Vocabulary Words d’Jour

I am a slacker. I feel I should be more productive. Doing more. Serving others more. Alas, I have been rather dilatory lately. (Lately??? Try the last 5 years . . . ) Since today is a holiday and I didn’t have to go to work, I’ve been spending some time trying to get things organized so that I can get on that ‘doing more’ cycle, and have the I’m-a-hamster-running-on-a-wheel feeling. Doesn’t that sound exciting? (My husband thinks I should have my head examined . . . )

Dilatory (dil-uh–tohr-ee) is an adjective that means tending to delay or procrastinate. Being slow or tardy. I have definitely delayed getting on top of things. I have procrastinated getting organized. I have definitely been slow and slothful. I’m trying to NOT be dilatory any more.

Children can be dilatory when it comes to cleaning their rooms. Business people under pressure can be dilatory (slow or tardy) at following through with some of their obligations if they feel they are overwhelmed and don’t have time. (If you’re one of those folks, you might want to read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I overcame my dilatoriness and have started reading that book. Most interesting!)

This morning we got about 10 inches of snow in about 4 hours. After shoveling our double driveway and sidewalk, I went to my 80 year-old widowed mother’s home to shovel her snow. Because of the storm, I felt it was exigent that I help her with her snow removal. (She lives in a senior citizen community where that is supposed to be taken care of but somehow it doesn’t get taken care of very often.)

Exigent (ek-si-juhnt )is an adjective that means requiring immediate action or aid. Something is urgent or pressing. I felt that this situation called for immediate action. If I didn’t do it, she would try to do it herself. Lots of snow + little old lady = possible broken hip.

It was an amazing situation. It was almost snowing faster than I could shovel. I would get one section cleared and start on another one and the first section would have 4 inches of snow again!! My husband has wanted a 4-wheeler with a snow blade and I have been resistant. Today, I sing a different song . . .

Exigent. If you don’t have any clean clothes to wear to work, you might feel that it was exigent to do laundry. A business owner might feel exigent to get newly hired employees trained. If a neighborhood child is lost, everyone might feel exigent in searching for the child. When something is urgent, pressing, or in need of immediate aid or action, the situation is exigent.

It is exigent that I now share another word! Prescience ( pree-shuhns) is a noun that means knowledge of actions or events before they occur. It means having foresight. Mothers sometimes have prescience about what their children will do. When our oldest was in kindergarten and it snowed while he was in school, I had prescience that he would not be home at the normal time because he would play in the snow on his way home. (The first time it happened, I panicked. Prescience came later.)

Moms can also have prescience to take sunscreen with them when their families go Bear Lake or to Moab. (Kids – even if they are over 22 years old — sometimes think that they won’t get sunburned. Moms know better . . . ) Moms also have prescience to take lots of water, Band-Aids, and munchies!

I think I should have had prescience that with all of the shoveling I did today, tomorrow I will be stiff and sore. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow I won’t feel too exigent to move about in a lively manner.


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