May 11, 2013


I learned a new word this morning: Enervated.
Image found on a very cool Visual Dictionary site from Manhattan Prep GRE Blog.  I relate to this hippo.
I was a voracious reader as a kid.  Remember those summer book lists they put out for each grade level, and you were supposed to pick one or two books - depending on your level and just how far the school board had that stick up their collective butt that year - which you would read over the summer and report on at the beginning of the next year?  And inevitably, it would be two days before Labor Day and your mother would be hanging over you threatening not to let you enjoy those last few days of freedom if you didn't read that book already even though you both knew she was bluffing because unlike the school board your mother's butt was stick-free?  I loved those lists.  There were summers where I read the obligatory books from my list, but they had posted the lists publically so I went through the ones for other grades which were always 10 times cooler than my list and read a bunch of those.  One year, I think I knocked out the entire list for two grades.  And yes, I did other things, but no, I wasn't much of an outdoor person and I think in retrospect we can be glad I didn't spend more time in the sun at that age!

Anyway, as a result of reading so much I've always had a pretty respectable vocabulary.  Of all the "nerd" things I did, I never really minded being mocked for using "SAT words" because I liked being able to say precisely what I meant.  But when you're a smarterish kid and go to a smarterish kid college (Villanova) and work with smarterish people in a professional setting, it takes more than compulsory school reading lists to maintain this reputation.  It also doesn't really help that my best friend from school is an English major and my best friend now is a Journalism major with an unimaginable flair for all things peculiar and unusual.  And I'd NEVER want to let you, my dear readers, get bored with my basic and unenlightened language when I write!  I still love to read, but don't have the time to take down the volume of literature I did in the good ol' days, so now when I need a word to make my point or to do so in an engaging way, I leverage the wonder of the internet and hit!

So how did we end up with "enervated" today?  Well, all week the husband and I have been trying to take down some household projects which involved a significant amount of time running errands and traipsing through stores to find just the right thing at just the right price as well as drilling, assembling, moving, and arranging several rooms worth of goodies.  I've hung curtains in two rooms and a ladder on the side of the garage, made a truly manic pass or two around the yard with an imposing set of hedging shears, and assembled furniture.  In the process, I learned a few things:

  • Sauder brand furniture is gorgeous and of a delightful quality, but heavy (each of our two dressers weighs as much as I do or more) and when they say "assembly required", they ain't kidding!  
  • Left in the wrong hands (mine), even a moderate pair of shears can be leveraged to take down several bushes not to mention weeds, overgrown flower beds, and some God-awful plant by the AC compressor.  Also, with shears in hand I feel like a lady Paul Bunyan, felling microforests of weeds with one pass of my blades...but I digress before this gets creepier.
  • My favorite weather is that which keeps me in a very mild sweat, and this makes me feel invigorated and up to taking on physical challenges, but also obviously makes it crucial to hydrate myself carefully.  Because of my combination of Sjogren's Syndrome and Dysautonomia, managing hydration levels involves a balance of taking in the right quality and quantity of liquids as well as the right volume of salt at the right times (I use a high sodium diet to avoid Beta-blockers).
And so, after yesterday (the apex of my physical activity for the week as performed on the hottest day) and without having consumed a drop of alcohol, I awoke this morning feeling remarkably hungover.  It took me a few minutes to piece together that it was really straight dehydration.  Guess I didn't quite hit the magic combination and timing of fluids and + salt yesterday after all.  I also went to bed last night with significant arm and shoulder pain from overuse, so at least it wasn't a surprise when that was my worst symptom again today.  

I wanted to come on here, share with you this tale of exertion and dehydration, and describe how my arms feel...but I needed just the right word to describe it:)  Unable to come up with this adjective myself, provided this gem:

Enervated: adjective; without vigor, force, or strength; languid.  
Example of use- "He had come in dehydrated, with sunken eyes, too enervated to even cry." 
(How ironic!)
Child, after my own heart, cited as but sourced from this vocab study guide.
I think that says it all.  Most of my body, and particularly my arms, are enervated.  I'd love to soak in a tub but it needs to be cleaned first and I don't have the strength to do it right now.  On top of it, my mother-in-law may come by to help teach me to garden (perhaps with a little less destructive yet cathartic abandon) and my Journalist friend offered to hop over and go on a trail walk with me.  I know that when my body feels like this I should really give it a FULL day truly recuperating, but I can feel my energized spirit fighting my enervated body on this one!  Perhaps I can try to limit myself of bouts of activity interspersed with couch-floppage?  I'm sure my friend will be just as happy to veg with me, the puppy, and a glass of iced green+white tea with mint, right?  Cause that sounds mighty good to me...
All-too-realistic comic strip by Chris Spain, found on his blog from 8/20/2012.

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