Mardi Gras Mambo 2013


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.