It Was a Very Good Year

As we are fully aware of, this time of year always brings out “Best of” and “Top Ten” lists, so in the spirit of the season, I have compiled a list of my Top Ten Firsts of 2012:

10. Red Robin – While not an earth-shattering first, it still deserves mention, because I got to share the experience with my best friend, Rob. The food and service were phenomenal and have been every time I have gone since. Now if only Rob could say the same…

9. Disney Candlelight Processional – Speaking of memories shared with dear friends, this was another one. In spite of all my years living in Florida, and my years of owning a Disney pass, Christmas Day of this year was the first time I ever experienced this marvel, and I got to share it with Cheryl, another dear friend, and Rob. Gary Sinise was the narrator, and the music was beyond spectacular!

8. St. Louis Arch – Late in the year, I decided to take a road trip in my new car (More on the car later). One of my stops was St. Louis, Missouri. I got to climb to the top of the Arch, in a teeny, tiny, egg-like contraption which I would not recommend for anyone who suffers claustrophobia. It was one of the best highlights of a very long trip.

7. Personal Trainer – I had never had anyone work with me one-on-one until this year on a fitness program, so this was a new and interesting experience. Unfortunately, I let life get in the way and didn’t stick with the program. I’m hoping to make a fresh start in the new year and actually accomplish my fitness goals.

6. Skeet Shooting – The last time I held a gun was back in the early 90’s, so it was quite the treat to be invited to go to a shooting range with some friends. I got to fire some shotguns and handguns, which was fun enough, but the highlight of the day was shooting clay pigeons. Turns out I was pretty good, too.

5. Bachelors Degree – I could have never imagined that, over twenty years after my first attempt at college, not only would I finally have gotten a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, but I would have done it while maintaining a 4.0 average. This has provided me with a greater range of options in the job market.

4. New car – For the first time in my life, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a brand new car. A 2012, Sonic Blue, Ford Focus. I was able to use some of my “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” winnings to put a decent down payment on it, and it has provided me freedom. Freedom from car repair worries and freedom to take long trips (see number 8). But not as much freedom as…

3. Passport – It’s not the first passport I’ve had, because my parents got me one when I was a kid, but it is the first passport I got for myself, and it is the first passport I’ve had in many years. Talk about freedom! I am now free to travel to just about anywhere in the world, which I took advantage of this year. Which leads to…

2. Flying First Class – Thanks to my friend Christy, a flight attendant, I managed to get a great deal on an international flight. The caveat was that I would have to fly standby, which could have led to waiting in the airport for a flight, or getting the last seat available. What I did not expect was that I would be able to fly across the Atlantic in First Class. Spacious seating, great food, hot towels. It was everything I could have imagined and more. And it was only the beginning to an amazing ten days in…

1. Europe – This was easily the top first for 2012, if not for my entire life. I could make a list of top ten firsts just from this trip alone. First time in Barcelona. First time in Rome. First time in Paris. First time eating certain foods. Visiting locations. Riding trains, planes, boats, and buses. First time touching the Mediterranean Sea, etc.

And there it is. My Top Ten Firsts for 2012. But this is only scratching the surface of firsts. Every day is a first because it’s never come before and it will never come again. And everything I do every day is a first, because it’s the first time I’m doing that particular thing at that particular time. And I’m looking forward to many more firsts in 2013.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful and “first-rate” New Year!

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