Well, it’s here. That time of year when, as much as I try not to, I find myself in a bit of a post-holiday funk. I know I should feel excited about a new year…blank slate, new adventures, and all of that…but invariably, I find myself a little blue. I have tried to pinpoint what it is that brings on the gloom. Maybe it’s that I know I’m not going to get to see my Texas family for longer than I would like. Or it might be the cold, wet, gray, south Louisiana weather, which my mood occasionally mirrors. It could have something to do with the fact that, every year, I tell myself I’m going to eat healthier, and as a lover of sweets, that’s really no fun. I even get a little sad knowing that football season is almost over. I’m sure a big part of these feelings occurs because I find myself spending more time alone than usual, with it being a busy travel time for Brett and with the kids heading back to school. All I know for sure is that when I add all these things together, I end up with my annual new year’s funk.
This year I am doing my best to avoid the January doldrums. I do live a just bridge away from New Orleans, after all. So I’ve made a short list of NOLA-related reasons to stay upbeat.
~My team is in the playoffs again! With a wildcard win in Philly under their belts, Drew and the rest of the Saints are doing their part to keep the season going. Sure, Seattle is going to be tough, but after the regular season debacle out west, we will be more prepared for a fight. And who cares if Russell Wilson has never lost a home game? He has to at some point, and why shouldn’t it be at the hands of the Saints?
~Mardi Gras is just a few short weeks away. While it is later this year, the parades will gear up in mid-February…and I do seriously love a parade. I don’t think most people from outside the area realize how many parades and events actually lead up to Fat Tuesday, or how family-friendly most of those activities are. It is nothing like I had imagined!
~I can officially start eating king cake now. (So much for that plan to eat healthier.) “King cake season” begins with the Epiphany and ends on Fat Tuesday. I am not ashamed to say that I eat king cake almost daily during the season, and I have been known to consume one of these delectable, sugary rings all on my own. King cake really deserves its own blog entry, so I will save the details for another day.
~Spring weather comes early in New Orleans, and I know it won’t be long until I’m trading my sweaters and boots for flip flops and shorts.
~The number of fabulous restaurants I have not had the pleasure of enjoying, even after sixteen years here, far exceeds the number that I have. I am currently making a list of places that I want to try this year, and I plan to visit those and many of my old favorites, as well. (Yeah, that eating healthy thing…I’ll just work out a little harder.)
~While it’s still several months away, Jazzfest is always on my radar, and this year’s lineup will be released in two or three weeks. Once I know who is coming, I can begin making plans and twisting the arms of friends in an effort to get them to come down and enjoy my favorite event with me.
When I put it on “paper,” what’s not to love about a new year in New Orleans? Whenever I start to feel the blues creeping up on me, I’ll just grab my spouse or my kids or a friend (or even just my camera) and make that short trip across Lake Pontchartrain. I have no doubt there will be something there to make me smile.