For me, 2008 was a year of self realization. So much happened in my 40th year that I need to step back, catch my breath and try to make sense of it all.
My Mother's heart surgery was a complete shock in the early part of the year. Making the trip to California to be there for her opened my eyes to the reality of life being too short. It's so easy to take good health for granted and to forget how each day is truly a gift.
My Father turns 80 this January. Both my MOM and DAD have a great sense of humor. Despite the ups and downs thrown at them, they always find a way to be social and laugh at life.
My Father-In-Law is in his early 80's and just found out he is now cancer-free. He is a former FBI agent and a great example of how to live your life. He lives his passions and enjoys a glass or two of wine along the way...this year, he will ride in a hydroplane in Washington state. A gift from my wife and something on his life list.
As I turned 40, I have realized how lucky I am to have what I have. My wife is an amazing Mother and role-model to our daughter. Gabrielle has been such a blessing in so many ways. She makes the good days great and the tough days better.
Working on the radio is such a great opportunity every morning. I have the career I have dreamed of since I was a kid and love getting up to do it each day. My job has opened the door for so many wonderful opportunities in my life. I have always believed that a job should NOT define you, but in my case, I get to live my life on the radio. To meet the people I get to meet and to see all the great concerts, events and sports is awesome! Not a day goes by where I don't appreciate what I get to do each day!
This year, I rode in The GOODYEAR BLIMP, met WILL SMITH, introduced the next president at a rally, saw my favorite band LIVE play in multiple cities, ran a soccer league, played golf with my DAD and brother IAN in Palm Springs, visited the bar where they filmed "The Great Balls of Fire" scene in TOP GUN (it burned down in July), hosted a TV show, went to Las Vegas for the first time, spent my birthday with my best friend two years in a row, played golf at PGA WEST and TORRE PINES and so much more. I feel so lucky to have met so many great friends and to have had so many wonderful opportunities.
Despite all the great entertainment and work-related moments, what stands out is the moments that made me stop and realize what really matters.
The year started with my Mother's health scare. My parents have been through everything and will seemingly live forever. My friend Mark had a surprise heart surgery as well. He has been a rock in my life and it scared me to think he needed heart surgery at such a young age. Two other people in my life passed away this year...they were my age. Again, LIFE IS TOO SHORT.
I often get asked to host events that benefit someone who is going through tough times or need help paying medical bills. I always say yes if my schedule permits. This year, I hosted a couple of events that reminded me how blessed I am to have a healthy family and friends.
One event that really made me stop and think was a benefit for a 6-year-old boy who was in a coma. I have never met him, but his pictures are adorable. He's a beautiful kid with a lot of people who care so much about him. It was heartwarming to see the outpouring of support and it served as yet another reminder that LIFE IS TOO SHORT. Kids shouln't be allowed to get sick.
I believe there is a GOD and things happen for a reason. For so long, I have missed the point. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget the big picture. For me, 2008 has served as a wake up call in many ways.
I am hearing the message loud and clear and look forward to a fresh start in 2009.