Joy to the World, oh joy another ball…..not of the Mardi Gras variety this past weekend, this ball is an annual formal black tie event for one of the local hospital’s foundations for fundraising.  As I was invited to attend, I was initially feeling ambivalent about the event for a variety of reasons, it was a thirty minute drive to the location – does not really sound like much, but when you drive as much as I do for work……trust me too much windshield time is really not a “joy”.   And of course, the dreaded, oh “joy” what to wear.  This is a well attended ball, so you want to look like you took some time to choose your attire, and not bring out four or five gowns you have had hanging in your closest from many Mardi Gras balls gone by.   And, of course time was of the essence to come up with an outfit, shoes, accessories and a hairstyle.  So three days before the ball, I had an outfit put together, a new pair of shoes, which is never a problem for me – I love to buy shoes.  Accessories, never a problem either, on this occasion my oldest daughter had the perfect earrings to go with my purple blouse.

We went to the ball with a group of my friends, who I always have a great time with.  We could have fun together watching grass grow.  So,  I knew the company at our assigned table would be fabulous and Brittany, my RN daughter was attending with us as well.  We met up at one friend’s house to enjoy some wine before heading out to the main event of the evening.  The pre-party with this group is always as much fun as the main party – and indeed it was.  We shared wine, great conversation, jokes, etc… and with this group even if you have not seen one another in a few months, you can just pick up where you left off – that is really great!

Upon our arrival to the ball, we checked in, found our table, enjoyed talking with the other guests and enjoyed some really good food and of course drinks from the open bar. I chose to go with my favorite drink, the cosmopolitan.  After a good social hour, the program began.  All of the foundation’s top brass had a few nice words to say about supporting  the foundation, etc.

Then,  the long awaited  entertainment of the night – OH JOY!!! This is the part I was clearly uncertain about.  Three Dog Night was the featured band at this ball, hence the title “Joy to the World”.  Well let me tell you, they really surprised me, they appear a little old and worn – well they are; but I can say without reservation they can still perform and put on a great show.  We had so much fun at our table singing along and dancing to some of the old tunes that we all remember from Three Dog Night, of course as mentioned Joy to the World, Liar,  Shambala, Never been to Spain and others. For the last few days, I keep hearing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”  in my mind. The ball was a joy and I am so glad I attended as the company, fellowship, food and drink were excellent and I can honestly say Three Dog Night can still entertain with the best of them…….I think I just might have to download some of these old time songs into the ipod.

February has without a doubt been a magical month in our great state of Louisiana. First, we won the Super Bowl, second, it has snowed twice here, which is an extremely rare occurence and lastly Mardi Gras Season was absolutely fabulous. The revelers had an extra spring to their step this year, although it does not take too much to give NOLA reason to party, the results of our Black and Gold New Orleans Saints winning the big game certainly provided alot more reason and in a larger fashion.  Mardi Gras is always a magical time of year in the big easy, but let me tell you, this year was a little more meaningful and people came out in the masses. I did not attend NOLA Mardi Gras, but my 21 year old daughter had her first experience with the real deal. She, her boyfriend, and a group of college friends attended NOLA Mardi Gras. Actually it was a five day vacation for this group of 20 somethings. They truly embraced NOLA and all of many offerings a reveler can encompass, the infamous Pat O’Briens – with the massive drinks, they chose the hand grenades over the hurricanes – interesting I am sure, the great eateries, parades, and the ultimate formal Mardi Gras Ball.

 For 17 years, the Krewe of Orpheus has mesmerized the crowds who jam the streets of New Orleans awaiting its arrival. From its founding in 1993, Orpheus has consistently stunned the revelers on Lundi Gras, the night before Mardi Gras, and has exploded as the largest new Krewe in the past 30 years. Since that first ride, Orpheus has been the most eagerly anticipated Mardi Gras parade of the season. Lindsay and her friends were invited and attended  this great Krewe of Orpheus Ball, which is hosted annually by Harry Connick, Jr. And of course there is always a celebrity to roll into the ballroom on the huge float shown above. This year, it was none other than Sean Peyton riding in with the Lombardi trophy in tow. How exciting for all of the ball attendees. The black tie event was very well attended this year, with all appearing in beautiful gowns, masks and beads galore with plenty of food, spirits and dancing. Entertainment was provided by Smashmouth, Taylor Dane and two local bands.  I am sure a good time was had by all until the wee hours of the morning.

As my daughter posted on her facebook status regarding her experience in NOLA for Mardi Gras

MARDI GRAS 2010 IN NOLA!

5 days, 3 hotels, LOTS of walking, LOTS of booze, LOTS of fist pumping, LOTS of fun, GREAT friends 🙂 Most crazy and unforgettable Mardi Gras Celebration yet ♥

I believe she summed that up quite well, with the exception of fist pumping. I am not quite so savvy on the whole Jersey Shore thing to fully understand about fist pumping. I am quite sure she was making light of something in a light-hearted spirit. I am really thrilled that my daughter has further expanded her cultural experiences to now include being part of the entire NOLA Mardi Gras and Krewe of Orpheus.  Not a bad way to spend five days when you are a senior in college down in good ole Nawlins.  Laissez le bon temps rouler!!!!

As we say in the great sportsman’s paradise state “Laissez les bon temps rouler” or Let the good times roll. Well, friends I am here to tell you that the good times are rolling on in Louisiana this February. Everyone I have met recently through my travels and at home have a great sense of pride, enormous spirit and all around party / feel good attitude for our Super Bowl bound New Orleans Saints. And, wow how rightly so. Our great black and gold team will be making their debut in the big game this Sunday and how privileged we feel to have “our” team march in New Orleans’s style.

Saints fans have waited for over forty years to make a trip to the big game. That is a long time coming….especially from a team that has been through so much; it is no secret they have not always been winners. Over the years, the Saints and their fans have endured relentless jokes over their less than stellar performances. And from the great city they reside, so much despair over the last five years with the devastating wrath of Hurricane Katrina, which is still ever so present today. But, the tide has turned, New Orleans is coming back and yes, the Saints will be marching into the 44th Superbowl this Sunday. Laissez les bon temps rouler!!! Geaux Saints! Who Dat!

By this time, everyone is making their game day preparations. Superbowl food is always fun, this year for us in WHO DAT nation there will probably be a bit more flair. Our people truly know how to throw down a good spread – any reason will usually suffice. Now, this is a big deal, the Saints are going to the Superbowl!!! Great food and drinks of all types will be a big part of the game day watch for everyone. New Orleans is a city infamous for a variety of great eats and drinks alike. From great po-boys, to the hurricanes or the morning Bloody Mary’s in the French Quarter.

And of course right square in the middle of this infamous football game, we in Louisiana are in full swing into our Mardi Gras Season. So many things to do, Krewe balls, parades, more parties, food, dancing, and wonderful music. This year we have a belle attending the famous Krewe of Orpheus Ball in New Orleans. Our belle is my 21-year-old daughter who is attending a New Orleans Krewe ball for the first time. This is truly a right of passage in Louisiana. You have not lived until you have been to a Krewe Ball. So much excitement, choosing just the right ball gown, the perfect accessories and just the right pair of shoes. Krewe Balls are always so magical, the beads, masks, decorations, great bands and dancing. And, of course the party food, king cakes and infamous drinks.

Oh yea, Laissez les bon temps rouler……the good times are rolling here in Louisiana –

We live in a very fast paced world these days, where life moves pretty quickly.  It seems that everyone wants a little or sometimes a lot of instant gratification.  I want it now, just with  the internet, smart phones, etc…. we as humans have become to expect a lot of things instantly.  Having said that, I think a lot of us have truly lost sight of three very important words, Patience, Persistence and Perseverance.  Virtues,  that will serve you well in all endeavors.  According to Webster’s patience is “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay”.  When I think about patience and read this definition, I ponder why it is so easy for restlessness and annoyances with delay to take over our thoughts.  Why not be calm and simply wait for something, whether it be looking forward to an event in your life, an ending, an opportunity, patience is all around us, practice it. Learning patience in an impatient, got to have now, 10 minutes ago world is clearly challenging, but achievable.  I know that we all know how or can practice being patient; the problem is it takes discipline. 

As an outside sales representative, I am constantly in a mode of finding inspiration, motivation and any other positive energy to keep me focused on my position.   Often times, it is really difficult to press on when you feel like quitting.  In my job, I hear the word “no” many times.  If I quit every time I heard the word no, I would not have made it in this competitive world of outside sales.  Therefore, my dear friend persistence comes into play.  Persistence is the ability to support action regardless of your feelings. You press on even when you feel like quitting, Believe me, it is not a warm fuzzy when you hear the word no, over and over.

When you work on any big goal, your motivation will come and go like waves hitting the shore. Sometimes you’ll feel motivated; sometimes you won’t. But it’s not your motivation that will produce results — it’s your action. Persistence allows you to keep taking action even when you don’t feel motivated to do so, and you keep accumulating results. A quote by Calvin Coolidge inspires me; he states “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Enough said about persistence, press on – that is the last thought on persistence.

And last but certainly not least is perseverance.  What a powerful word – perseverance. In my view, it is staying the course, completing a project to the end, maintaining, seeing something through – to use a few short phrases.  Wow! Now how many times do you start something and not finish it?  I like many people fall short on perseverance at times as it is so easy to do.  However, having said that, it is also easy to stay the course. I have to remind myself of patience and persistence.   Perseverance is an attitude and a frame of mind – try it, use it; your life will be less cluttered. Never give up, stay the course in all that you do.

Now to put this all in perspective, the reason I have rambled and babbled about these three little words is very simple.  I have worked very hard on a prospective client for almost three months.  If I had not exhibited, patience, perseverance and persistence, I would not have made it to the finish line.  I am delighted to share with you that  after 3 months, I was finally able to close a sale with this client. I will tell you this process required an enormous dose of patience, persistance and perseverance.  I am now beginning a new relationship with a great group people. Finally arriving at the end of a three month journey of closing a sale,  feeling victory and achieving a positive outcome is an awesome feeling.   In conlcusion, this is not an end,  just the beginning of a great alliance with a new customer. The three p’s served me well.  And, I am sure my journey with my new found client will require many more opportunities to utilitze the three p’s.  I invite you to use patience, persistence and perseverance  in your everyday life.