It’s the second annual New Years Eve Post: Fourteen for ’14!

This time last year, we gathered around a freshly opened bottle of wine and I wrote a list of thirteen goals for the pending year.  I then drank said bottle of wine and drunk texted my mother, which was hilarious to me and just annoying to her.  Anyway.  You can read the post here, but generally speaking, my goals for 2013 were:

  • Change the oil in my car more often
  • Learn to cut my hair
  • Breathe
  • Finish my novel.

I failed in the oil change department.  It got changed maybe twice this year.  Yes, I fully realize this means that more than likely, my car engine is going to explode one of these days when I’m cruising through the woods.  My car is old (but fabulous!).  Car dealers just kind of….roll their eyes when I mention “trade in.”  Hey, whatever car dealers.  The Tank/Blue Meanie/TARDIS, whatever you want to call it, gets 30 miles to the gallon.  Suck it.

I, in fact, did learn to cut my hair this year.  Success!

Breathe.  And what I mean by breathe, is relax.  Obviously not the actual act of breathing, although there are times I’m working so frantically at Day Job that I actually hold my breath–and then, in turn, start wondering why I’m light-headed all of a sudden.

Obviously this goal was not met.

ARCAnd, finally, the goal of finishing my novel.  Done.  In January, no less!!  Even more exciting, 2013 saw not only the completion of Anything You Ask of Me, but also signing a contract with a publishing company!  And look what showed up on my snow-covered doorstep today!  The last day of the year!  My ARCs!  My unedited, advanced review copies to send to authors in hopes they’ll write a nice little blurb for the inside cover of the finished novel.  Note: This is not the actual cover.  Though, it looks cool.  It looks like the start of a Doctor Who episode.

Which, coincidentally, was my last purchase of 2013: A Tardis hat.  Yes.  My obsession with Doctor Who has reached hat purchasing heights.

So, hey, I cannot complain about 2013.  It was a fantastic year, with writing and publishing and blogging and insane craziness and going to Cozumel for the first time, and being the matron of honor for my best friend and my dress not fitting….

On this New Years Eve, as the crazies across the road from us are already shooting off fireworks and it’s not even completely dark yet, it’s time to sit back, wait for the wine to chill, and start looking forward to a new year of excitement.  To keep the tradition going, I give you The Rambling Jour’s New Years Eve Fourteen for 2014:

1.  Finish Random Contemporary, I mean, With Me Now

I haven’t done any substantial writing since Christmas Eve.  Now that the holidays are juuuuust about over, I can stop cooking and baking for the armies of people I act like are showing up for dinner, and instead eat like a normal human being and write like I should.  Write like I was before the Christmas extravaganza hit my house and everything disappeared in a haze of glitter and powdered sugar.

2.  Get Random Contemporary/With Me Now suitable for publication

Last year I said I didn’t anticipate publishing the same year I finished my novel.  And then I did (well, got it under contract anyway).  So, if that happens again, even better.

3.  Change the oil in my car more

Lets try this goal again.  The car is ten years old.  It probable sounds like Muttley when it laughs (Muttley reference, anyone?  Anyone?  Stop the pigeon!  Stop the pigeon!  Come on.  It can’t just be me).

4.  Paint the kitchen

We’ve lived in our little woodland shanty for what, five years now?  Eight years?  Who knows.  Anyway, I’ve been threatening to paint the kitchen and this time I’m doing it.  The loud, ridiculous wall board will be replaced by paint of some color and–even if I have to move the fridge by myself–it’s happening Spring 2014.

5.  Fix the cabinet door in the kitchen

In Phase One of “Redo the Kitchen” I bought new drawer pulls from Target.  And it was smooth sailing changing the first drawer pull.  This was not the case of the second and, even after The Hubs trying to remove it, we currently have 18 darkened brass pulls and one gaudy gold pull.  It looks like a Home Depot display.

6.  Pay off some bills

We paid off The Hub’s vehicle this year, so I’d like to pay off some credit card bills this year.  This is hampered by our expensive vacation in January.  Whoops.  We’ll just call that putting Goal 6 in Challenge Mode.

7.  Lose ten pounds

I joked about it last year, but darn it, this year I have to do it.  I have no idea what happened, but ten there’s ten pounds where it shouldn’t be and it’s got to go.  Or at least five can go and I’ll ignore the rest  (By the way, that was a total lie.  I know what happened.  Wine happened).

8.  Read more

This made an appearance on my list last year.  This year, however, I got a Kindle for Christmas and somehow that makes the goal seem more attainable.  In fact, I already started reading a new novel–something that I haven’t done in ages.  It’s a weird feeling, like being back in your third grade classroom (ahh, I miss third grade.  Mrs. Burns was one of my favorite teachers).

9.  Do a craft project

I haven’t done a craft project in….well, I can tell you pretty precisely.  Almost four years.  As in, when The Preschooler was born.  I have a couple quilting, needlepoint, and crochet projects I wouldn’t mind working on.  Didn’t know I was the crafty kind of gal, did you?

10. Plant a garden

When we bought our woodland shanty, I had delusions of vegetable gardens and flowers and horticulture.  Two things continue to stand in my way: 1) rampant wildlife and 2) horrible clay soil.  This year, though, I think I want to make some kind of raised garden on the back porch that The Rowdy Boys can help me with.  They adore tomatoes so, even just one tomato plant will feel like a success.

11.  Get a tattoo

I’m setting myself up for failure on this one, but I’ve always wanted a tattoo.  The Hubs hates tattoos.  But maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that he stops sounding like my father—no, not even my father, because my father would have gotten a tattoo if he hadn’t been a Baptist minister.  He’s like my grandfather!  He’s like my grandfather’s grandfather.  Anyway, maybe this year (but probably not).

12.  Rearrange the closets

Our closets have somehow become the places where old computers, baby clothes, and scraps of wrapping paper go to die.  It was like spelunking into the Mines of Moria just trying to dig out the Christmas ornaments this year.  Luckily, I’d left most of “the good stuff” near the front of the closet last year, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been (see?  Sometimes laziness pays off).  It’s time for a better system.

13.  Donate my time

I haven’t done volunteer work in ages.  Ages!  I’ve volunteered with the National Park Service in the past and have gone on two Mission Trips with my church (lets not talk about how long ago those where….lets just say, it was back when I was a blonde.  Yikes).  This year it would be nice to donate my time to something.

14.  Stop worrying.  In lieu of that, worry less.

One of my dearest friends, Verity, posted this on Facebook this week:

You have enough. You do enough. You are enough.

I think sometimes we (I) get so caught up in doing everything.  We (I) get so caught up in being the best parents who give their children the most magical childhood or the prettiest, most well put together, individual on the planet.  Then we (I) get completely overextended and unhappy.  So, this year, I’d really like to stop competing and just be me.  Be that well put together gal who is a hot mess, but whose underpants and shirt are the same color.

Well, friends, that’s my wish list for 2014.  Hey, just like last year, lets look forward to next year and fondly looking back to just how many of these actually happened!  Last year’s list didn’t get completed in its entirety, but it was a great year.  And you, my friends, are a great crew.  I’m so thankful to have you along for the ride–no matter where it takes us!  Be blessed!




  1. You must show us the Tardis hat!!! 🙂 My BF is against tattoos too, but I have two of them and plan on getting a third in a few years. I’m certain you’re going to have a fantastic 2014!

  2. So glad to see you have your priorities straight. Breathing is not all it’s cracked up to be and walking is great exercise. But getting your novel written – now that matters. Don’t you think your new list is a tad long? It beats mine by 13 things. I’m just working on staying alive. When you’re old your priorities tend to shift. Keep me laughing, dear heart. I love it.

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