W.W.J.D? . . . That's "What would Jillian do?", of course.

Which is an appropriate question
to begin a Thanksgiving post.

I'm not sure what Jillian would advise for Thanksgiving, but I'm fairly certain it would in no way involve pecan pie.

And if it did involve pie, she would definitely not advocate what in our family we call a "Grandma Myrl sliver," because when you requested "just a sliver" from Grandma Myrl, you got a sliver that really had much more in common with TWO pieces.
(bless her heart . . .)

There's been a recent addition to our family motto collection:

Old -- Eat through the pain.

New -- The family that shreds together,
sheds together.

So we have decided that as part of our holiday festivities, Jillian will preside over a Thanksgiving morning exercise session for all Hinckleys

(attendance optional but there will be guilt . . . be warned)
during which she will almost surely remind us to


I was thinking about that phrase on my run the other day, because although I exercise regularly I'm afraid that, most of the time, I bring much more intention to my french fries than to my treadmill.

And when I was running along on a completely unseasonable 50 degree November morning and Michael Jackson started singing

"Let's Dance . . . Let's Shout!
Shake your body down to the ground . . ."

in my ear I noticed that my feet immediately wanted to groove down 140th street and suddenly I felt much more intention.

And I just felt happy to be alive.

Funny how just a little bit of well-placed Michael Jackson can improve even a grueling run that you really didn't want to take in the first place.

My personal favorite M.J. album

I actually felt like dancing, shouting,
and (yes) shaking my body down to the ground.

Because I can. And that's reason enough to celebrate, isn't it?

Which led me to think about Chelsea returning from seeing "This is It" (the Michael Jackson movie), the other night and recounting her experience with shining eyes and almost breathless excitement.
She was transported.

"It just makes me want to be a better person,"
she said in summary.

Which is how I always know
I'm experiencing true ART.

Doesn't matter what it is, if it's done well it just lifts me a little and makes me want to be a better person. Makes me want to bring more intention to my life, my work, my relationships, everything.

And so, because my feet were feeling so happy I decided right then and there on140th street to bring some intention to my Thanksgiving.

I don't mean eat more earnestly . . . I already fully intended to do that. But I mean feel a little more thankful. Feel so thankful that I actually want to shake my body down to the ground.

Because life is good.
Messy and complicated, exhausting and excruciating,
full of highs and lows and credit card debt and garbage
and beauty and french fries and treadmills,

but at its very heart . . . so GOOD.

Even when Jillian Michaels is yelling at you.

That's right . . . I mean YOU.



to your




Chelsea said...

what a glorious post.

i'm thankful for you!

VO said...

Mindfulness. It's wonderful when you see the perfect sunset, laugh in perfect harmony with another, hear the perfect song (and yes, Michael often can get me in the shakin' groove in a second).

The trick is to practice it the minute the brain treadmill starts up...it's the best way in the world to get off the treadmill.

Now, if I can stay off the brain treadmill...

stfrank said...

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and underappreciated today but your thoughts and words brought gratitude to my heart...and MJ to my ears...thank you!

susan m hinckley said...

I'm thankful for blog friends, among many other things. We've moved so much that there have been many days in my life when I have woken up and thought, "I have friends . . . they just live in other states."

But thanks to the handy dandy internet, old friends, new friends and scattered kiddies are right here in my room whenever I need them.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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