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!”

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

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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?

10 “Freebies” at the Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel’s “Independence Day Celebration” has got to be my all-time favorite way to spend the weekend of July 4 — a most generous and amazing gift from Craig’s parents! The four of us, along with Christopher’s best friend Jacob, arrived at the hotel on Friday afternoon. Sarah and I decided to go for a swim, while Craig took the boys biking along the miles of bikepaths that surround the island. (More about that in this Sunday’s article on AnnArbor.com.)

It was kind of fun, dabbling our toes in the pool of prosperity, embracing it will all our senses from dawn to dusk, and then till dawn again. Our room, overlooking the pool as well as Lake Huron, was appointed with boldly flowered paper and white furniture. The Salle a Manger tantalized the most discriminating palate, with offerings from broiled quail to creme brulee. The world’s hardest-working musicians kept everyone humming through the day — patriotic favorites during the picnics, harpist at teatime, and a range of big band and pop in the evenings.

With all this opulence, I was happy to find that it was possible to get a few “freebies” (well, free after the room was paid for…). I thought I’d mention a few of our favorites, in case you’re thinking of making reservations for the NEXT celebration!

Our Top 10 “Freebies” at the Grand Hotel

1. Gummy worms on the children’s buffet (Chris filled up half his plate before I realized what he was doing). I filled up on fresh strawberries and crème brulee.
2. Free bikes for kids (next to the tennis court).
3. Free, fully staffed children’s programs in afternoon and evening, so adults can enjoy some “alone” time. (Be sure to leave your cell number, in case an escape artist breaks loose.)
4. Free crayons in the Marketplace (we bought a coloring book to go with them).
5. Free champagne at the Welcome Reception … Shirley Temples for the kids.
6. Free, live band music every evening.
7. Free golf for kids (adults pay half-price fare).
8. Free Children’s Carnival – inflatable rides, carnival games, treats and VERY generous prize policy.
9. Free chocolate mints as you leave the dining room, and again on your pillow at night.
10. Vigil Mass at St. Anne’s (in October they will have a $5 Summer Rafflel, and you can win a free weekend on Mackinac Island for your family!).

Not on our list — but certainly worth mention — is the top-notch staff at the hotel. Consierge Katie and the security staff at the hotel moved heaven and earth to find our boys (see the AA.com article for details), and everyone from the waitstaff to the housekeeping staff did a great job of making sure it was a weekend we would never forget!