Dear 2014, Let’s Do This!

Dear 2014,

I realize we just met, but I’m someone who goes into every new relationship with an open heart and high expectations, so I thought I better let you know my intentions, in six parts…

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Part One: Love

Don’t let twenty years make me think I’m on a marriage high horse. Appreciate more. Work harder. Cook once a week. (Okay, so at least think about cooking once a week.)

Checklist item: Write to the editors of The Complete Illustrated Kama Sutra and suggest a disclaimer advising middle-aged women of a certain size that some positions may result in severe muscle cramps and/or hospitalization. Suggest a new book: The Complete Kama Sutra for Sexy and Adventurous Buddha-Bellied Women.

Making sand angels in the Arabian Desert.

Making sand angels in the Arabian Desert.

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Part Two: Finance

Begin rebuilding savings after blowing everything on one single anniversary trip. Though worth the once-in-a-lifetime dough, peeing myself while watching our bank account drain to zero was not fun. Take cheap camping trips for the next year.

Checklist:ย Purchase multiple budgeting software, camping supplies and organizational supplies and pretend these are “necessary” expenditures in order to “save” money.ย  Pretend it has nothing to do with being an impulsive, obnoxious gift-giver.

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Part Three: Time

Since we have less than 365 days remaining together, I will do my best to use the days productively, and balance family, work, friends and “me-time” more effectively. I understand this might mean a few less episodes of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, or True Blood (though I don’t think I can compromise Downton Abbey).

Checklist item: Tape photo of very creepy Vietnamese spider to television screen to begin aversion therapy.

osage orange hedge apple monkey ball woolly mammoth poop

Unidentified spider from a squat toilet in Viet Nam

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Part Four: Family and Friends

It isn’t just about quantity of time spent, but quality. I haven’t been the best sister/aunt/cousin/niece/friend in 2013. I’ve been distracted by this strange and surreal new life. More than that, I’ve been handling my relationships from a position of anxiety. Each time I talk to someone from home, it twists my gut into a little ball of sadness. I then either cry my eyes out, or stifle crying until my head is a stuffed, swollen sinus infection that the toughest nasal rinse can barely penetrate.

The result is that I avoid talking as often as possible. This is not to be confused with the fact that I hate talking on the phone. I hate it more than pretty much anything. But letters and emails need to occur more frequently from me, and calling once every couple of weeks wouldn’t kill me.

Checklist item: Purchase more kleenex and prepare daily nasal spray.

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Part Five: Work

Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write.

Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit.

Checklist item:ย  Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit. Submit.

writing psychosis non-fiction fiction memoir

Manuscript revision at a guest house near Pretoria.

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Part Six: Health and Fitness

Stay the course, because I have an awesome routine, and my successes are little but permanent. Anything worth doing takes patience and work.

“I am a turtle. I am a turtle. I am a turtle.” = I win against Other Me who is a naughty, haughty dumb-bunny.

Checklist item: Keep fridge stocked with mineral water and veggies, and an emergency kit of Ferrero Rochers and cappuccino packets to handle Part Four effectively.

Fitness female personal trainer weight lifting

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Let’s do this, 2014.

Love, Marla

8 Comments on “Dear 2014, Let’s Do This!

  1. These are great Marla! I absolutely vicariously lived though your picture lying in the Arabian sand…I can only imagine how awesome that was in real life. Cheers to the new year and all it will offer us ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Colin. Yeah it’s so hard and people are really hurt thinking it’s personal, but it’s something you just have. But I do have to make more effort with it because while I’m more fond of writing and receiving letters, I have to keep reminding myself to give in a little more for their sake.

      You’ll probably get lots of calls in FL this time next year if that awful weather repeats itself.

      Stay safe and warm there, Coach!

  2. I love these, Marla! Especially your goals for writing/submitting this year! But I would seriously consider taking The Walking Dead off of your sacrificial list โ€” let’s be realistic! Cheers to you in the new year ๐Ÿ˜‰

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