For me, 2012 was a stellar year both professionally and personally. I escaped the confines of the 8-5 working grind and made my lifelong dream a reality by publishing three books. My family members remained relatively healthy, I welcomed another step son-in-law into our growing family and discovered my oldest step-daughter and her husband will be expecting their third child. I got to explore the Virgin Islands with some of my favorite people, visited my best friend for a week in Texas and my sister-in-law in Florida. I even got to see Coldplay in concert and attend my first zombie walk.
But there are people who had a terrible year, and for some of them, 2013 won't look much brighter. Some are busting their butts to keep food on the table or fighting against their diseased body to stay alive. Those families mourning children murdered in the senseless school shooting are going to have probably the longest years of their lives. Two families in my community were recently given the devastating news that their sons have a form of cancer. Happiness will not come so readily for these people. It's up to the rest of us to do what we can to try to do something to make them smile. I strive to leave an impressionable mark on this lifetime, as should we all. Remember when your life is at its highest, there are others who may be at their lowest.
Tonight as you raise your glass to toast your friends and loved ones, remember that tomorrow is a new year and with that new year comes new beginnings and fresh opportunities at happiness. Whatever form happiness may come in, I will welcome it with open arms. And I wish it on each and every last one of you, whatever that may be.