By most accounts, I guess I should be walking away from 2014 muttering to myself, “…thank God that’s over…” Truth is, I’m actually going to miss the little bugger of a year that was 2014. It’s the year I learned the true meaning of the word gratitude.
One of my last tweets of 2013 was, “I’ll miss you 2013. You’re the year that John McCain finally called me an a$$hole.”
I guess this year should’ve been a downer by comparison: no former presidential candidates referred to me as a body part this year (at least not that I know of); I not only lost my job – I lost the number-one rated show in the Phoenix market; and I didn’t get to replace one of my mentors when he retired (the original plan when I was hired at my old station), yet it’s still been a dang good year.
A big reason 2014 has been so great for me is something that happened a few years ago: I got sober — and it changed my perspective. What were once setbacks are now opportunities. What once would’ve sent me into the ditch helps me to focus that much more on what’s on the road ahead. By knowing that a Higher Power (whom I call God) was the only thing capable of taking away my desire to drink, I’ve found myself trusting that Power with more and more aspects of my life.
And, boy, has that paid off. I can stop worrying about how I’ve been “wronged” and focus on what’s next.
It started with me being grateful to the people that I think many would imagine I should be mad at: my old station. But they gave me the opportunity to do a radio show that was free of interference from management. They afforded me my best run in the business (to this point). For the better part of five years, I was able to engage with a large, highly-informed audience that got me. And I got to do it on one of America’s greatest radio stations.
And when my old station decided that my run was up, they did right by me.
I’m very, very grateful for your support. While it may seem like this is post is all rainbows, puppies and daisies, there were many dark moments. Yet a kind word from those who knew me from the radio always seemed to come at just the right moment. Without you reaching out to me when I was down, I don’t know how I would’ve weathered what at times was a difficult situation.
I’m also incredibly grateful (and forever indebted) to the men and women behind Striventa. The people at this company decided that I needed to be their pet project and worked their butts off to raise my profile, find ways for me to stay engaged with my audience and keep me occupied in a way that gave purpose to my day. Without them, I wouldn’t have been noticed by my future employer and would’ve spent many a day laying around in my bathrobe feeling sorry for myself.
I’m grateful to my future employers who are providing me the opportunity of a lifetime. While I’m still not able to talk publicly about the next chapter of my career, I’ll just say that if I were a baseball player, everything I’ve done up to this point has been AAA ball and now I get to start for a Major League team.
Lastly (but not leastly), I’m grateful for my beautiful family.
The day I told my wife at the dinner table that my old show was done, I searched her face for (what I expected to be) the inevitable meltdown. It never came. Her calmness that day helped me to relax and look for what was next instead of wasting time worrying that there wasn’t going to be a next.
I believe that’s because she has not just grown to believe in my ability, she has grown to believe that I (very imperfectly) have finally let Him (the Big Broadcaster in the Sky) help me figure out how to grow that ability.
Meanwhile, our two-year old just kept singing No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed. It’s hard to be down for very long when she starts to perform her dinner-with-a-show routine.