In New Orleans, the shortest month of the year has some amazing moments! How many places in the country does work stop for an entire week of revelry? A week dedicated purely to returning to childlikeness. I know of absolutely nowhere, at 50+, you get away with wearing a tutu and a hot pink wig. Not that I did this, but many of my friends did.
It’s an interesting cultural phenomenon called Mardi Gras. As a member of one of the largest all women’s krewes, Carnival is embedded in my NOLA experience. As much as I try and resist bead clamoring, I go home many evenings wondering why my back hurts. Is it the jumping up and down screaming, me, me, me…or more likely that I am wearing every big bead thrown in my direction. To the dismay of my friends, I have been known to snatch beads out of thin air. You have to be incredibly strategic as you move along St. Charles with the floats. I practice my Strengths Quest profile along the parade route.
• Strategic: Sidewalk or Neutral Ground? Always looking for alternative routes while snaking through the crowd
• Maximizer : Who can help me get the best beads? Make sure to share the bounty!
• Activator: Keep up with the ACTION, which means hydrate often; enlist assistance with guarding your stake along the route!
• Ideation: Remain fascinated by folks sharing in the Mardi Gras tradition. Pay careful attention not to jostle a ladder.
• Connectedness: Every event has a reason and Mardi Gras is a celebration of all that is distinctively NOLA.
Another season of Carnival is over and we begin to look forward to spring renewal; a wonderful move from Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday. This is a time for reflection on the gifts we’ve been given and the gifts we can give to one another. I do not think of this as so much a time of sacrifice, but a time of cleansing mind, body and spirit. May your Lenten season be a time of reflection, thanksgiving and love.