A New Year’s Toast

Comments 36
Happy New Year, everyone.
Happy New Year, everyone.

*clinks glass a few times*

Sorry, everybody. Could I have your attention, please? I promise this won’t take long.

Thank you so much for being here tonight.

I would like to propose a toast.

To my son. A big-boy kindergartener now. With two missing teeth. Even in my most-frustrated moments, when you’re behaving like a little demon spawn, I never cease to be moved by just how proud of you I am. You are loved in indescribable ways. And everything I do in this new year will, first and foremost, be rooted in my deepest desire for you to have the best life imaginable. You are my life’s finest achievement and its greatest blessing. I couldn’t love anything more. To 2014, little man.

To my ex-wife. Thank you for everything you do on behalf of our child. Thank you for all of your kindness efforts over the past several weeks. Thank you for walking the walk every day as it pertains to putting our son first. Here’s to 2014 delivering peace and healing and hope in this next chapter. You’ll always matter.

To my friends. In my very worst year, bar none, you saved my life. I may have kept breathing. Walking around. But it’d be an illusion. Because I’d be on life support. But here I am. Alive. I have glimpses of the new normal now. Hope remains. I love you, dearly. Even when it doesn’t feel like it because I’m often so bad at communicating that. I hope to give you a better effort in 2014. May the new year bring you peace where there’s conflict, hope where there’s despair, forgiveness where there’s anger, and laughter where there are tears. I truly could not live without you.

To my family. I am going to come out of this alive because I was blessed with you as my foundation. However fragmented. However dysfunctional. There has always been love. My rock. I love you.

To my fellow writers. Thank you for the joy you bring others by sharing your talents. Your words. Your souls. Thank you for teaching me new ways to think. New questions to ask. New ways to write. To engage. So much wonderful talent out there to admire. Whatever your writing goals may be, I pray that 2014 brings you that much closer to achieving them. And if this tiny, humble slice of the internet can ever help bring you closer to those goals, you need only ask. To 2014, ladies and gentlemen.

To everyone who takes a timeout from their busy lives to pay attention to what’s happening here.

You cannot know what you mean to me.

How honored I feel that people invest their time, their minds, their hearts, in some of the things that are written here.

The words living here are saturated by so many things.





And hope. Always, hope.

In my darkest days, you’ve delivered comfort and reassurance. Wisdom and encouragement. Laughter and friendship.

You make me believe, for so many reasons, that my life can matter. That I can be so much more than who and what I am.

I pray that 2014 delivers to you all that you deserve.

Healing for the broken.

Prosperity for the poor.

The fulfillment of whatever it is you set out to do in this next calendar cycle.

Every year, every month, every week, every day is another opportunity for you to experience the best thing that has ever happened to you.


Please always choose hope.

*raises glass*

To you and me.

To the pursuit of happiness.

To 2014.


Happy New Year.

36 thoughts on “A New Year’s Toast”

  1. Happy New Years, Matt. Wishing you a new start to a new year, and as much happiness as your heart can hold. And from what I’ve come to know about you, there’s lots of room in that heart.

    Hugs and high fives from Boston. xo

  2. You’re one of the best people I know. I’m so proud to call you my friend.

    Love this post, as I do so many others.

    Cheers to you. And cheers to the Captain.

    Bring in 2014 with a smile. 🙂

    1. 🙂

      Thank you for this. It’s nice when people I know in real life say kind things.

      Because you know I’m totally self-conscious and like the idea of people reading that I’m nice and likable offline.

      Happy New Year to you and yours. Cheers.

      1. You’re also ridiculous. 🙂

        But yes, you’re totally likeable, online and offline. Haha!

    1. Thank you so much.

      It’s funny. If you read that a certain way, it’s kind of like you’re saying I’ll find peace, happiness and prosperity in May.

      Just five short months from now.

      Something to look forward to! Rad.


      Happy New Year. Thank you so much for reading and for your kindness.

      1. May is a good month to find all of those things – the flowers are in bloom, the air is warming up in anticipation of Summer, the world feels new again. It’s always been a good month for me, and maybe it will be for you, too 🙂

  3. Happy New Year, Matt! Thank you for the impact you and your blog have had on MY life in 2013. Even though I went crazy this year, and I can’t wait for it to be over.

    …I also can’t wait for the book! 😉

    1. 🙂 Perhaps those book-writing efforts will kick into gear in 2014, Mel.

      May this new year bring you abundant joy and peace.

      Happy New Year, lady.

  4. Ok so I’m sitting in a loading zone in my idling car (bad for the environment, I know, but the windchill here today is ACTUALLY -50 Celsius) waiting for my daughter to come out of her Lifesaving Instructor class,and now thanks to you I am crying. Good thing I carry kleenex everywhere I go 🙂
    This is very moving, as I have come to expect from you. Discovering your blog goes on my list of high points for 2013. Happy New Year friend.

    1. You shed tears! Over my New Year’s toast.


      While I don’t derive much pleasure from people crying, I think the thing I’ve heard the most this year about my writing is that it sometimes makes people “feel.”

      I want people to feel.

      It reminds us that we’re alive.

      Thank you so much for the compliment. For feeling things. For taking time to share a little of yourself with the rest of us.

      Happy New Year. 🙂

  5. So glad I found your blog at the closing of 2013. And, the best place to begin with hope is at the start of yet another New Year! Fresh starts, always. Cheers to that, for sure! XOXO-SWM

    1. I’m so glad, too.

      Thank you for that.

      I’m very hopeful for the coming year. Good things are coming.

      Happy New Year. 🙂

  6. All the best to you in the new year!
    Thanks for what you do; a real treat to have discovered…a ‘good’ in my 2013 😉

    1. Cheers to you. 🙂

      You made me smile. I really like doing that. Thank you so much.

      Happy New Year to you and those you love.

  7. Cheers and beautifully written. I love your ability to emote and put it to paper- I am glad I found your blog. I hope the New Year holds much happiness for you.

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to usher in a new year. 2013 sucked in so many ways, but I did stumble on to this blog, so I guess it wasn’t all bad 🙂

    I know my opinion doesn’t carry the same weight as other readers because I’ve never actually been in your shoes, but it’s had an impact on me in so many ways and I just want to say thanks. Wishing you the very best in the New Year and looking forward to many more great posts. Cheers!

    1. Your opinions carry plenty of weight.

      I feel so blessed that you’ve stuck with me. Continued to be part of this.

      Thank you. And Happy New Year. 🙂

  9. Happy New Year, Matt. It is bound to be better than this one I am kicking firmly behind me! May we all find the peace and contentment we seek in 2014 and beyond. I am glad to have found your blog through another blog, Lessons from the End of a Marriage, a few months ago. Online support probably saved me from going bonkers through the divorce process. I am grateful for your candid posts that bare what you are going through. *Raising a glass* Here is to a better year! Natalie

  10. I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph.

    Cause that’s why you’re so amazing. That you always put your son first. Even in this blog post, he’s the first thing in your heart.

    I have more to say. Read it, please. Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you.

      He’s really easy to love. It’s not even particularly difficult, aside from the typical challenges all parents face.

      I was blessed with parents who put me first.

      I try to do the same.

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Matt Fray

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