Each year, when I post something around New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day, I make the joke that it’s the Xth straight good year in my life. I say it’s a joke because let’s face it, any year where you’re still upright at the end is a good year. You can go through mistakes and missteps, tragedy and loss, but if you’re still breathing at midnight, odds are you can find a way to call it a winner.

That’s not to say that some years aren’t more difficult than others. There are years you can’t wait for midnight, or to wake up New Year’s morning, in the hopes that the turning of the calendar will help you put the bad things of the previous year behind and to make a new start. I know some of my readers have had tough times this year, for a variety of reasons. I just want to remind you all that, as long as we’re still here together, there’s always hope for better days ahead.

Now, all that said, it really was a pretty fantastic 2012 for the B’s. I know it’s kind of silly/obvious to say this, but often the best things that come in each year are those that you did not expect on the previous January 1. We had some great times in 2012 that were planned and which we looked forward to before they happened. But there were also some pleasant surprises along the way. Our lives are, mostly, better than they were 366 days ago, and as much for the things we couldn’t anticipate as the things we did.

Which makes me look very forward to 2013. We have a lot of stuff planned already: a trip to Disney World in three weeks, another trip to Florida over spring break, and a fall wedding in Boston. That’s a pretty great year right there. If we have a few pleasant surprises along the way, we’re talking about one for the ages.

There will no doubt be disappointments, challenges, and heartbreaks. And I’m going to do my best this year to remember that all those plans, all those surprises, are really just window dressing. What is important is the actual time spent with my family and friends. Ultimately that is what matters the most.

So happy New Year to all of you. I hope whatever 2012 meant to you, 2013 is better.