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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂