Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Mardi Gras.  Let the good times roll.

I actually love Mardi Gras and I love New Orleans.  I had the privilege of working in New Orleans for 2 1/2 years.  I loved leaving Chicago and flying there and spending two or three days a week there.  My credit card bills where extremely high, but that was ok.  I came so close to accepting a job down there and moving.  I really wanted to.

New Orleans is just a magical city; old, European, Cajun, Creole.  All the races mixed into a wonderful pot.  The food, the atmosphere, the music….is just incredible.

There are 52 parades in New Orleans alone in anticipation of Mardi Gras.  If you have never been I HIGHLY recommend it.  I also recommend you stay on St. Charles Avenue for the parades.  I’m not a big fan of the French Quarter during Mardi Gras.  I saw things I don’t ever wish to see again.  EVER.  This is Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras….just way too crowded with incredibly drunk people.

For those that don’t know what it really is,  the celebration of Mardi Gras begins at Epiphany and ends the Tuesday before Lent, hence the meaning “fat Tuesday.” The day is said to be a the last day to get your kicks in before a favored item is given up for Lent. The event is basically a long parade, which on the last day (Mardi Gras) participants are invited to wear masks, drink excessively and eat large amounts of food.  Yes, yes, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  I’ve already committed to being in the gym five days a week and giving up the crack, aka Pepsi.  I once gave up (tried)swearing for Lent and accumulated $350 in the swear jar which I gave to Catholic Charities.

The best thing about being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras is the masks.  There is something so liberating about wearing one of those beautiful masks out in crowds.  Most wear the kind that leaves the mouth exposed so that kissing, eating and drinking are still possible.

This Lent, a bit like last Lenten season, I’m doing for me.  I’ve got to.  I’ve got to continue down the path of spiritual, mental, and physical improvements or I won’t be good for anyone else.

The weeks before the knee surgery I was unable to work out, or not as hard as I was used to, and after I just haven’t gone back.  It’s making me sad, or unhappy, or just “off”.   Dawncy.  I feel Dawncy.   I’m not unhappy, I’m not happy, I just feel….off.  Hard to explain.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”  I think since Christmas I have let other’s opinions filter into my mind again and fester.  My own inner voice is not as strong as it was before.  I’m not sure why.  But I notice it in the way I react, the way I let stuff go, the lack of enthusiasm I have for everything.  I notice I’m not laughing as much.

 

So by the grace of God and a lot of dedication I plan on getting myself back on track.

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