The 2017 100 Wrap-Up — 31 Successes.


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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.

The 2017 100 — 31 Successes. — Leather 2017 Planner
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 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!

The 2017 100 — It’s Not WHAT You Do, It’s How You DO 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.

The 2017 100 — It's Not WHAT You Do, It's How You DO It. — New Year, New Perspective

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!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2: 46 Things I DIDN’T Do But Still Very Much WANT To.

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!

The 2016 100 Wrap-Up, Part 2 - 46 Things I DIDN'T Do But Very Much Still WANT To. — A Cluttered Casey Palmer Workspace

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 ?

The Week That Was… October 18th – 24th, 2015.

This week that was made for one of the busiest I’ve had in ages, leading up to my brother taking the next step in his adult journey — getting married to his girlfriend of five years in a party that reminded me I’m not quite as young as I used to be.

So after managing three solid blog posts, I needed to shut down a while. Wanting his big day to go as smoothly as possible, I played my big brother role and stepped in to help where I could, but I wouldn’t realize it’d mean coordinating the limo driver and videographers; sourcing a new audio track for the ceremony’s soloist when the one provided proved sub-par; and fielding all manner of question on the fly as the guests sought to figure out the day. It meant writing a speech from his two brothers that outlined who he is, what he’s done, and what made the day as great as it was — a speech that got him the most emotional I think I’d ever seen him!

31 Things I Know Now That I’m 31: #5 — I’m My Own Worst Enemy

If I could figure out what I’m trying to say with the hundreds of draft posts I have, I’d sleep far better at night. I’d schedule them in, get about six months ahead with content, and use the newly found spare time to handle other outstanding work in my life!

But that’s not realistic. I can’t turn my creativity and inspiration on at will, constantly struggling to fill the blanks in my stories, looking for the words that’ll make them sing. It’s a vicious cycle where I only make it partway through my thoughts each night, too tired to bring them to a close, having dance the exhausting productivity waltz with my mind for nights in a row. Then I go through my day, sit down at night, and try to get it together — knowing it’ll take more than I’ve got to give to write something I’ll love.

We all have our decisions to make — how we spend our time, what’s actually important to us — I just hope I’m making the right ones.

THE MONTHS OF BER: Once More, With FEELING.

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.

The Team Trolling July 2014 Hangout — Casey's Birthday
With the summer gone, it’s time to cherish the memories, but prepare for an entirely new season ahead with entirely new challenges. Photo Credit: Justin Baisden

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.

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!

Culture Shock — Why Going Back to Work Isn’t So Straighforward

My office at work, where all the magic happens
This is where all the magic goes down....

The first day back to work after a lengthy vacation is usually a pretty strange feeling — but for me this time, it was even more different than what I was used to.

In the past, I’ve mourned the loss of freedom to while away hours as I pleased, the choice to wake up when I wanted — these things were always replaced with alarm clock-reveilles and the feeling that I wasn’t getting anything done quickly enough.

But this time was different — for the first time, I’d come back with a single question:

“Why?”

Before I’d left for Tanzania, I was pulling 12- to 16-hour days trying to wrap up as much work as possible before leaving. It was as if the fate of the world depended on me getting all of my work done right there and then.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks and I’;m sitting in a hut the size of my office and made of dirt, wood, dried grass and cow dung. It fits six family members, and no one complains about the snug fit, for this is all they know. (We didn’t take pictures, since we thought it would be disrespectful.)

Yet I’m back here and I’m hearing the moans of people who hate their job and others who feel stressed trying to get reports in on time.

However, I still understand how we can get so wrapped up in the madness of our jobs. I woke up this morning to a flurry of emails on my BlackBerry marked “high-priority” and “important”, and while I know it’s going to be a busy day, is that a good enough reason to get myself worked up?

Stop. Take a moment. Think about it — I mean really think about where you are in life and what really matters in your world.

Perhaps you too can experience a much-needed paradigm shift.

–case p.

The 2K11 24/7 CCCXXI: The Danger of Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Pastedgraphic-2

There are some things that genuinely make me sad. The dissolving of a solid friendship when I put a ton of effort into something only to have it fail miserably. Sometimes though, it’s the difficult choices we need to make in life and doing things we  might not want to do, but have to.
You might see a bit of contrast between this and my general viewpoint of engineering your life so that you don’t have to do the things you don’t want to, but some things are simply unavoidable.
This time it was delivering news I didn’t want to deliver.

The 2K11 24/7 CCLXIII: The Things We Do in the Name of the Job

If you get a solid eight hours of sleep every night, I’m pretty sure that you’ve never experienced the haze. That’s what I’m feeling right now — the haze that settles over you when you’re not quite asleep, but very much not awake — you’re somewhere in between, vaguely aware as time passes all around you. Some people chase after the feelings of calm and nonchalance that the haze can provide through using drugs or alcohol — for me, it all came down to an urgent presentation that was assigned late and due noon the next day.