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.
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.
As much as Torontonians love getting away from the cold and soaking up warmth from a tropical island, there’s only so much time I can spend on resorts before feeling the pans for a return to the life I’ve established back home.
I’m not the type to lay on the beach all day without a care in the world, drink in one hand, book in the other, letting all my worries flow out as I enter a state of unbridled relaxation. I’m not the type to party recklessly through the night, acting unashamedly, willfully ignorant of my actions’ consequences, doing things I wouldn’t dare do in my backyard. The place I feel most comfortable is the home I’ve built myself on the Internet — and you can’t take me away from that spot for too long before I start to feel a certain itch.
It wasn’t Cuba’s fault — the Cubans are super friendly, excited to see a Black Canadian with a cute mixed baby, and likely partly because I’m a good tipper*.
*NOT SO FUN FACT: The average Cuban worker earns about 25 convertible pesos (CUCs) a month — or just over 31 Canadian Dollars. With prices for Cuban all-inclusive resorts so low, please make sure to tip generously!
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.
A week in and I’m already a little behind, trying to put the finishing touches on The 2015 100 while a major project at the 9-5 threatens to encroach on my personal time and is making the juggling act harder than ever. Sarah sees me at it nightly, piles of notes strewn about the desk as I struggle to mould it all into coherent thought, slowly shaping into the kind of posts I love writing. It’s taxing work, but ultimately worth it to look back later, proud of what I put down on paper.
However, though my life’s currently mired in 7-hour meetings and documentation that just won’t quit, my first week of 2015’s been pretty decent, opened with some excellent brunches and promising new relationships and opportunities for the year ahead.
But in these first 7 days, one of the most amazing things to happen was finding a new appreciation for a sport I never much followed before — hockey.
Recently, I was one of 20 bloggers asked to try cooking a dish with Persimon®, a sweet, melony-tasting fruits straight from Spain.
Now it’s no secret that I’m not an amazing cook. I could likely whip something together once upon a time, back when I worked at my father’s restaurant, but whatever budding skills I once had as a chef have long since vanished, leaving me to give culinary arts another start from scratch — something I hope to tackle in 2015.
But a promise’s a promise, and with the help of my wonderful wife Sarah, we proceed to try to make one of the suggested Persimon® recipes — the Persimon® and Chorizo Pizza.