NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Clarence: "You see George, you've really had a wonderful life." - It's a Wonderful Life, 1946
Last year, I took a look at what I was thankful for in 2012 as I transitioned to journalism, in effect away embarking on a new chapter in my life. 2013 was a continuation of that and in retrospect, so much more.
This has been an even better year than 2012 and I felt the need to share it with TheStreet's readers and give thanks for what I've been blessed to be a part of this year.
Writing this column was exceptionally difficult, as I tried to make it seem different than last year's version and not just a rehash. I guess now I know why they say sequels are harder than the original.
This is my last piece for 2013 as I take the rest of the year to relax, spend time with relatives and reflect on the year at hand. Like last year, I'm letting you into my own world, much different and more than anything from my Twitter account.
In the spirit of Christmas here's a list of 12 Things I'm thankful for. Please take the time to read it and judging from the reactions of last year, please share it around and perhaps make a list of your own about what you're thankful for this holiday season.
1. My family. As with last year, none of this is possible without the support of my family. I lean on my parents (you all know the story about my dad) and sister more than I care to share and I am forever grateful for it.
They've been supportive of me in my life both emotionally and financially. I am now in the position where although I can never fully repay them for all the work they did in raising me, I can be there for them as they enter different phases of their lives. Mom, Dad, and Nicole: Thank you for everything. I love you.
2. My job. Earlier this year, I was promoted to the position of Technology Editor of TheStreet, which is a helluva lot more work than I expected but I wouldn't trade anything for it.
Being in this position has allowed me to do so many things. I've been able to break the news of where Twitter (TWTR) was listing, that Jeffrey Gundlach owned Apple (AAPL) and any number of myriad stories I've been able to write this year.
I work with some terrifically smart and talented people, and though it's not always easy to reach focus on all out our goals, I'm more than confident we've achieved many of them this year. This one is for all of us.
3. Experiences. Along with the aforementioned stories, I've been able to do some incredibly cool things this year that I never thought possible. I test drove the Tesla (TSLA) Model S, a $110,000 electric vehicle. I've been on television quite a few times, CEOs answer my phone calls and even my questions, and I've had millions of people listen to me on ABC News Radio, WFAN, and countless other radio stations.
Growing up, I never thought I would actually get to do any of these things much less have my voice and my words heard and read by millions of people. I pinch myself everyday that I'm allowed to do this. No fear everyone, I'm just getting started.
4. Traveling. I've been to some amazing places this year. As a result, I've caught the travel bug, and hope to continue that in 2014.
I've been to Vegas, San Francisco countless times, Newport Beach, Calif., Chicago, and Los Angeles. It makes you sit back and really appreciate how vast, expansive and how beautiful this country is, no matter where you are.
5. New people in my life. I've gained some wonderfully valuable people in my life this year, both personally and professionally. I've also lost people this year, and with good reason. I've narrowed my focus on those who matter, and the ones who don't, have fallen away.
Thank you to all those who have entered my life (there are far too many to thank individually), and stayed here. I can't tell you how much I cherish our relationships.
Now I can truly appreciate it when Harry Bailey said in It's a Wonderful Life, "A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town."
6. My well being. In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart, wishes he had never been born. He goes on to see how different the world would be without him, until he begs to go back to reality, and be with his loved ones.
In this year of incredible equity market performance, our 401k's are up, and those who are able to invest have done reasonably well and then some. Yet, without our health, none of us are truly rich.
7. Wisdom. I turned 30 this year, and while that may be younger than a lot of you, dear reader, I've felt like my experiences in my life have taught me to trust myself because I'm often right. Whether it's personal relationships, a gut instinct about work, the markets, or dozens of others situations, I've learned to trust myself and gain wisdom from my experiences.
In the past, I would repeat the same mistakes for whatever reason. Call it youthful exuberance, ignorance, whatever you may call it, I didn't trust myself until I began to realize I was right about whatever situation may lie in front of me. Whether it's in trading, love, or in life, if you take one thing away from this column, please trust your instincts. It's the most valuable piece of investing advice you'll ever receive.
8. My dear reader. It's a real joy to interact with so many of readers, many of whom are very thoughtful, intelligent and simply looking to further the conversation about whatever it is I'm writing. There are fewer pleasures in life than serving, educating and sometimes even being a source of amusement. It's truly an honor and I thank you for that.
9. Physics. I've taken a renewed interest in physics this year, having read some of the best physics books of our time including A Brief History of Time, Physics of the Future and countless periodicals. It's a topic that I wished I had taken more seriously in school, simply because of all the incredible things that can come out of the lab or test environment. Now, with the advent of technology, I can make that wish come true.
10. Technology. Though many will argue that technology has makes us lazy, fat and overly reliant on phones and devices, it's helped to expand our knowledge base infinitely, and made us more efficient than our wildest dreams, even just 5 short years ago.
Who would've thought we could have the power of a computer in the palm of our hands (smartphones), and be in touch with everyone, or no one, whenever we wanted?
11. James Gandolfini. The world lost Gandolfini, better known as Tony Soprano earlier this year, to a heart attack. I remember being a kid, every Sunday night, with my prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and mayo sandwich (my mouth is watering right now), sitting down in front of the television, and waiting to see his latest exploits on The Sopranos.
When he passed earlier this year, I was compelled to write a piece on it, something I've done for no other celebrity, athlete since. The countless hours of joy, entertainment Gandolfini and the rest of the crew have given me over the years is something I will never forget.
12. New England Patriots. This year, we've had the monstrosity of Aaron Hernandez, countless injuries to Tom Brady's main receiving threats (Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins), yet somehow, Brady and Bill Belichick have managed to win at least 10 games again this year.
Without Brady and Belichick, #patriotsnation doesn't get to watch this.
Happy holidays everyone, and here's to a prosperous and healthy 2014!
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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