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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, January 3, 2022

It’s Monday. It’s a new year, still, for at least another week. It’s another week, because weeks do that. And I have no idea what to say or where to start.

My word project has been two days long and already I’m wondering… why. What was my actual plan here?

Did I really think I’d have something to say that anyone but me wanted to hear?

I don’t have a word today. Or, I have so many that I don’t know what to do. I can’t be profound every day. That would be profoundly boring.

I could do a tiny action word. Something fun to squeeze into the day, like every hour I get up to stand for my Apple watch. I could also… squeak.


I could stretch. Do jumping jacks, except I’d have to make it jumpingjacks. Which I could, it’s my game so I can’t cheat if I make the rules.

What I could NOT do is eat the Pez on my desk. It was a bad idea to put Pez on my desk.

Yes, I think I will make jumpingjacks my word. Because it’s kind of dumb, and I need something dumb and silly. I’m going to do ten jumpingjacks every hour, because ten is a nice round number and will be fun and not stressful.

So my word today will be an action, a brain-body connection. Do you even remember the last time you did jumpingjacks? I did jumping rope for a short stint last year, but that didn’t make the downstairs neighbors too happy. I don’t think they will notice my ten jacks, especially if I do them barefoot on the carpet.

I’ll report on my progress periodically.

And just to prove how serious I am, I stopped what I was doing right now and did 10. Thing you learn quickly about jumpingjacks: wear a bra.


Jumpingjacks, round 2. It actually made me chuckle to stop what I was doing and go do them. So at least I’m amusing myself today.

Here’s a question about jumpingjacks: do you clap your hands over your head, or do you just get into an X shape? Things I never bothered to wonder. I’m expanding my mind already.


Jumpingjacks, take 3. Apparently, according to the internet, you can either just raise your arms or clap.

Did you know that the actual jumping jack (as opposed to my one-word version) was named for General John J. Pershing? He led an all-black cavalry during the Spanish-American War, and the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Seems he invented the exercise at West Point. It was a hazing ritual then, and trust me, it’s a bit of a self-hazing ritual now.

See, today’s word really did get exciting! Now I learned two new things.

You’re welcome.


Well, it’s not exactly working out on the hour but I’m committed. Another thing I learned: don’t jump while wearing a zippered sweatshirt.

Otherwise, it’s kind of stress-relieving.


Do you think Ralph noticed that I got up from our client zoom meeting and did my 10 jumpingjacks?


A lot of things jiggle when you jump.


Turns out that even if you want to do jumpingjacks every hour, even just ten of them, sometimes there is not enough time to do them, and then you have to rush and squeeze in that ten measly seconds before it gets too late.


Posture. You’d be surprised how jumping up and down makes you realize how slouchy you really are.


Do you know how many calories you burn doing ten jumpingjacks? One. One calorie. I’d have to do 2,000 of them to burn off one chocolate chip cookie.

In any case, stick a fork in me. It was a fun activity word today but now I’m exhausted. Nothing angsty or profound or complicated and maybe not interesting to anyone else but me. In fact, I’d bet money on the latter.

Still, try it. Pick an active word and do it once and hour. My Apple watch makes me stand and do a lap around the kitchen every hour, and that’s enough to keep me from zoning out like a rolled up armadillo at my desk all day. And it turned into a word. Win-win.

Photo: my feet on the mat my six year old nephew bought me for Christmas in 2020 because he knew I liked doing yoga.