I hope everyone is pleased to welcome a bright, shiny 2014. As for me, I’m finding myself in a bit of a daze.

The funny thing about a new year is that it comes whether you’re ready for it or not.

Christmas was wonderful — perfect even. We attended so many celebrations with family and friends. It was a pure delight.

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve planned with some of our closest friends, but between our last Christmas event and New Year’s Eve, I contracted the illness that must not be named.

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about and you’re thinking "Too Much Information!"

Others of you may have been lucky enough to avoid this plague that is making the rounds and you’re thinking, "not enough information!?"

At any rate, this was not one of those tangles with that-which-must-not-be-named that nearly kills you and then in a very short time you’re completely restored.

No, this sly, slinking, insidious predator drained my will to live slowly. Every time I thought I had recovered, the beast would pounce and sink its teeth in again.

Needless to say, my New Year’s Eve party was epic.

Good thing the only people in attendance were a couple of our very best friends. I was too miserable to go to the store, terrified to touch food that other people might eat.

Fortunately, other people were healthy enough to go pick up their own dinner from some of Conway’s fine establishments. Everyone fell asleep around 11 p.m. Epic.

So, here I am. A new year staring me in the face. Ready or not. I guess things can only improve from here.

I’m feeling much better already.

(Rachel Parker Dickerson is a freelance columnist/journalist. Send your questions and comments to rachelpdickerson@gmail.com)