The 2014 Wrap-Up — Darkness at My Back

“Do you wanna, do you wanna be… happy?
Do you wanna, do you wanna be… free?”
— J. Cole, “Intro”, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014)

2014 was an insane year — insane.

I started it out driving a rickety ZipVan across town to pick a glider up for my sleep-deprived wife, unsure of my driving skills as I crossed an icy Gardiner Expressway to provide for my family. Last year at this time, I was stressing over my year-end wrap-up, trying to tell my stories in the last few days before calling 2013 a wrap.

This year, not only am I not rushing through the last of 2014’s content like a madman, I’m ending the year on a solid note, more confident in my content than I’ve ever been!

That Year I Lost My Way and Had to Climb My Way Back Up Again.

…I wanted to write something really special to close out 2014. This year has been the most defining yet in my life, challenging everything I thought I knew about love, balance, blogging and fatigue. 2014 wasn’t all smiles as I lost myself to the blogosphere, living life to the pulse of my email inbox with its media pitches and event invites, but I’m coming out the other side a better man for it, more knowledgeable of who I am, what I stand for, and the things I’m willing to do support that.

2014 was a big year — I got a glimpse of what life as a full-time blogger could look like, and revelled in it. I was finally getting paid for my work; seeing my social media metrics grow in ways I could’ve never previously imagined; and thought myself poised for a glorious future with bigger clients, bigger budgets, and a nest egg big enough to eventually spend all day — every day — working at my personal brand, creating stuff that’d leave its mark on the world.

But it was too much, too fast — I woke up one morning realizing I no longer recognized the path I travelled on. The things I chased felt artificial, the things I thought I wanted seeming to crumble to the touch as soon as I laid hands on them. It felt like I was a marionette, and lost track of who was pulling my strings.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 91-100: The Last Post of the Year

We made it. Despite a 3-hour outage from my hosting provider, I managed to get this done. Thank you for joining me on the ride, and I’ll just leave this up here so I can go get my party on in these last few hours of the year. Enjoy the post!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 81-90: Lessons, Language, and Leaving Laziness Behind

I doubted myself for a while there, but I’m finally at the point where I think I’ll actually close The 2013 100 in time 🙂 I’ve already promised myself that I’ll be a lot more organized in 2014, not forcing posts out in the last few days of the year like I am now. I look forward to what’s coming in the year ahead. Trips, more things to learn about fatherhood, telling better tales… but let me save all that for the last post. For now, let’s get into 81-90!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 71-80: Karaoke, Cards and a bit of O Canada!

Who needs sleep?

It’s the last day of the year and time to close up shop. Zach survived A Sponsored Life, Sarah begat new life unto the world, and you know what? It’s been a solid year.

How solid, though? These last few posts should tell the tale!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 61-70: Education, Exercise and some Effervescence for Ingenuity

Never expect to get anything done if you’re not giving yourself the time you need to do it.

That’s the theme I’m seeing in my wrap-up of The 2013 100.

Though my list was ambitious anyway, there are things I could’ve done a little less to make way for some things on this list.

Some of my less admirable accomplishments in 2013 include:

  • making it to level 465 in The Candy Crush Saga
  • followed by making it to level 145 in Jelly Splash
  • watching all of The Office, Friday Night Lights and the first five seasons of Mad Men on Netflix
  • easily playing 200+ games of Words With Friends
  • reading The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • surviving the Batman trilogy upon the release of The Dark Knight Returns in a room of the smelliest, sleepiest fans you could ever imagine

…maybe DoomzToo distracting me from my usual habits isn’t such a bad thing.

On to the list!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 51-60: Tradition, Tailoring and Tilling My Land

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!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 41-50: Nostalgia, Nintendo and the Need to Clean

Somewhere along the road, I lost a week. Whether it was from an Icepocalypse in Toronto that displaced us from our home, leaving it without power for 30 hours; a nasty illness making it much harder stay jolly (and/or conscious) through the 4-day celebration that is our family’s Christmas; or simply underestimating the wealth of family and friends we have that wants to meet DoomzToo, I suddenly found myself at the tail end of December with entirely too much content left to write!

A sane man would quit, patting himself on the back for the best effort he could’ve possibly put out in a year, and rest on his laurels promising to do a better job the next year.

Unfortunately for me, no one’s ever mistook me for a sane man.

In an effort to make up for lost time, I’ve written. Not the easiest when you have a son who refuses to sleep without being held after all the attention he got at Christmas, but in those 5-minute spurts where he isn’t fighting the urge to shut his eyes and catch some Zs, that’s what I’m doing.

So feast your eyes on the next installment of my year-end wrap-up, and if I don’t manage to knock all these 100 stories out before we’re singing Auld Lang Syne on the 1st, just remember this — I left 2013 with a roar, not a whimper.

On with the show!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 31-40: Audiophilia, Authorship and Altitudinal Consumption

For those keeping track at home, I’m at about a 25% success rate with The 2013 100 so far (not so bad considering that I found 35% of the list as a waste of my time — really shows you how much someone can change in a year!) As we enter the Christmas season, it’s all about wrapping up those to-do lists, trying to end the year on a merry note to open the new year dashingly.

Let’s see whether I boost that success rate today!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items 31-40: Audiophilia, Authorship and Altitudinal Consumption

  1. Go up the CN Tower, one way or another, and go the CN Tower Edgewalk
  2. Visit Casa Loma
  3. Create a list of cool things to do in Toronto
  4. Run a cool 5K race, like Run for Your Lives or Tough Mudder
  5. Clean my music collection up, once and for all
  6. Establish a far better filing system for my documents
  7. Use all the different themes, templates, tutorials and eBooks I amassed in 2012
  8. Try to sleep like normal people do
  9. Get all of the outstanding work off of my plate at the 9-to-5
  10. Write my first eBook

31: Go up the CN Tower, one way or another, and go the CN Tower Edgewalk

Casey Palmer Pointing to the Tower

Living in Toronto and never having gone up the CN Tower is a lot like living in Paris and never having climbed the Eiffel. Or living in New York and never climbing the Empire State Building. Or the Statue of Liberty. Or the Rockefeller Center — jeez, New York, how many tall-ass buildings do you have?!

I’ve lived in Toronto area all my life, and somehow did it without visiting this city’s most notable landmark! No sooner than  I’d mentioned it, friends were sending suggestions my way on how we could tick this one from The 2013 100 list:

“You should climb it in the Enbridge CN Tower Climb for United Way in October and blog about it!”

“I’d totally do the EdgeWalk with you, but you know it’s $175, right?”

But in the end, Sarah came up with the best idea:

“Why don’t we just go to 360 for our anniversary?”

Sold.

You Dine Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round, Like A Record, Baby, Right Round Round Round

Easily the most stratospheric restaurant in the city, 360 is attempting to masquerade as a fancy joint in a place that’s pretty dated.

I mostly enjoyed the views and the food, but the craziest part of the experience is trying to find your table again after going to the washroom! Sure, they mark the sections, but when your seat is constantly rotation around the pivot point where the washrooms are, it only helps so much.

If you want a nice place to see the city while you dine, 360’s a great place to go — it’s the only way to get value of out seeing the CN Tower as a tourist, because the open gallery beneath it is a hot mess, has longer line-ups and — well, it’s generally pretty chaotic.

360° Revolving on Urbanspoon

I’ve done the CN Tower once — I probably don’t need to return for a very long time.

Well — unless someone wants to pay for my EdgeWalk experience, but we’ll save that for next year 😉

STATUS:

CN Tower: SO done.

EdgeWalk: On to the next year!

32: Visit Casa Loma

So Casa Loma was recently sold and its future looks toward converting it into a restaurant, event space and museum. I don’t have any burning desire to visit — I was just on this “tourist in my city” kick that I thought needed dealing with, but I think I’ll wait on this and see how it turns out.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

33: Create a list of cool things to do in Toronto

The front page of the Zoomdoggle Fun List NYC Vol. 01
Your guide to amazing in The Big Apple!

When Sarah and I visited NYC in 2011, I searched for the best travel guide to help me get the most out of the city, and was instantly inspired by Zoomdoggle’s Fun List NYC. I soaked in so much New York that after a week, I considered living there!

When I got back to the Great White North, I thought — “Why don’t we have a guide like this for Toronto?”

Whenever someone’s visiting Toronto, Torontonians refer them to the same ol’ stuff. Go check the CN Tower out! Catch a Jays game! Take a stroll through High Park!

But we know better.

In 2014, I want to take another look at building a list of things Torontonians love to do in their city, and then maybe we’ll have a Fun List, too!

STATUS: On to the next year!

(In case the original link isn’t working correctly, you can find the PDF here: http://www.nuok.it/doc/funlist.pdf.)

34: Run a cool 5K race, like Run for Your Lives or Tough Mudder

Casey in a Three-Legged Race
A 5K three-legged race… would suck. Surely.

In an ideal world, I’d have a year’s worth of content scheduled so I could make more time to do stuff like run.

You don’t just wake up one morning and decide to run a 5K — people train for distance runs, conditioning their bodies so they don’t have a poor showing when the time comes to perform. Aside from sporadic games of dodgeball and Ultimate through the year and doing some heavy lifting at home, I’d say that running a 5K in my current condition would be the literal death of me.

Next year, let’s try some baby steps and include more physical activity in my routine. Once I’m used to thatthen let’s look at conquering a distance run.

Anyone know any good sales coming up for running shoes?

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

35: Clean my music collection up, once and for all

When I started 2013, I had 100 GB of music — or about 15,000 songs — sitting on my hard drive, taking up space. 15,000 songs — at 3 minutes a song, that’s 750 hours of music. You’d need more than a month straight to listen to it all. There was no way I was listening to everything!

So I did what any OCD audiophile would do — I backed the music to my 3 TB external hard drive and started culling.

With iTunes Smart Playlists and an acute sense for my musical tastes, I managed to bring the collection down by more than 90% to 1400 songs that I could listen to without mashing the skip button on my headphones to death!

We just won’t mention that I’ve crept up to 2100 songs since….

STATUS: SO done.

36: Establish a far better filing system for my documents

Messy Kitchen Table
I’m so organized….

There’s already a problem word here in the item itself — documents.

I have some mild hoarding tendencies — I came by them honestly, but I won’t tell you which side of the family they’re from!

When I had to convert my office to a nursery, we unearthed a number of papers I hadn’t looked at in ages: old newspaper clippings, magazines, notes — I was holding on to a number of items that played parts in my life, “just in case”.

Just in case I had an amazing infographic idea and needed some visual inspiration. Just in case there was a life-changing article in one of those magazines that I simply couldn’t do without. Just in case we had a global paper shortage and I needed to keep my family warm.

So, yes, I came up with a better system that’s more befitting of our digital age and trying to live in a paperless environment.

I recycled the heck out of it all.

There’s still a bit left over, I will admit but it’s nowhere  near as bad as it was. And as my Dad taught me back in the restaurant days, there’s only one surefire way to deal with a mess:

Clean as you go.

STATUS: SO done.

37: Use all the different themes, templates, tutorials and eBooks I amassed in 2012

Unfortunately, hoarding isn’t limited to physical items — my hard drive’s stuffed with textures, themes and other digital files I’ve amassed from different sales over the years, and it ain’t easy finding the time to put it all into production!

It’s all part of a master plan — to eventually get my design game tight and define my individuality once and for all.

But my site in’t my full-time job — a white-collar  family man has a couple other obvious priorities to deal with, so let’s table this for next year.

STATUS: On to the next year!

(P.S. If anyone ever needs a hookup, we’ll look at some licensing agreements and see what I can do!)

38: Try to sleep like normal people do

Casey Sleeping on the EuroTrip 2005
It’s said that I can sleep anywhere. I just don’t sleep a lot by choice.

You’re kidding me, right?

Not only do I keep enough on my plate to keep 2 or 3 people busy, years of surviving on 4-6 hours of sleep trained me perfectly for fatherhood, which is kinda nice.

So yeah, sleep when I’m dead!

…or at least when it’s doctor-mandated.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

39: Get all of the outstanding work off of my plate at the 9-to-5

There’s one word to describe the act of trying to get every last thing done at an office job to the point where you’ll never need to look at your task list ever again:

Futile.

Something you either learn quickly or never learn at all is that there’s no end to work. Someone will always come up with something for you to do — some unforeseen wrinkle in the operations adding to the smorgasbord of accountabilities you already have on your plate; some jerk who’d held on to something for far too long because of laziness and now with the deadline approaching has made it the most urgent thing ever — work is endless.

As a not-so-young employee in an older workplace, I can see the workplace from both sides. I see the older employees thinking that the youngins don’t know what it means to put in an honest day’s work and just get the job done. I see the new, young staff who are hungry to prove their worth, frustrated by tasks reeking of inefficiency and ridicule.

In my case, I’m at my 9th role at my organization in the last 6 1/2 years, and I’ve become a “fixer” in that time — I enter broken projects and get them back on track, striving to leave them in far better shape than I found them. But I soon discovered that even that wasn’t enough, with people from my old jobs ringing me up to get advice on how to do things like I did them.

So good luck getting rid of all your work, because it’ll never happen. What might happen is a nervous breakdown from trying to do it — so hey. How about we just be realistic?

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

40: Write my first eBook

Someone I’d consider a prominent blogger once told me something like this —

“You audience wants to support you. What you need to do is give them something to support you with.”

Blog writing is one thing, but we’re a commodity-based society, dealing in goods and services to improve our perceived quality of life. It’s one thing to write stories on my site that make people laugh and think, but that’s 5 minutes of value. What if, instead, I could create something that gave 5 minutes of value? Or 5 days? Or even 5 years?

Up until now, I’ve struggled finding a niche. I was a Toronto lifestyle blogger dabbling in social media strategy, tech, food and travel. As soon as DoomzToo entered the picture, though, it was time to balance all that with the challenge of fatherhood.

And there it is. The niche. How to do daddyhood right and still keep a blog on the side!

I chat a lot about still finding time to be yourself despite your new responsibilities — perhaps it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and package it in steps for other Dads to read.

In 2014, it’s time to do this the “write” way.

STATUS: On to the next year!

You’re almost halfway through the journey that is my 2013! Please feel free to try something from the complimentary snack bar while you wait for the next destination! Our next stops include stepping my game up as a photographer, why I suck as a gamer, and feeding the urge to dodge and burn! [/designer joke]

Until next we meet,

–case p.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 21-30: Social Media, Stocks and a SHEvolution Gone Wrong

It’s the third of 10 posts for my end-of-year wrap-up for The 2013 100, where I tell you all about the past 365 (or so) days, what I managed to pull off, which plans were a flop, and what I’ll try to do again in 2014.

In retrospect, 2013 was insanely busy. It isn’t until you sit down to do a series of posts like this that you really start to understand just how much you try to cram into your days.

There’s probably a lesson in here somewhere about overachieving, but I’m too busy to learn it!

And without further ado, on to the list!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items 21-30: Social Media, Stocks and a SHEvolution Gone Wrong

  1. Merge my past 10 years of blogging into one site
  2. Start a tweetchat
  3. Start a podcast
  4. Dabble in video
  5. Get a local doctor
  6. Get a local dentist
  7. Make some money in the stock market
  8. Get ahead of schedule with the Man Lessons
  9. Create a schedule for regular website maintenance
  10. Start the SHEvolution

21: Merge my past 10 years of blogging into one site

Few people know I’ve blogged since August 2002, jumping sites until I landed here at CaseyPalmer.com in late 2011.

Though my writing’s grown since the days on LiveJournal, Blogger and Posterous, there’s still some gems in my past decade of blogging that deserve re-visiting.

Over 2003, I went through more than 2000 posts and 8000 comments, leaving only stuff that was still relevant and/or entertaining. It’s sitting on the development site now, as I add tag,s featured images and other SEO-friendly elements.

Expect to see some of my blasts from the past next year!

STATUS: On to the next year!

22: Start a tweetchat

While I’m not done with Twitter, I don’t use it like I used to. Over 3 years, I’ve seen people move on, move away, move to smaller social circles to evade unwanted attention — the allure of Twitter was good as long as I wanted to party, but as the party grew increasingly virtual, having my life revolve around being at the computer at a specific time each week eerily reminded me of those whose lives revolve around their TV shows.

Life’s too short.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

23: Start a podcast

One thing that’ll set you apart from others when you share content on the Internet is the quality of your work. With blogging, it’s how well you write and the image quality behind the photos you use. With videography, getting a high-definition camera will do wonders for your video’s appearance. With podcasts, though, a solid microphone is what stands between amateur hour and repeat listeners.

Source: http://www.stevenbarnes.ca/blue-yeti-usb-microphone-review/

I hit Canada Computers’ Black Friday sale and got Blue Microphones’ Yeti USB mic, complete with three condenser capsules and four directional modes to help you get the most of any recording situation you’re in!

I’d love to push the envelope with content in the coming year — I actually considered starting a podcast later into 2013 à la Zach Bussey Show (but, you know — with less swearing and more interviews), but between finding a venue, shifting priorities and an insane workload at the 9-to-5, I decided to ease off.

Oprah didn’t land her own show ’til she was 32, though, so I’m not giving up yet!

STATUS: On to the next year!

24: Dabble in Video

Nothing can tell a story like a video can.

Though I only got halfway through the month, I participated in August’s VEDA — or Vlog Every Day in August, by recording with my Canon 60D and sharing on YouTube!

Definitely enjoyed it — We Blog, We Vlog is a fun group, and I’d love to do it again in 2014. It’s also made me think about how to do video better than just sitting in front of the camera and talking to my audience.

Video’s an interesting realm — Justin will be the first to tell you that more vloggers get rich from YouTube than any blogger ever did from their blog. So since the blog’s not doing so well as a medium these days, I look forward to experimenting with other ways to get my ideas across.

STATUS: SO done. / On to the next year!

25: Get a local doctor

STATUS: SO done.

26: Get a local dentist

STATUS: SO done.

27: Make some money in the stock market

Gotta spend money to make money, but I haven’t gotten to sitting down and really sorting my options out for playing in the stock market. Sarah and I invest in a number of mutual funds, but dabbling in pure stocks is a plunge I haven’t seriously considered yet.

I’d like to do it with my “play money” — anything I earn in the 9-to-5 is “kid money”, the money to give him everything he needs; any extras from birthdays, contests, etc. is “play money”, i.e. the money I can use to do whatever I want.

My Mom has an interesting idea, though. She’d mentioned wanting to choose some penny stocks for DoomzToo — something that could potentially pay off for him in the future.

I’d never even thought of it.

So in 2014, I get organized and see about starting to invest in the great stock market game.

STATUS: On to the next year!

28: Get ahead of schedule with the Man Lessons

With Mansformation’s hiatus came a hiatus for my daily Man Lessons. After several months, I found I just couldn’t write unique content anymore — in what may come as a surprise to my female readers, men only have so many problems.

In a similar fashion, I started posting a Question of the Day on my Facebook for a while later into 2013, but it only lasted so long before I felt compelled to do something else.

What did I learn? That with a constant , steady stream of content you can build a great audience — if the content doesn’t suck. In the event that your content does suck, please stop creating it immediately. No one’s going to look at it, and the Internet’s full of enough crap already.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

29: Create a schedule for regular website maintenance

While having your own Internet real estate gives you the freedom to do almost whatever you want with the space, it’s a huge pain in the butt when things aren’t working right! Even now, I’m sorting some load balancing issues out, as CaseyPalmer.com grows in size and complexity.

Part of making your site run smoothly is doing regular site maintenance. Websites can get bogged down with junk data all too easily, and making sure to clear out unnecessary files and that everything’s running right will save you from later headaches.

Facing major site issues in December, I got rid of some unnecessary test sites, cumbersome WordPress plugins and automated processes that had my web host ripping their hair out. While I didn’t adopt a maintenance schedule in 2013, here’s hoping I can get on top of it in 2014!

STATUS: On to the next year!

30: Start the SHEvolution

One of the main arguments I got while developing Mansformation is that men weren’t the sole reason for all the issues out there in the relationship world — there are plenty of problems stemming from how our female counterparts can interpret situations.

So I started working on a program to help women better themselves called SHEvolution.

The plan was to get other prominent female writers in Toronto’s social media community to help pen “Daily Lady Lessons”, and eventually be regular contributors at a sister site to Mansformation.

But ultimately, I wasn’t passionate about Mansformation and its associated properties, and will leave this project for someone who wants to do it. Like Cosmopolitan or something.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

30 down, 70 to go! Join us next time when we talk Toronto, why I haven’t got off of my butt to run a 5K race, and curbing the hoarding tendencies which seem to run in my bloodline.

Adios amigos,

–case p.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 11-20: Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

In the second of 10 posts, I look at The 2013 100 to show what I managed to pull off in 2013,  what I had to cancel, and some peeks at what I have planned for 2014!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items: 11-20 — Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

  1. Spruce up my about.me page
  2. Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate
  3. Launch the Mansformation website
  4. Update my résumé
  5. Create my creative résumé and portfolio
  6. Attend Bloggers in Sin City
  7. Do something awesome for my 30th birthday
  8. Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind
  9. Get new glasses
  10. Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

11: Spruce up my about.me page

Spend enough time on the Internet and you start to learn a little something about Web presence. When it comes down to it, the only places where you should focus your efforts on standing out are:

  • Your own website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit

Frequent anywhere else all your like, but create amazing content across these sites and I promise that what you share will make its way wherever else you want it to get in due time.

So about.me, it’s been a slice, but I’ve got things to do.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

12: Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate

The 2013 100 11-20 — Stack of Business Cards
So many people, so little time to talk to them all!

This is one I didn’t pursue. As years pass, you learn more and more that it’s not the number of people you know, but the strength of the relationships you make. While tweetups and networking opportunities are great, you’re rarely going to find yourself entering a lucrative, sound business opportunity with someone you barely know. Instead, I weeded through the pile of business cards I’d collected, dropped quick notes to the few I’d connected with and moved on.

Life’s too short to spoil it with poor relationships.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

13: Launch the Mansformation website

Mansformation Logo
Mansformation — A much-needed service; I’m just not sure I’m the one to deliver it.

Let me tell you a little story about an idea called Mansformation. Somewhere in 2012, I jokingly replied to a tweet with a Man Lesson about how a man should act in a situation if he wants to get anywhere with the women. Somewhere soon after that, I was tweeting daily Man Lessons, which carried over to my Facebook page, and eventually to its own Facebook page as it got more hype. If I was going to run a business, this would be it!

But I wasn’t passionate about it. Much like many things in my life, I feel into it because the opportunity was there. So I tried it out and enjoyed it for a while, but ultimately found it more effort than I wanted to invest in the project, and slowly started turning my sights elsewhere.

So in early 2013, Mansformation took a hiatus, much to the chagrin of some (including some who’d piggyback off of the success of my Man Lessons to try to make a name for themselves.) Though I’ve no immediate plans to revive the brand (not without a solid business plan, anyway), I can’t say it’ll stay gone — I’m getting a better handle on the blog and real-life stuff, so who knows? Maybe I’ll find someone else who wants to take it on and give them the kick-start they need to succeed!

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

14: Update my résumé

STATUS: SO done.

15: Create my creative résumé and portfolio

I’ve always wanted CaseyPalmer.com to be more than just a blog. At no point in my life have I been just a blogger — I’ve drawn logos, designed layouts, been in plays… a blog is cool, but it really sucks at showcasing what you can really do.

So I’ve worked at building a portfolio into the website, focusing on all the things I’ve done over the years. I had to learn some WordPress-specific PHP to do it, but it’s on my development version of the site, and I hope to roll it out in 2014!

STATUS: On to the next year!

16: Attend Bloggers in Sin City

resounding success! If you read my blog post — it was an amazing time and is helping to change the way I blog!

STATUS: SO done.

17: Do something awesome for my 30th birthday

https://twitter.com/The_Jmoney/status/358391048982110208

DoomzDay 2 wasn’t quite as epic as DoomzDay in attendance (largely due to the threat of a second Stormageddon on the horizon, scaring people into staying home), but I’d argue that I had a closer group of friends around me in 2013.

Held at The Office Pub in Toronto’s Entertainment District (and now apparently one of Team Trolling‘s preferred birthday venues — shout-out to Marcel), I put a playlist together and brought a good 75 people together to celebrate the three decades I’ve lived so far.

The Dirtiest of Thirties

https://twitter.com/destiniya/status/358414287368232961

It was definitely a night with its ups and downs, from hugging friends I hadn’t seen in ages and partying the hardest I’d partied in months to finding out (again) that shot don’t agree with me and swearing up and down that someone’d stolen my wallet when I couldn’t find it the next day (only to have Sarah find it well-hidden under our bed five months later….)

In any event, we celebrated 30 in style, and while I don’t see going as hard in 2014 now that I’m a father, I’m happy that my friends and I got to go bananas for a night — even if it’s the last time for a while.

https://twitter.com/The_Jmoney/status/358454522739302401

https://twitter.com/mszablewski/status/358467083727675393

To sum it up best, I’ll take a line that Christine told me around the time of my birthday:

“Welcome to the best years of your life.”

STATUS: SO done.

18: Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind

After returning from Bloggers in Sin City, I was so filled with optimism and emotion that my post was both a thank you to the friends I’d made and an outcry for change in Toronto’s social media scene. Though far less pronounced now, there was way too much beef, backstabbing and blood in the water for a while, but eventually fizzled out as bloggers grew more professional and stopped causing so much drama.

Would I still want to work with others? Sure — I still believe that the power of man far exceeds that of one person if they’re striving for a common goal. But when I look around — and especially now that I have a son in the picture — I don’t see other bloggers trying to do what I do. Maybe I’ll find more bloggers to collab with in 2014, maybe not. In the meantime, I’ll do what I’ve done so far, working hard at constantly improving my craft.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

19: Get new glasses

Some people are really good at being on top of their employee benefits and getting health services when they should.

If I were that organized, I’d have gotten new glasses in May 2013.

With my optometrist hounding me for my bi-annual visit, 2014’s going to see a new pair of specs (with a pair of prescription shades to deal with harsh glares while behind the wheel!)

STATUS: On to the next year?

20: Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

The 2013 100 11-20 — CaseyPalmer.com Post Counts
220 drafts isn’t a bad thing, right? *sigh* So many unfinished thoughts. Poor unfinished thoughts.

I’m not a linear thinker. I carry a notepad with me because I’ll have random ideas I think are great, but not developed enough to share publicly. With blogging, I’ll often get a sentence or a stream of consciousness about a topic that’s great on its own, but I’m not in the business of writing sound bites — as a blogger, my responsibility is to draft these ideas into stories.

So I have 200+ drafts on my site, 10-15 of which I’m actively working on to turn into live posts. I have no way of telling whether this number will rise or fall in 2014, but I can tell you this — my blog is important to me. I put a lot of time and effort into developing it, hoping to eventually build something truly reflecting who I am. To me, having real estate represents the freedom to create your own possibilities, free from traditional society telling you how your life is going to play out.

TL;DR — I’ll still be writing next year, no doubt about it.

STATUS: On to the next year!

Another day down, 8 more to go! Come back tomorrow when we talk social media, stock markets and some of the people who keep me alive!

Until then I stay…

–case p.