Vocabulary Differences

I use words differently than most people around me. Not in a way that hinders understanding, but my word choice sometimes surprises people.

Today at work, my manager remarked on my use of “unwieldy.” I actually realize now I said it wrong, because I said “unwieldly,” with an extra l. He said a lot of other people would have used “awkward” or another more common word.

Previously, another coworker was surprised by a word I used, though I cannot recall which word it was.

That got me thinking, why do I use a different vocabulary to most of the people I interact with?

For the most part, it’s fairly similar, with a few uncommon word choices. Sometimes I’ll use a word with creative liberty, like finagle. I don’t use that exactly as the definition, “obtain by devious or dishonest means” (according to Google). I have remarked to a friend that I was trying to finagle my hair tie (ponytail holder) out of my hair. It adds a layer of meaning that implies it is difficult and I cannot do it as I would normally.

Over time, I have encountered and learned a wide variety of words. I have admired odd or meaning-heavy word choices. I find it exciting and creative. That has likely contributed to my adoption of unusual and uncommon words into my vocabulary.

I tend to go through cycles of infatuation with specific words, interestingly enough. For a week or even a few days, I might really enjoy using unwieldy or finagle or some other word. (Sorry I cannot think of more specific examples other than those two at the moment.) Then I might find or remember another word I really like and start using it again.

When I think of a word choice that fits and feels correct, I use it, even if it may seem wrong or strange to other people. Most of the time, I have not had confusion with this approach, though it has been seen as amusing. I’ve also had cases where I learned I was using a word completely incorrectly and it did not work in my chosen context even with creative liberty. That happens. I learned and adjusted my speech and writing according to my newfound knowledge.

I enjoy surprising people with the freshness of unfamiliar or infrequently-used words. I’m not trying to show off or appear smart by using “big words” or words people don’t hear often. I’m trying to use the right word, and often that’s not the usual way of expressing that idea.

I love unusual words. Share your favorite uncommon word with me in the comments!

New Years Resolutions Faltering Already?

I started out the year strong, eager to jump into my goals. I felt a bit worn from constant work and pushing myself a lot these last few months, but I was excited to start the new year. It wasn’t going to be a “new year, new me” type of deal, but more “I’m going to get to work finishing what I started.” I want to do a lot this year.

Already I’ve slipped off. I started forming a habit, writing in my novel every day and reading every day in addition to blogging every day, but I slipped. I have an excuse, my mom’s friend was visiting and took over my room and I didn’t sleep well on the couch. But it’s still an excuse. I could have hoarded my time a bit more and written or read. Could have but didn’t.

I have the rest of today and all of tomorrow to get back on it. If I write and read extra the next few days I’ll catch back up to where I wanted to be. Heck, it’s my day off so I should get ahead. I only have one other thing I have to do tomorrow, so I’ll have time. No excuses!

Oregon Trail Board Game Review

Tonight my family played the Oregon Trail board game, based on the video game, for the first time.

The instructions were fairly self-explanatory as to how play progresses. A few things were unclear at first, even after watching the short tutorial video.

The game has three types of cards, supplies, trail, and calamity. The trail leads you to calamity or supply cards and supply cards are used to resolve calamity cards. You can die from calamity cards or while fording rivers.

Each turn, a player can play a trail card, to progress, or a supply card, to resolve a calamity. This changes when you get down to two players, when each player can play two supply cards on one turn. If you can’t play a trail card and you aren’t stuck because of a calamity, you draw a trail card.

To win, the wagon team has to get through 50 trail cards (10 stacks of 5 cards) to reach Oregon. At least one player has to make it for everyone to win.

Some calamities are unclear when you get down to one player. For example, our first game, my mom drew a card that said she broke her arm and she had to skip two turns. Then I died, and I was the only other player. We had her continue anyway, because it was unclear if it would have any other effects.

We had a lot of fun playing this and will certainly play it again!

Having Meat after Abstaining for Three Weeks

I stopped eating meat on December 4, I think. I have only made two exceptions to my vegetarian diet. I had a small piece of ham during Christmas dinner. At my boyfriend’s family’s New Year’s Eve party, I had two boneless chicken wings, two beef (?) ravioli, and a “sausage flower.” I was really surprised to find that I didn’t really enjoy it.

I used to love meat. When I first stopped, the biggest temptation was bacon. It still tempts me. A lot of menu items with meat are tempting. The chicken salad sandwich on a croissant, the chipotle chicken avocado melt, the steak and arugula, the Cuban… I loved meat.

Which is why I was so surprised. I probably would have thought the ham was fantastic before. It was okay, but I didn’t want more than the small piece I got. I was really tempted by the chicken wings, they smelled and looked so good. So I made an exception, and wasn’t actually impressed. I know that I probably would have thought it was delicious and gotten more if I hadn’t stopped eating meat.

Less than a month of eating vegetarian and my taste preferences changed. I’m really shocked, honestly. I would have expected it to take longer for me to not enjoy meat.

Goals and Stress

I’m showing up. I’m done with today and worn out, but I’m still here.

I stayed late at work three extra hours because they needed help. One person was scheduled to be on line from 4-10 and close, so I stayed til 7.

I was gone all day and still had content to consume for Praxis, this blog to come to, Mystical Warriors to write, and the reading I want to do outside of Praxis.

It’s getting late, and I want to give myself a break. But I also want to meet all the goals I set for myself. I’m not always good at balancing my responsibilities with my leisure time. I’m aware of this. Often it seems I try to do too much of either at once and wear myself thin. Too much of work, work, work and I feel I desperately need a break. Too much fun, fun, fun and I stress myself out because I have so little time left for what I need to do. I’m still working to find a balance.

I try to do everything I need to early in the day and then relax and have leisure time in the evening/night. That’s not always what happens, but I think that works best for me.

Wasting Time

I had a lot I wanted to do today.

It’s my day off and Praxis Wednesday. This is my chance to do what I want all day, focus my time and energy on my projects.

I changed my plans this morning, though.

My boyfriend said he hadn’t slept at all last night and was trying to get off work early. He needed a ride. So I picked him up at work and then stayed at his house for a few hours. By the time I got home, I felt like I’d wasted some time that I could have used to write.

I want to finish my novel this year. To finish the first draft by July I need to write around or more than 500 words a day. I haven’t written any yet.

I want to read more, but I haven’t done any reading.

I have content to go through for Praxis this month. I read one article and watched one short video.

I wasted my time before the Praxis call, too. I was eating dinner, which I spent 30-40 minutes cooking when I got home, and instead of listening to the content, I browsed Facebook.

I still have time left in the day, sure, but I could have done more by now. I could have blown myself away by how productive I was. Instead I still haven’t done anything I planned to.