, epic posts, I could convert into post series that grab people a lot better.
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.
After somehow staying up ’til midnight on the 31st (largely with childless friends), we left shortly after to put heads to bed. But while others might have taken the 1st as a day of rest, I managed to cram in
driving a rickety Zipvan for the first time crosstown to pick a glider up for the nursery;
watching the season premiere of BBC’s Sherlock — “The Empty Hearse” — which gladdened me to see Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson back in action; and
2014’s first day wasn’t impossible, but 2013’s end as a string of sleepless nights with deadlines, infant tantrums and rules that change with every passing moment was finally starting to take its toll. Parenthood is trying — in an ideal world, I’d have posted this yesterday.
Somehow it always comes down to this — it’s suddenly December and we look at our to-do lists realizing that we hadn’t accomplished nearly as much in the year as we’d planned to. So we get in a tizzy, try to do months of work in a matter of weeks and end in the year in a BANG on New Year’s Eve!
And we wonder why it’s always so hard to start our resolutions off on the right foot in January!
Ever the overachiever, I set out a list of 100 goals for myself in January, hoping to knock some things off of the list that’d been there entirely too long, and set foundations for others that’d lead to a promising future in the years to come.
Too bad I didn’t put the secret 101st item into the equation: having a kid.
I’ll admit — much of 2013 is a blur. One baby, two Vegastrips and three job changes later, my priorities have definitely changed, with me at home more often than not, trying to enjoy what quiet moments I can before DoomzToo’s more vocal — and more mobile.
But kid or not, 2013 was still a year for the books, and while I didn’t always get it out in the blog, I never truly lacked things to do.
So I wrap the year up with this — a look at what I pulled off in 2013; what flopped; and what will rear their ugly heads once more in 2014 to see whether I’ll manage to finally get them done. It’s all too long for one entry, so I hope you like reading about my hijinks and exploits, because it’s going to take 10 to get through it all!
Buckle up, my lovely readers. Uncle Casey’s gonna tell you some stories!
The 2013 100, Items 1-10: Driving, Drawing and Dining
I’ll be the first to admit that I pay way too much for my cell phone. It’s good to have a monster of a device with plenty of features, considering how much time I invest in social media and geo-location games, but I rarely use it like a telephone anymore. So maybe it’s time to revisit what features I actually need and make it a priority to get a new plan in 2014!
There’s something I need to remember about having a traditional 9-to-5 at a large organization — there’re more benefits when telecom companies sell deals in bulk and not haggling individually level. It’s time to get a corporate plan.
2014 Casey Palmer — saving more money to feed his kid!
STATUS: On to the next year!
2: Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her
Jeez — I think I alluded to this gift from our first Christmas together in 2008! Welp. Sorry, babe — this one’s going to 2014, ’cause you’re not getting it this year! (I even saw it on her Amazon wish list — hold your horses, Sarah! You already got the ring on your finger, yo! Way I see it, we have all our lives for me to work on this one! [Insert maniacal laugh here.])
STATUS: On to the next year!
3: Start a business or two
Somewhere in my mind is this idealized fantasy of owning a business, where I call the shots, wake up when I damn well please, do work in my house clothes and essentially do what I want, when I want.
Then I quickly come back to reality, realizing that it takes a heckuva lot of work before you make money while you sleep like the Dragons on Dragons’ Den.
Owning a business means taking on a lot of risk, a whole lot of discipline, and some prayers — especially if you’re trying to raise a family on that money! If I’d developed the online presence that I have now 10 years ago, going out on my own would be a highly attractive notion. But in 10 years, I got married, had a kid, and built knowledge and clout in my organization. I’m compensated for the skill set I’ve developed, and the benefits package that comes with the job mean that DoomzToo will never be stuck with crooked teeth or poor vision.
While choosing a 9-to-5 and owning a business aren’t mutually exclusive, I’m content enough to take the long path on this one and not search endlessly for a quick payday.
STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
4: Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!
For a decade, driving was the biggest cloud hanging over my head.
My hometown in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, In the ‘burbs, driving is essential to living, as the public transit isn’t world-class and places of interest are seldom walking distance from the residential blocks. I originally tried to get my driver’s license at 20, which was already years later than everyone around me. Spending my Saturday mornings in drivers’ ed with kids who’d celebrated their Sweet Sixteens just the week before is an experience I’m not eager to repeat.
Failing that test at 20 led to a decade of avoidance, keeping a schedule filled with just about everything else in the world, not helped by my parents living in a subdivision a mere 10-minute walk from a train into the city.
Why drive? Toronto already had too much traffic as it was — I could read, draw and sleep on public transit, making far better use of my time than I would if I spent it stuck in gridlocked traffic every day.
But DoomzToo coming along was a wake-up call. I’ve seen the parents trying to navigate the subway system with a stroller, struggling to get up and down stairs as just under half of the TTC’s stations are elevators for accessibility. I didn’t wanna be one of those parents. How dare they take up valuable space on the rush hour subways? Why don’t they find another way to get their baby from A to B?
So I celebrated my 30th birthday at a Ministry of Transportation DriveTest centre, nervously waiting to take my G1 exit test and see whether I could drive the 2011 Ford Edge Select (with All-Wheel Drive) that we’d bought just that weekend. It was nerve-wracking. It was tense. It was in Port Union. But I passed after waiting ten whole years to try again, and I’ve driven since, ferrying us to distant places like Bouchette, Quebec, while Sarah makes sure I get plenty of practice for my G2 exit test!
STATUS: SO done.
5: Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell
I suck at selling. Not because I’m unconvincing, but because I’m unwilling to rip someone off nor am I enough of a penny-pincher to spend time listing thing on Craigslist, courting buyers, making time to meet with them, etc.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So instead, while cleaning up the house for the baby, we packed a number of boxes with books, clothes and electronics and drove ’em to the local Value Village so someone in need could get them.
Everybody wins. Go give something, people!
STATUS: Please see above.
6: Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule
I finally started drawing again in December, taking a real crack at costume designs for my characters that’d stick — not just clothes that looked like they came right out of a clothing ad. Comics are a difficult medium to create for — where literature relies on description and pacing to paint the world for a reader and keep their attention, a comic must do it blatantly and appeal visually on top of all the things literature needs to do!
Fish ‘n’ Chimps will be no easy undertaking, but it’s a labour of love. It’s a story that’s been in my head for damn near a decade, and the time for everyone else to see what’s been going on in my cranium is long overdue.
STATUS: On to the next year!
7: Get my clothes tailored
Somehow I imagined myself living the male equivalent of Sex and the City (Entourage? Californication?) and having my “go-to-guy” for making sure my clothes fit “just so”.
All I’ve managed to do is get my dry cleaner to mend my clothes when accidents happen and let pants out since my body shape’s already change from those carefree newlywed days.
Shout-out to Kathy for making sure I still look decent, and I doubt I’ll have the time (or the money) to get a tailor anytime soon.
Besides — what good is shopping at Harry Rosen when your ridiculously expensive wardrobe has baby spit-up all over it?
STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
8: Get up-to-date on my emails
Simple truth — there is no catching up on email. The sooner one accepts this fact, the sooner they can accept the deluge of data that is their daily life.
It’s especially futile now that I’ve become a Redditor, there’s no time for stuff like lifehacking. Links to click, things to see!
STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
9: Cook at least one meal
When I included this item on the list, Sarah was thinking of an extravagant meal that’d leave Susur Lee salivating in envy.
While not quite as elaborate as she may have hoped, I did manage to cook a couple of times this year:
1: A while back, I’d received review copies of Julie Anne Hession’s 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes: Sweet to Savory and Tammy Algood’s In a Snap! Tasty Southern Recipes You Can Make in 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes. While I didn’t get a chance to use my buddy’s key limes to make a pie (sorry, Jon), I did try my hand at some bacon grilled cheese on raisin bread — one of Tommy’s 5-minute recipes.
Turned out okay — I’ll admit that microwaving bacon was as crispy as I usually like it when done in the frying pan, but the sandwich was decent overall.
2: On the morning of DoomzToo’s birth, Sarah gave me a verbal crash course on making scrambled eggs, and while they didn’t turn out perfectly, I’ll learn more egg recipes for the future — never know when you’ll want a better breakfast than Just Right or Oatmeal Crisp with Raisins!
STATUS: SO done.
10: Make an app
Still interested in making an app, no time to do it right.
I’m largely an ideas guy. I like coming up with new ideas and schemes, so I learn a little about everything so I can translate my ideas to various kinds of people.
What apps need are experts. People who eat, sleep and breathe design and code and get paid handsomely for it. If I want to make an app, I need to align myself with the skilled people to build them — and the wealthy business people to pay them — in 2014.
Even if I get something like a 10% cut for the idea on an app, if that app profits $1,000,000 — well. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be too sore about the $900,000 I didn’t get.
STATUS: On to the next year!
That’s all for today, y’all! Make sure to come back tomorrow, when we discuss birthdays, BiSC, and what really happened to Mansformation. See you then!
P.S. Gratuitous link to get my blog registered on Bloglovin’!