Twenty-fourteen was certainly a rough one, and I’m looking forward to all the good stuff sure to come in 2015. After all, life is like a teeter-totter, right? It swings up, it swings down, and there’s always a bit of respite in the middle.

Except that isn’t always what happens. Sometimes it’s down, down, down, and nary a moment to catch one’s breath.

In 2013, when Aunt Jo died, then 12 days later Mom died, then my good friend Bobby passed in April, and his father Glenn in June, I felt I was about as shell-shocked as a person could be. Then Glenn’s wife (and my good friend) Judy moved away, and my year-long anticipated European cruise had to be canceled when my travelling companion Rick went into the hospital for nearly a month. So I was happy to see 2013 go.

And now I’m gladly washing my hands of 2014 as well. Rick has spent the better part of four MONTHS out of the last six in the hospital this year, and I suddenly found myself playing the role of very reluctant caregiver. I took no trips all year, as my “disposable” income, as well as my savings, was eaten up by a plethora of poor investments such as book publishing and second-hand van purchasing.

The holiday bazaars were all major disappointments, as my books did not sell well. Now I’m left wondering where in the world I’m going to find the money to print my mystery series. Or if I even should.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to a New Year. A clean slate. A fresh start. An open field of possibilities and unlimited potential.

How I wish that I could just close the door tight on the past two years and not drag any of the baggage through to 2015, but that’s not likely to happen. There is still fallout to clean up. Rick is currently in a Physical Rehab facility, working to get his leg strength back, and I still have unsold books stacked to the ceiling in several rooms.

So the best I can hope for as 2015 rolls in is for one of those places of balance on the teeter-totter—the moment of respite on the fulcrum when one is neither soaring high or plunging toward the earth. I just need a little time to catch my breath.

About 12 months ought to do it.