Times Change

comments 10

It was the jiggle that caught my attention. Not the perfectly executed front snap kick, nor the full force back fist, no, no, it was the punch-jiggle, kick-jiggle, and after a resounding KIAI, the mortifying chin-jiggle that grabbed my attention like a leak in a rain boot does. Ugh. It was a long hour.

It has been a long Spring too. Perfect for gardening. Ideal for cherry pie picnics on green lawns. A Spring that keeps giving us one more rainy day to curl up with a good book. Spending time in karate class punching air and doing FORWARD ROLLS! seems misguided, possibly detrimental.

My sister and I were talking about our father’s mother, our grandmother, Isabelle. My sister pointed out that Isabelle never once in her life had the thought: I should go to the gym. She would have been more likely to chide herself for baking one pie instead of two or carrying groceries to the car when she could get the bag-boy to do it.

My grandmother was more practical than I am and as soft as a pillow. She took care of her jiggle by wearing a girdle (at least on Sundays) and used her flabby arms for hugging her twenty grandchildren. She always seemed happy with herself.

But in 2016 a woman in her sixties must address her jiggle with displeasure and a membership to the gym, or the yoga studio, or Pilates, or swimming laps, or hill hiking, rock climbing, bicycling, or…go to the dojo and make a total fool of herself.

Couldn’t I just garden? Like a lady. Like a lady gardener in white gloves and a ribboned hat; the same as Isabelle wore when she pruned her prize winning roses. No. Instead, I’m wearing a less than flattering gi (karate uniform) with a white belt tied around the circumference of my nonexistent waist doing FORWARD ROLL-JIGGLES! Think about it; when was the last time you did a summersault?

My grandmother would be appalled. My aphid covered roses look like hell. I’ll throw-up if I do more than three forward rolls in a row. My jiggle is here to stay. Oddly: I’m happy with myself. Literally head over heels giggly with the pleasure of surprising myself each time I show up to Friday noon class. So much so I’ve added Pilates, bicycling, and hiking into my week. I’m going for giddy!

And you dear reader? How are you getting your giddy? Dancing? Fencing? Eating cherry pie at the finish of a 10k run? Now that sitting is the new smoking–sixties’ are the new no-sitting-zone. You could just stand there in your white gloves and ribboned hat pruning roses, or…join me at the dojo to punch some air. (jiggle optional)


The Author

Living it! Loving it! Blogging it ...


  1. Colleen says

    You’re an inspiration! I’m in the 60s sitting and enjoying my time mode, I must confess. I get a couple miles walk with the dog every day and occasional yoga. I may not be giddy, but I’m still pretty content.


  2. Fran says

    I’ll e-mail you. Meanwhile, I was interested to see that the yin-yan symbol in the middle of the dojo’s mon (is that what it is?) is made up of squares, just like the quilt you made! A 14-year old mystery solved.


  3. Elinor says

    I love this! How about when the jiggle becomes a flop-flop in your 70s? Not your 70s, my 70s! What then?


  4. Beyhan says


    I admire you. You have always been the source of inspiration! I love the sentence you wrote “I am happy with myself”. I would like to join you at dojo to punch some air! 😀


  5. This is such a fun piece and an attitude way preferable to middle-aged self flagellation. What is that term that refers to when a word sounds like what it is, like SPLAT? Well, jiggle is one of those Wiggle,jiggle, giggle.
    I must tell you this story. Long ago,after my sister’s gala wedding, I OD’d on opulence, too much sweet cake and sparkly champagne. I yearned to be cold and hungry to counter it all and suffer a little so I could feel like an artist again (do they have to go together?) and so, I went to Chicago for a weekend, stayed in the depressing YWCA and walked around in the bitter cold. At one point I was in a cab. The driver was a 30-ish black man. Preoccupied, he started rambling aloud about what was troubling his mind. He was married to a beautiful, lithe woman admired by all his friends but not by him. He liked a lot of meat on a woman and she didn’t have it. He reported walking down the st. with his buddy, seeing a spectacular female and saying “Now look at that! She is what I want!” The buddy replied, ” I don’t even want to look because I already know she’s gonna wobble when she walks.”

    So, which side of the jiggle you’re on makes a big difference.


    • I’ve enjoyed reading your pieces in the Berkeley Voice. This is a fun story perfectly told and generous in what it give us to think about. Thanks for putting your peepers on my blog. I am claiming some wobble to go with my jiggle.


  6. My thoughts about Figurative Drawing are in the Berkeley TIMES….the editor wd. be sensitive about that.
    One of the ways you can tell something is alive is that it has movement…our action verbs jiggle/wobble qualify as motion.
    Ain’t it great to be alive?!


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