The 2015 Wrap-Up — How Casey Got His Groove Back

It’s almost surreal that another year’s behind us as we gear up for another full one ahead. I hit Maker Pizza with my sister-in-law and her fiancé a few days back, and while we both had very different 2015s, we both agreed — the trip we took to Cuba back in January feels a lot farther away than a mere 11 months!

No; 2015 challenged me to do more than any before it, and while I’m not about to give myself any gold stars for performance — there’s enough I could’ve improved — but the Casey today’s a far cry from the disillusioned blogger we saw just one year earlier. If anything, 2015 helped me take a quick glimpse at my potential, seeing what’s possible if I’m willing to test my limits and really show myself what I can do.

It makes me hopeful for an even better 2016 than the amazing year I just had!

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November!

November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night. While I’m no political activist trying to fight a system that’s holding me down, there’s still plenty I’m fighting against daily. A blogosphere filled with people who just don’t try, satisfied doing the bare minimum for their content, not aspiring to grow any greater than their current stations. A world that still sees most Dads as bumbling idiots, when really, they’re likely the most involved they’ve been at any point in history! It’s a constant hustle to change the narrative around me, and this reality inspired the post you’re reading now — the one where I stare the world down and let it down that we gon’ be alright, even when they want to see us fail.

But let me start from the top.

This is the face I make when I think about the people who are trying to make it and utterly unwilling to do the work required to meet their goals.

MONTHLY WRAP-UP: March Madness — 31 Days That Kept the Blog at Bay!

“You can’t knock the hustle.”
— Jay-Z, “Can’t Knock the Hustle” Reasonable Doubt (1996)

It’s been a long time, I know. Here on the other side of the screen, the hustle is real, filling my schedule with so much that the blog became a sad afterthought for a while. Seeing your numbers drop is frustrating when you know you could keep it all going if only you had more time, but we need to keep realistic. You can’t force the words out. You can’t expect to mine gold from within when your soul’s worn out. Even when the gravy train’s speeding along and everything’s going amazing, you can’t buy into your own hype — because it’ll bring your house of cards tumbling down, leaving you emptier than you started, needing to rediscover to get back on that horse.

April’s underway and everyone’s dusting the cobwebs off, getting ready to take advantage of the little good weather we get each year. Bloggers in particular get chomping at the bit as brands look to increase their real-world visibility since influencers aren’t trapped in their homes anymore. 2015 got me started early — January and February came laden with more experiences and opportunities than I’d ever expected, but March really drove the point home that I’m going to need to handle the blog with a level of professionalism I’m not used to, learning how to continue evolving while keeping my message firmly in mind — a balance I think most too readily let slip through their fingers.

But let me do better than just talk about it and show you what went down in the month that kept me from the blog, feeling like a sign of things to come.

The Life and Times of Casey Palmer — Dear February: Goodbye and Good RIDDANCE.

Thanks, Li, for sending this one my way!

Dear February,

You were a real pain in the rear, you know that? With temperatures plunging into the negative 30s, the blogosphere in a quiet lull as the influencers hibernate, and motivation at a standstill as the deadly winter saps the life from everyone it touches, you’re only four weeks long, but easily one of the hardest months to endure.

January was so promising, too — I hit up the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with TELUS and learned much about my nation’s love for hockey; relaxed as I segued into a trip to Cuba that temporarily got my mind right enough to write Dat Varadero, Doe, written after some much-needed reflection and change of pace from my hectic life here in Toronto; and felt like a new me after shedding the skin of a 2014 Casey Palmer who very much felt like he’d sold a bit of his soul for a taste of success. If you sat down for a chat with January 31st Casey Palmer, you’d be talking to a guy full of hope, confident the year ahead would bring amazing things, and all he needed to do was put pen to paper and keep doing all the things he was doing.

That changed all too quickly when Toronto was hit by a storm bad enough to cripple the city for a day, setting the tone for a winter with no one all that enthusiastic to deal with it.

The 2015 100, Part 2: Low-Hanging Fruit — The Short-Term List

This year, I put my list of 100 together differently, looking to take care of home, self and the people around me before chasing after anything too extravagant, like going to SXSW or speaking at a TED Talk.

2014 taught me that baby steps exist for a reason, chewing me up when I tried to fly too close to the sun and spitting me out months later, barely able to write anything worth reading.

The reasons why I do what I do.

Ignoring my life’s responsibilities aren’t an option — I’m a family man before a blogger, and though there’ll always be bloggers with bigger toys and better trips, I need to exercise patience with these creative pursuits and find happiness in the things I already have — a wife, child, family and friends who love me.

So this year’s list is one of things I need to do to improve my life — not ones that’ll give me extra work only to discover I never really wanted them. Not ones I lust after because someone else had them first.

It’s a list of things I want to do, and hopefully enough to motivate myself to get them done.