Here’s to My Future. But First, Here’s to My Yesterday!

31 Dec

I have no idea where the time went, but as the calendar reminds us, December 31 means we’ve come to the end of another year.

Americans can’t seem to see eye-to-eye about much these days, but suffice it to say, 2018 was … a year. It was 12 months long. (Those are facts we can all agree on, right?) And as with any year, a lot of good stuff and bad stuff happened, locally and nationally. There’s no need to rehash it all; we all lived through it.

I’m excited for 2019, and all that the next 12 months will (hopefully) bring with it. But, as the Imagine Dragons lyric says, “No tomorrow without a yesterday.” So in that spirit, I’m going to use this last blog post of 2018 to take another look at some of my yesterdays. Specifically, some of my favorite highlights from the past 12 months.

For example, this year started with my dad having knee-replacement surgery, and later, having cataract surgery on both eyes — procedures that have given him more mobility and flexibility than he’s had in a long time.

This year, I was invited to speak at an event in San Antonio, Texas, about personal branding. While I was in town, I was invited to try Whattaburger, but that ended up being less exciting than the event itself was.

This year, I also traveled to Chicago, Florida, and Las Vegas twice, and New York City three times. And I got to be at the annual Levin family July 4th festivities in Michigan City, Indiana, for the first time in seven years. (Mmmmm … drunken salami.)

This year, I was interviewed live on camera by CTV so I could tell our neighbors in the Great White North what it’s like when it snows in Boston (while wearing a Roots hoodie, natch). A month earlier, Apple miraculously found me a new battery for my iPhone 6 right after I complained about the delay in an article on BuzzFeed.com.

This year, the aforementioned Roots opened three stores in the Boston area. Finally! That said, let’s all pour one out for the Newbury Street location, which closed right after Christmas.

This year, my inner 24-year-old was thrilled to meet Tyler Stewart from Barenaked Ladies, and my outer 44-year-old was similarly excited to meet the Lone Bellow. I also got to meet Paul Rudd when I was in Las Vegas for IBM’s THINK conference. And I met Mike O’Malley and Greg Garcia after seeing the Broadway show they wrote, Escape to Margaritaville. Paul Johansson (aka John Sears from Beverly Hills, 90210) and I hung out (briefly) in the lobby of my hotel during one of my New York trips. I spoke with Melinda Doolittle (from American Idol) aboard our cruise to Bermuda in August. And finally, I had the chance to meet John Malkovich when I saw him at Target in Watertown the day after Christmas, but decided the smart thing would be to leave him alone.

This year, a silly little tweet by me about the broken Keurig machine at work turned into a brand new Nescafé machine for the office — and some hot chocolate pods, too, because Nescafé actually listened and saw that’s what I like to drink. Hooray for social listening!

This year, Jennifer Garner looked absolutely fantastic at the Oscars.

This year, I was invited with Dawn to a rando’s wedding while at the second of two Zac Brown Band shows at Fenway Park. This, a night after selling my second ticket for the first show to a rando via Craigslist, who showed up drunk and proceeded to get kicked out by stadium security. (After paying me for the ticket, though. Phew!)

This year, about a month and a half after ZBB, Dawn and I snuck up front for the Jimmy Buffett show at Fenway, then somehow got into the front row center for the Cheap Trick and Def Leppard and Journey show two nights later! Likewise, at Workday Rising in October, Melissa, Danielle, Galen, and I found ourselves right up front for the Imagine Dragons concert at the Customer Appreciation Party, which was a much better show than I was expecting it to be. (Yes, there was a lot of live music this year.)

This year, I spent my birthday seeing Springsteen on Broadway — an intimate, amazing, life-affirming, transcendent experience that was worth every penny, every ounce of hype, every day waiting, and every frustration to get tickets. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I got to the theater early enough to be right up front when Bruce arrived, then was similarly close when he left. Then, I continued the birthday celebration for another day and a half in New York City, during which I wandered the High Line, saw Mean Girls, ate at Bubby’s, and more.

This year, I got to experience Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda two days in a row. No wonder this beach is so crowded and touristy — it’s gorgeous! That was just one of many highlights from the weeklong cruise I went on with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephews, in honor of my mother’s big birthday. And, in related news, happy birthday to Abby, who turned 10 this year. I still can’t believe she’s that old.

This year, in addition to the aforementioned shows, I saw the pre-Broadway tryouts of the Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill and the stage adaptation of Moulin Rouge! — and finally saw Book of MormonI even saw Hamilton for the second time.

This year, I finally found someone to clean my apartment on a regular basis. And I love that this has encouraged me to remove some of the clutter that’s been taking up space in my place for years.

This year, the Red Sox won the World Series again, after dominating all season long. I even got to go to a game in August, where I sat right behind home plate and watched Rick Porcello pitch a one-hit, one-run complete game (only 86 pitches!), and cheered the Sox on to a 4–1 victory over the Yankees in just two hours and 15 minutes.

This year, I learned about the miracle that is Lucky Brand jeans, which are cut in a way that allows me to wear a smaller size than I usually do and still have them fit comfortably.

This year, I was interviewed at In a Pickle by the Travel Channel for an upcoming episode of Food Paradise. Now I’m looking forward to seeing if I made the final cut when the segment airs next year.

And this year, there was a day when I saw three movies in one day — in the theater — on my way to a grand total of 83 movies in one year. For the record, Black Panther was my favorite film of the year, a decision I was excited to announce almost a week and a half before Christmas (much earlier than I’m usually able to publish my annual top-films list).

Yes, there was a lot of other stuff that happened this year — the mass shootings, the Kavanaugh confirmation mess, the hurricanes and wildfires, etc. And not everything went well in my own life. But let’s let that be the half of 2018 that disappears when Thanos snaps his fingers at midnight tonight, alright?

I’d rather say that 2018 was a good, fun year. A year in which there was a lot that made me happy. Hopefully you can say the same.

Before I sign off, I invite you to please enjoy these compilations of memories from the second and first halves of 2018. Thank you to everyone who helped things get even better this year, whether you’re in these videos or not.

To paraphrase that aforementioned Imagine Dragons song: Here’s to our yesterday. And now, here’s to our future.

(Oh, and by the way, it was definitely Yanny.)

Happy New Year!

Second half highlights:

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First half highlights:

One Response to “Here’s to My Future. But First, Here’s to My Yesterday!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The 2019 Happiness Project | Martin's Musings - January 2, 2019

    […] In 2015, as an exercise in gratitude, I began documenting one thing every day that made me smile. I called it my “Happiness Project,” and indeed, it offered valuable perspective and balance during an, at times, frustrating year, allowing my mood to stay positive. I didn’t repeat the journaling exercise the next year, and as you may recall, it proved to be a very challenging 12 months, with lots of negativity swirling around. I brought the Project back in 2017, and it actually made a real difference in my mindset. No surprise, then, that I decided to do another Project in 2018; again, it helped me have a better year. […]

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