Thursday, January 2, 2014

Word of 2014

I am not one for setting goals or New Year's resolutions - as I never actually follow them :) Bad, I know. At least I am realistic.

Last year I came across the 'word of the year' concept - first from Miss Sally's Focus on Life, then from a numerous other people in my online community.

So come last week of 2013 and I started to look for my word of 2014. I knew what meaning I am looking for: the opposite of 'procrastination'. I went from 'do' to 'go' to 'achieve' to many others... I ended up on and its twin,, trying to find a word that will portrait what I want for 2014.

And suddenly I found it:

at·tain [uh-teyn]
verb (used with object) 
1.     to reach, achieve, or accomplish; gain; obtain: to attain one's goals.
2.     to come to or arrive at, especially after some labor or tedium; reach: to attain the age of 96; to attain the mountain peak.

verb (used without object)
3.     to arrive at or succeed in reaching or obtaining something (usually followed by to or unto ): to attain to knowledge.
4.     to reach in the course of development or growth: These trees attain to remarkable height.

1300–50; Middle English atei ( g ) nen < Anglo-French, Old French ateign- (stem of ateindre ) < Vulgar Latin*attangere (for Latin attingere ), equivalent to Latin at- at- + tangere to touch

This is my word, I can feel it: not a simple opposite of a very negative word, but something more. It is a year where I am expected and I will need to reach, to achieve, to accomplish. The list is long and it will start shortly this coming Monday with my returning in the academic world, then continue towards the end of January with a very special trip... and more.

I love one more thing about it, something I didn't realized before: its origin is the Latin 'attingere' which in Romanian is 'atingere' and means 'touch'. That's what I want and need from my word: to be tangible in many ways :)

Not sure how I could capture 'attain' in a picture... but here I am:

Word of the year for 2014: attain; squirrel attaining its goal of getting my bird seeds! ~ All Pretty Things

I just hope I don't have to go upside-down to achieve my goals... but the determination of this squirrel is inspiring. They are very flexible - I can't tell you how many times it fell on its back from there... and came back for more seeds.

Word of the year for 2014: attain; squirrel attaining its goal of getting my bird seeds! ~ All Pretty Things

See how focused this one is? She's watching me carefully, but keeps chewing on the yummy seeds. Determination to achieve one's goals - that's what I need.

Word of the year for 2014: attain; my growing wheat  ~ All Pretty Things

You might ask what does the wheat has to do with my choice of word of the year?! Well... we have a tradition: on St. Andrew's day (November 30th) you plant wheat seeds and you check them at Christmas time to see how they grew... that's how you year will be.

It has been hard to find seeds that will germinate (this is another conversation for another time) and even when I get them, it's next to impossible to convince them to stay green between November 30th and December 25th. My first try grew nicely - but I wasn't happy so I planted these seeds on Christmas Eve - and this is what I got on New Year's! This is how wheat should grow, my friends - and even if it took a 2nd try, I did attain my goal :)

Do you make New Year's resolutions?! Do you choose a word or an action for the New Year?

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014!


  1. Ah, yes, like the squirrel and the wheat, your reaching for your goal must not be stopped by ordinary obstacles (like unhelpful conditions or difficult pathways) :) The French word ATTEINDRE has several meanings, one of which means "to have an impact upon"... so imagine your work and efforts reaching out to affect other artists. Win-win!

    My "word" kind of chose itself. When I made my business cards for the Art Charm Swap, I wrote "Joyfully Creating in Beautiful New Brunswick, Canada", so now I must stop using my art as a crutch and take more joy in it!

  2. you have a lot on your plate for 2014, but I bet this word will guide you and you will achieve all and more! you are one busy and determined lady my friend :)

  3. It sounds like 2014 will be a great year for you. You chose an appropriate word for 2014.Beautiful photos Alicia. I don't make resolutions but I am looking for this years word.

  4. Your word is so positive Alicia~and your year will be too...because you will keep reaching forward in your new adventure. You Little Squirrel, You :-D

  5. Happy new year !
    Tuturor celor ce scriu/raspund / pasrticipa la acest blog le urez un an cat mai bun, cu multa sanatate si multe realizari !

    1. My mom is wishing everyone who read this article a New Year filled with health, accomplishments, and only good things!
      Thank you, mom, we'll try :)

  6. Adore the photos of the squirrels!! You may need to think upside-down to achieve your goals... look sometimes from different angles...
    It really is a great word for the year :) xx


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