2016 Looking Back – 2017 Looking Ahead

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock of how things went and look at where we’re headed.

No doubt the WordPress monkeys will be out with their stats in a few days but I already know that 2016 was the best year yet on Norm 2.0.

Due in large part to the continued growth of Thursday Doors followers, visitors, likes, comments were all up substantially from 2015. In fact even before scaling back on my social media time in late November, Thursday Doors represented over 40% of the overall traffic on this blog.

We’ve gone from close to three dozen weekly contributors in 2015 to consistently over 40 each week in 2016; and often topping 50, with a record week of 62 posts!

The goal for 2017 will be to maintain that momentum and most of all keep having fun sharing doors with friends from all over the globe! I hope you’ll continue to join in and by all means, tell your friends 😉

In looking back it could be very easy to linger upon a lot of the not-so-good or even downright bad that happened in 2016. From a plethora of celebrity deaths, to terror attacks that try to drive a wedge between cultures, countries, and religions, to the resurgence of populism, protectionism, and exclusionist attitudes exhibited by the British Brexit vote and the American presidential election, or how thanks in large part to social media, truth, logic, and common sense seem to be so easily pushed aside in favor of sensationalism, gossip, and downright fake news.

Yes as we who share this beautiful little blue spaceship we call earth embark on yet another trip around our sun in 2017, there are lots of things to be concerned about.

Even here in quiet peace-loving Canada there are talks of building a wall of our own. Ours would be built on our northern border of course, and some of our most vocal politicians are insisting that we should make Santa and Rudolf pay for it  😉

All kidding aside, there are lots of reasons for optimism too and as I always say, any day I can be vertical has the potential to be a good day. In the end it’s not what happens to us that defines us, but how we choose to deal with it.

I’m hopeful that the challenges the world faces in the coming months will bring out the best in many of us, and somehow we’ll find a way to focus more on the things we all share in common so that kindness and friendship prevail over fear, hate, and mistrust.

Speaking of friendship, one of my goals 2016 was to actually meet up in person with some of the many wonderful blog buddies I’ve made over the past few years.

I can report: mission accomplished  😀

Through my travels for business and pleasure as well as meeting up with locals, 2016 turned out to be a bumper year for turning online connections into real ones.

This past winter and spring my wife and I have had the pleasure of hanging out with locals such as talented photographer Josée Houde and Montréal poet extraordinaire Christina Strigas.

Then while on a business trip to Atlanta in August I was fortunate enough to meet up and go on a doorscursion with Ludwig Keck of Two Cameras – Two Views.

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Along with his friend Dave we explored part of midtown Atlanta and came away with some interesting door discoveries.

That same week I was also able to meet up with another longtime Thursday Doors contributor Michelle Lunato.

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On my  walk with Michelle I got to discover some wonderful architecture and very nice doors in the historic Castleberry Hill section of town that I had never seen before.

And last but not least, in September while driving home from vacation in New York City we managed a wonderful afternoon lunch meet up with Dan Antion author of the very popular blog No Facilities at one of his favorite hangouts near his place in Connecticut.

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We had family in Vermont who were expecting us that evening, otherwise we probably would have lingered and talked (wood) shop with Dan all afternoon, and maybe even gone on a doorscursion. Next time Dan  🙂

Because 2017 will be a transition year for me professionally speaking I’m hesitant to make any longer term travel plans at the moment, and chances are very good that I’ll be staying close to home for most of the year. But I will certainly be available to meet up for local doorscursions, or even a quick cup of coffee, with any of you who plan to visit the Montréal area.

*Shameless hometown plug* If you’ve been thinking of visiting there’s an added incentive in 2017 on two fronts: Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday this year with festivities right across the country all year long, and Montréal is celebrating the 375th anniversary of its founding with all kinds of shows, celebrations and events as well.

In the meantime, I want to thank every single one of you for clicking that follow button here as well as on Twitter and Instagram.

Your likes, faves, comments, and encouragement, and most of all your friendship and kindness have made this blogging journey a joy that continues to be so much fun.

Here’s to fun and successful blogging, many new door discoveries, and much health and happiness to all for 2017!

Cheers and as always, thank you so much for reading 🙂

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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51 Responses to 2016 Looking Back – 2017 Looking Ahead

  1. dennyho says:

    A great post to close 2016 and welcome 2017. If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, Charlottesville, Virginia, please knock on my door!!! Lots of historical architecture worthy of photographing in our town and the state. Best to you in the new year, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    Here I see some happy endings and fulfilling beginnings, Norm. I believe I was here once on this very post, but somehow managed to not wait long enough to post my comment! So, wishing you a wonderful new beginning to your 2017! Hope it is a happy, healthy and productive year! Hugs, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Corina says:

    I’m looking forward to another year of wonderful photography on your blog and those that link up for Thursday Doors. I’d like to go out locally and find some doors to share with you. Hopefully I can do that in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ted says:

    Looks like you’ve had an interesting year. I had to check out this Thursday Doors thing. Hmmmm… Since I rarely do more than 3 posts a month and will only do one about doors sometime next year, I probably don’t qualify. Nice idea though Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Ted and welcome 🙂
      There are no ‘qualifying’ requirements for Thursday Doors. You just need to have a post about doors.
      You’re welcome to join in any time that you do post one. Feel free to link it up between Thursday morning and Saturday noon of that week.
      Cheers!

      Like

  5. Best wishes for the new year…to another good year of photos (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Hen says:

    Great end-of-the-year/ beginning -of -the- year post , Norm . Best to you and your blogging !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pistachios says:

    Haha I like your saying: “any day I can be vertical has the potential to be a good day”. That is a good approach to have.

    It’s been lots of fun joining in with Thursday Doors, and likewise with seeing everyone’s posts. I’ll definitely continue to participate this year (I was out door-spotting just this afternoon!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy New Year Norm!! Getting a passport was one of my goals for this year. It’s in the works.
    It’s sounds like with the celebrations in Canada that it needs to be on my list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Leah says:

    I had no idea Montreal had such a big birthday coming up. Thanks for that, Norm! I hold out hope of a visit.

    I like your focus on human connections. Yes, it’s nice to have more blog traffic, but making real connections is a benefit worth celebrating and fostering.

    Happy New Year, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennie says:

    What a wonderful post, Norm. Thank you! Here’s to 2017, Thursday’s Doors, writing, blogging, and friends. Best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Donna says:

    Thanks for a very balanced post. I agree that there are many reasons for sincere optimism as we head into 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Finding Thursday Doors has led me to many more lovely bloggers, including you, so I thank you so much for that. After blogging every day for almost five years, I’m beginning to think about how much I want to do this year, but it’s so difficult to cut back! Something to ponder for this new year. As I love meeting fellow bloggers (and have been fortunate enough to do so), I hope to add many of the TD members to that list.

    A happy, healthy, and blessed 2017!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  13. joey says:

    I hope you and Dan enjoyed one another. I’m over here merely mildly jealous 😉
    I think this post was well-balanced, which makes me feel a bit better about 2016. I agree any day upright is a good one, but I sure like some more than others! Here’s to many great days ahead — Happy New Year! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve really enjoyed your posts in general, and the Thursday Doors link-ups in particular. Although I don’t participate each time, you’ve trained me to look for interesting doors wherever I go (with varying levels of success). I’m looking forward to more door excursions in 2017. Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks so much 🙂
      It’s amazing how much we can notice when we become attuned to something isn’t it? Nowadays it’s rare that I don’t take an extra couple of seconds to notice things a little more closely.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. jan says:

    I’ve had a great time finding doors to talk about even though I’m not much of a photographer. Good luck getting Rudolph to pay for that wall – there’s a reason for that red nose you know! Haha. I have many wonderful memories of Montreal but sadly will be quite busy with a new grandchild this year! Happy 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rabirius says:

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy New Year Norm. “Building a wall and have Santa and Rudolf pay for it…” brilliant. Thanks for the laugh.

    I will participate and will post some unique pictures of doors this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. marianallen says:

    Thanks for founding the Thursday Doors, Norm! I’ve seen a lot of beauty I’d have missed if I hadn’t been looking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dan Antion says:

    Our lunch meeting is a very special memory of mine from 2016. I have a door post planned that is related. The place I would have taken you for a couple of quick door pics is a nearby church. A week before we had lunch, they wrapped it in scaffolding. Thursday Doors has become an important part of my blogging routine. I look forward to as many doors as possible in 2017.

    I don’t think 2017 will be a good year for travel for me, other than a bunch of business travel, but they keep promising a train to Montreal is in our future. I’m looking forward to that.

    Happy New Year Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Lynn says:

    Norm, I have so enjoyed your posts in 2016 & look so forward to seeing where 2017 takes you. Montreal is a definite on my list again this year, especially with the added bonus of the 375 celebrations! Hope to connect when that happens!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hey, you met Dan! Either neither of you reported it or it slipped by. Anyway, well met, I’m sure. Wishing you more meetings like that, and all the best to you and your lovely country (yeah, make them pay, Santa is loaded! :D).

    Liked by 2 people

  22. cindy knoke says:

    Happy New Year! 🍷🎊🎈🎉🍻🎆💃

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I plan to get to Canada this year! Thanks for the heads up on Montreal and all the anniversaries!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sue says:

    Thanks for including us in your excursions. I enjoy your findings. Street art, interesting doors and the history to match. Have a great new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. You and Dan in the same place? Now there is a visual and a smile just thinking about the conversation. Nice photo. 🙂 Hope 2017 is all you’re hoping and planning for both personally and professionally.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Joanne Sisco says:

    Happy New Year, Norm, and I hope your new ventures are highly successful. With your energy and talent involved, I can’t see why it wouldn’t be 🙂

    Visiting Montreal and meeting up with you continues to be on my to-do list for 2017. Missing the opportunity in 2016 was one of the many disappointments I had.

    Looking forward to more wonderful doors and your unique doorscurions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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