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As we wind down the hours of this calendar year and head toward the next, we are often forced to reflect on the past year and decide if it was a good one or not. More often than not I hear people say, “this year sucked, I can’t wait for —- (fill in the year.) I’ve probably said that about 35 times myself, but not this year. 2014 was pretty damn good, and I’m kind of sad to see her go. Of course there was stress and strife in my everyday life, and there was the non-stop onslaught of bad news emanating from my tv every night, but overall, this was a good one. I got to sing in public for the first time in 20 years; I got to go to California for the first time in my life and I got to share each of those days with the love of my life. Not too shabby.  Hell, I even enjoyed Christmas this year, and there weren’t too many times that I could say that.

As the year winds down, various media outlets come up with these definitive lists; 10 best Albums of 2014; 10 worst movies. Ten 10 defining moments of 2014. I don’t even bother reading them. Would you define your own life like that? Top 10 boyfriends? Worst 5 bosses? 10 best meals of 2014?  No, of course not, but as I sit here typing away, I can’t help but think that 2014 might have been the best year of my life. And that feeling only makes 2015 all the more exciting. As a matter of fact, I can’t wait.

When we were growing up, my mother never talked about any good fortune that might come her way. She was a tad superstitious and worried that if she said something out loud, the gods of luck would frown upon her, and the rest of the world would “put the horns on me”.  Sorry, mama. Let them put the horns on me. Let them rain on my parade. I like being able to say, “hey, my life got a lot better, and so can yours… if you let it.” All too often we are afraid to allow ourselves to enjoy the fruits of life. I know I was. I thought I didn’t deserve it.

Guess what? I do deserve it. So do you.

Of course, I’ll probably get hit by a bus as soon as I walk out the door, but I can’t let that stop me.

I can remember when New Year’s Eve plans were all that anyone ever talked about in the last week of the year. Are you going to a party? Are you going to a restaurant? Are you going to Times Square? I personally can’t imagine why anyone would stand outside in the cold for five hours just to watch a giant lightbulb, but every year a million people do it. This year should be particularly interesting, with the protestors and the cops and the tourists all converging on Times Square at once. And if Elton tickets don’t fall into my hands by 8 o’clock, I’ll probably be home on the couch watching it unfold.

Happy New Year folks.

Hope 2015 is as good as 2014 was.

Enjoy the ride.