31 Days of De-Stressed Living, Day 14: Jiggle a Little

If you’ve been following along, you’ll notice that we skipped “I.”*

In retrospect, it was probably naïve of me to type “jiggle” into my web browser and expect to find some ideas about mature body image. Instead of what I did get: a lot of smut. How embarrassing.

Turns out “jiggling” is a dirty word, not just in the self-conscious post-forty sense. Of course, I don’t mind so much when my daughter enthusiastically tackles me for a hug, declaring, “You’re not fat, Mommy … you jiggle! You’re squishy!”


Or when I catch a glimpse of my husband jiggling with her at the July 4th celebration at the Grand Hotel.


We all need a little more jiggling in our lives, tossing back our heads and heels and dancing “like no one’s watching.” And if someone is watching, instead of dancing, well . . . they deserve what they get.

If dancing isn’t your thing, pick something else that will get the blood flowing. Climb a hill. Swim a lap. Go rollerblading. Take a zumba class. Do something that will tire you out, and burn a few calories.

Of course you may not feel like it, if you’re feeling stressed out. Sitting in front of the television sipping grown-up drinks is much easier. But you won’t feel as good the next day, promise.

So what are you going to do today? Go out and jiggle. Extra points if you do it with your family, and make a memory. Be sure to take pictures. You’ll be glad you did.

How do you like to jiggle?

*Note: It’s not that I couldn’t think of a word: imagination, inspiration, individuality. On the other hand, so much stress stems from either a hyper-awareness of self (“What will people say if I don’t ___?”) or inattentiveness (another “i”) to legitimate needs, it required this whole series to address. So let’s just move along to “J,” shall we?

Weekend Ponderings: Somewhere in Time

Saturday night, Craig and I hired a sitter and went down to the Terrace Room where the Grand Hotel Orchestra was playing Big Band and soft pop tunes.

It had been some time since Craig and I had spun around the dance floor like that. Years, maybe. Our swing was a bit creaky, the waltz a bit wobbly … I hadn’t thought to bring my leather soles, and my slide-in sandals were about three inches taller than I usually wear.

Even so, it was wonderful. Sipping wine, listening to the sultry vocals, and watching couples hold tight to each other — it was a wonderful night of romance. In my mind’s eye, years and pounds rolled off us as we swayed to the music.

Upstairs, reality awaited. Each of us had a child in our bed, unwilling to sleep until we had returned. And to be honest, neither of us could keep our eyes open much past ten. But ah, for that hour … it was magic.

The thing I loved most about Mackinac, that isle of enchanted memories captured so well in the classic Somewhere in Time, was its ability to slow time almost to a standstill. And then, just when I least expected it … to rewind.

I’ve been back a few days now, and that lesson has stayed with me. Surely it doesn’t take the hundreds and hundreds of dollars it costs to stay at the Grand to achieve this kind of contentment. Just a little time, a little peace — and a whole lot less technology.

I think I’m going to turn off my computer now, and see if hubby’s up for a bit of slow dancing in the kitchen!