Bring it on, 2014!

Please don’t try to destroy me like 2013 did.

I’m sorry the blog has been so quiet the past few weeks. After Tabby’s passing, and then the rush of the holidays, I just didn’t have the emotional energy to figure out something to say for, well, the general public. There was about a week of non-stop crying, followed by a little less crying, and then a really good week (emotionally), now followed by good days interspersed with days where something feels off, and then it hits me that Tabby really is gone.

I really hate the grieving process, but I’m relieved that, to some extent, I got to enjoy Christmas. 

My husband also gets Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day off (this is one of the reasons why I love the company he works for. Everyone gets that time off, because they CLOSE completely for it.) and I just needed a break to start putting myself back together after everything that had happened.

Once we actually got through Christmas Day (Christmas brunch with my family, sans the… troublesome one, then time spent in the afternoon with father-in-law’s side of the family), there was time for quiet. I spent a lot of time reading, a lot of time watching anime (finally got hubby to give Sword Art Online a shot cackles), and lots of time playing word games, haha.

There’s also been the adventure of caring for a wounded chicken, but I’ll go more into that in a Down on the (Sub)Urban Farm post in the next couple weeks. Suffice it to say, my bathroom is not my own, currently >_<.

2013 had some good things happen, but the things that drained me emotionally far outweighed the things that built me up, and I’ve entered 2014 feeling a little dazed and lost.

It took me a month to figure out what I wanted to tackle for January, let alone the rest of the year.

For the first time since I was a teenager, I have started a new year without having any concrete goals of what I want to accomplish.

And it’s okay.

Yes, there are things I want to do, things I know I need to get done, but I feel like that this year I need to not write out personal goals, because 2013 showed me just how much life can throw you under the bus.

That said, 2013 was not the worst year I’ve ever had by far. That would have been the twelve months spanning from June 2003 – June 2004, when my brother was in the hospital for six months and we really should have sued a doctor.

This year was not as bad as that.

But it came mighty close.

Good things did happen in 2013, though.

  • My fifth wedding anniversary (which our sixth – holy cow! – anniversary is on Sunday!)
  • I actually completed several rounds of revisions of a novel (Catalyst), and placed in two contests with it. Third place for the Curiosity Quills NaNo Virtuosos, and *gasp* FIRST PLACE in the Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror unpublished novel category in the OWFI annual contest.
  • I pitched to actual agents, and survived!
  • My autistic brother-in-law graduated from highschool!
  • I have an agent interested in Catalyst, and she wants me to re-submit after some revisions (and she read the whole thing and gave me feedback, so I know which direction to go with fixing it, it’s just a matter of actually doing it).
  • I finally got the courage to claim back some of my life for myself, and permanently removed a toxic person from influence over me, at least as much as is possible when that person is still technically a member of the family.
  • Got to see some extended family from halfway across the country.
  • Won NaNoWriMo (fifth time!)
  • Got in my first garden at the house, though I was quickly overwhelmed with other things. I got a bumper crop of peas, and tomatoes, though. And I got my asparagus crowns in, so I will actually have an asparagus harvest this spring!
  • Watched a cardinal grow up, and he’s a bright (literally, haha) spot each day when he comes to steal chicken feed.
  • The Hobbit!
  • And as much as the memories hurt right now, I was given time to actually say goodbye to Tabby. I don’t know that I could have handled something abrupt this past year, and I’m so desperately thankful I was given time to prepare for what was coming.
  • I finally got my piano from mom. It’s an antique, at least 45 years old, probably 50. Old enough that it has ivory keys. It’s the piano my mom learned to play on, and I learned to play on it too, though I don’t play anywhere near as well, or extensively, as mom does. It’s in desperate need of tuning currently, so it’s sitting unused in the living room right now.

Blah, it’s time to wrap up this post. There’s a chicken squawking for me in the bathroom.

2013 ended up being the year where I bent over backwards trying to keep everyone else put-together, and while some people legitimately needed my help, I can’t do it again this year.

2014 is going to be about taking care of me.

I’m going to be 29 in May. It’s time that I started living my life, instead of having to take care of everyone else. That doesn’t mean I can’t be there for people when they actually need help, but I cannot be counselor and doctor all the time. Especially for people who refuse to change their circumstances. People are going to have to learn to stand on their own two feet a little more often.

Because it’s my turn to get to start a family, to get to accomplish my dreams.

This year, I’m going to make sure and take a few more glimpses outside the little bubble of my computer and my family, and see what’s happening in the world around me a little more. To see who else I can make a difference for beyond my immediate family.

I am going to write, but I need more life experiences (beyond frustration and tragedy) to write better, so I’m going to go out of my way for better experiences.

I’m going to get healthy, because hubby and I do want to start a family soon, but I need to not be exhausted all the time.

And I’m going to turn this house into a home, and make it so we can rely more on ourselves than on commercial products.

So overall, I’m aiming for a better quality of life, vs. just doing things.

Wish me luck (and courage)!

Oh, and btw, it’s #WriteMotivation time again!

They’ve got a shiny new website up, and I’m just sorry I couldn’t get a post up before sign-ups closed to help spread the word, but oh well! Next time!

I finally got my goals in just in time before the sign-ups closed last night, so here’s what I’m attempting for the month of January (writing-wise).

  1. Clean off desk and get it usable. Once done, start working on organizing filing cabinet.
  2. Get at least one-third of the way through Catalyst (Undoing bk 1) revisions.
  3. Outline first five chapters of Catalyst sequel, more if possible, and get character charts in order.
  4. Finish world map for Undoing and figure out the calendar.

You can see all the #WriteMotivation participants and their goals on the Roll Call. I’ll make my around to all of you in the next couple days!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Recent Comments

    • Rebekah Loper
      January 5, 2014 - 9:45 am · Reply

      Thanks, and I’m determined to make this year better :).

      The Hobbit was good. Not necessarily phenomenal, but I liked Tauriel better than I thought I would, so I count that a definite plus.

  • Candace Gauger
    January 2, 2014 - 1:19 pm · Reply

    I can understand to an extent that 2013 was not the best of years and why your blog has been so quiet.

    Here’s to a better year and good fortune in health, money, and family.

  • helenrj
    January 3, 2014 - 7:38 pm · Reply

    It sounds as if the Year 2013 was rough….may 2014 be brighter! I watched a nest of cardinals hatch and grow, and as the parents encouraged the little birdies to fly, it was wondrous.:)

    • Rebekah Loper
      January 5, 2014 - 9:48 am · Reply

      This nest of cardinals was in a field across the street, I think, but as soon as this little guy could fly and take care of himself he decided that our yard was the place to be! He was still mostly-brown and not quite fully grown when he started hanging out here, so I’ve been watching him slowly turn into vivid red. He’s gorgeous, but still has a few brown patches so far, hehe. In the autumn, I would have the kitchen window open, and he would sit in the lamb’s quarter (which grew a little out of control this year) and sing for me.

  • Cylithria Dubois
    January 5, 2014 - 7:18 am · Reply

    I love seeing you setting goals and working through your grief. I am sorry there is grief to be worked through, but you have a great attitude and I know you’ll reach your goals. 😀

  • Rose Marie B
    January 5, 2014 - 11:17 am · Reply

    I don’t think it was an accident or coincidence that the baby cardinal chose your yard. You needed each other and the universe knew that. Don’t you just love when they sing to you? A reminder how cute you are…”Pur-dee pur-dee pur-dee!”

    Here’s to you and 2014! 🙂

  • Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    January 6, 2014 - 11:20 am · Reply

    I think I’m right there with you on “the things that drained me emotionally far outweighed the things that built me up.” This past year has really been one of the worst for me. I’m hoping 2014 will be oh so much better for us all!

    I’m sorry for your loss of Tabby. It’s very hard to go through. I’ve done it twice before and will have 3 more sometime in the future. But the love and life we share with them is so worth it in the end. I don’t think I will ever come home to an empty house.

    Good luck on everything! *hugs*

    • Rebekah Loper
      January 7, 2014 - 11:40 am · Reply


      The only time there hasn’t been any pets around at all in my life was for the first few months right after Brandon & I got married, and I went NUTS. The house was just too empty if he wasn’t home, and so we got a cat again as soon as we could, lol.

  • K.T. Hanna
    January 7, 2014 - 12:12 am · Reply

    I’m so glad we’re moving into 2014. You deserve a better year. You know we all love you and understand that sometimes shit happens.

    Much love for you hon and hopefully this year at some stage, I’ll get to throw real cookies at you 😉

  • Cheyenne
    January 7, 2014 - 9:19 am · Reply

    Here’s to a brighter, more joyful New Year! Congrats on getting your piano. My husband received his as a present and it’s sat in his mum’s house in Scotland for about 15 years. One day we’ll get it to our place but by then, we’ll probably living up there 😉 Hope you can get it tuned soon!

    • Rebekah Loper
      January 7, 2014 - 11:48 am · Reply

      Thanks, I hope I can get it tuned soon, as well! I’d really like to start just playing around on it again, even if I don’t do any serious practice. It’s always helped me think.

  • Sabine
    January 7, 2014 - 11:51 am · Reply

    Sorry for your loss and here’s to a brighter 2014. (Although it does sound like you accomplished a lot in 2013 as well!) I bought a similar piano a few years ago. It was out of tune and had an acorn stuck in between some of the strings. I don’t play well either but I sure do enjoy it.

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.