Dear 2014

Dear 2014:

How are you? Are you getting ready to spring on us in all your winter glory in a couple of weeks? Sorry about not having the party this year. I’m just not able to stay up as late as I used to be, and I appreciate being able to go to sleep, and greet you in the morning when I’m a little more awake.

So, this year, I’m gonna set some goals. And they might not be the usual goals, but some of them are past due. Like…you know all those ratty dish towels I have? The scummy trash can, the junk in the garage, the dusty collections of DVDs, and stuff like that? I’m going to have a modest goal of trying to sort out one or two of these things during each month of 2014. Like…I’ve already bought new silverware, because I’m tired of only having 5 mismatched forks. Next, I should sort out the old silverware and get it off to a donation sight. Stuff like that.

I know, I know. It sounds like a goal that I’ve borrowed from Oprah magazine. But really, life’s too short to be using junk when you’re almost 50, and I’m just tired of clutter and hidden dirt.


It looks like I am going to finish this year lighter than last year. Who knew? For whatever reason, be it thyroid meds, paying more attention to what I’m eating, getting more exercise, meditating, being happier, relaxing more, I am dropping weight. It would suit me to finish the year in the 205-210 zone. But more important for you, 2014, is that I keep doing it. Given the rate that I am losing weight, if I continue the trend of losing about 4-5 pounds a month, that means that by this time next year, I’ll be around 48-60 pounds lighter, and that would mean I’d be 150-160. That would be almost my goal weight. So, let’s see how that works out, okay? It would be nice to move toward retirement with health at the forefront.


I know you can’t help me with the agent search. Many years I’ve secretly hoped that the next year would be the year I break through. I’m treading the right kind of water. I’m doing the work and sending things out, but 2013 seems to have hit me hard with two factors regarding writing: 1. The arbitrary nature of the luck involved and 2. I got nothing to prove to anyone except myself, and I’ve proven that. If I want to keep working on improving my anxiety and stress, I gotta take it off myself. So, 2014, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to write stories that please me. I’m going to send them out. I’m not going anywhere beyond that because the future is not yet written. I intend to keep writing what interests me and what I write. Same as usual, except without the hidden internal stress-driven agenda. And I will write every day. The Jim Hines (TM) way. Like working out a lot, writing every day will be good for my psyche. I think I will focus on only 10 hours a week to begin next year. If I want more, I know how to make that happen.


2014, it should come as no surprise to you that I intend to keep the love of my life. I am so happy here, and I want you to help me make him happy. So, if you could make sure good things come his way, so it is easy for him, I would appreciate that.


The most important thing in 2014 is my health. Of course, we’ve talked about weight loss, but the stress and how it affects me is what I want to work through most. So, most of all, I want you to help me cultivate the word “No.” I want to cut back to have more time to relax and be myself. Since work is ramping up, I will have to say no to some of the extra activities I do. My priorities are clear: my job, which will remain at work; the love of my life, because he improves the quality of my life; and finally, my art, because that’s how I want to spend my spare time. I don’t intend to not see friends or become a hermit, but I do intend to take better care of my self and my own desires.

I think we’ll have a good year, because frankly, there have been some changes. Some things that seemed awfully important before no longer do, and vice versa. I’m tired of words like “hungry” and “career driven.” I’m interested in words like balance, happiness, self-satisfaction, and peace. So I suspect I will lose some hungry artist friends and pick up some that are perhaps motivated in different ways. I’m down.


I’ll be seeing you, January 2nd. Let me know if there’s anything you need before you get here.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

2 thoughts on “Dear 2014”

  1. Sounds like you have some good goals for 2014, Cath. Like you, I am attempting to de-junkify, with some decent results. Still have to tackle the master bedroom closet, though! *shudders*

    Correcting hypothyroidism makes a big difference when it comes to effective weight loss. I’m glad you seem to have that sorted out!

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