Let the Good Times Roll in Oak Cliff

We are fast approaching the funnest, busiest weekend in Oak Cliff…Mardi Gras!

Things kick off with the Dash for the Beads on Saturday, February 6th. You can walk, jog or run to your heart’s content, with your dog, if you so choose! And there’s a bunch of entertainment pre- and post race. The starting line and stage are at Kidd Springs Park.

Then it’s fancy-time that night, at the Masquerade Ball. Put on your dancing shoes and your mask and meet up with friends and neighbors at the Kessler Theater. Always a blast to see the range of costumes, not to mention the awesome bands.  

The grand finale is the parade on Sunday. This year the start time is moved up to 2pm, for the football lovers out there. Be on the look out for the OCBC bicycle patrol, who start the whole thing off, followed by tons of homemade floats and neighborhood groups. The scooter-ing Elivs’ are always a hit. 

Whether you’re new to the area, or you’ve been here since George Kessler got his start, Mardi Gras weekend is not to be missed. And, you’ll know you’re a true fan if you make it to any of the neighbor’s parties (or throw your own) between events. 

Happy Mardi Gras y’all!

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Happy 2016 everyone!

For me the best way to start this year off is by closing the door on the one past. On my goals from last year, I am batting .800.
1. Val and I did move in to the Box and we love it. My favorite things are the sunrises and the openness in the floorplan.
2. We did travel in August, but to Peru, rather than Portugal. Loved it!
3. I went to the gym 3x most weeks and did 3x cardio about 50% of the time. Even when I had a cast on for the last 4 months, I still managed to get to the gym. Cardio is something to focus on in 2016.
4. Being present…while I wouldn’t consciously choose this way, the broken ankle and subsequent surgery really had me be present. I was limited on what I could do, so it really had me focus on who I could be. Gratitude and kindness have been my ever-present mantras.
5. And finally mediation…still no formal practice, however, the gratitude/kindness mantras have become my way of getting centered.

So that was 2015 in a nutshell. And I can honestly say that I am pleased with it.

For the new year, I am setting a theme instead of individual goals. I’m pumped about this approach because I can add ideas and projects throughout the year. 2016 will be “The Year of Play”! This New York Times article got me to thinking about play, and what that means to me… It was in the business section, which was a bit of a shocker. What I took from it was this…we all work hard, we make money, we may even have a budget, but how much of what brings you TRUE joy shows up in that budget?

That got me to thinking, what then is the purpose of making money, if we don’t even know if it brings us joy. One could argue that you need money to survive. My guess is that if you are reading this blog you have these things at your disposal:
– electricity
– water
– food
– a place to live
– clothing
– transportation
– internet AND a cell phone with a data plan
We could therefore argue that you (and I) have survival handled. Could it be cushier? Always. But if I have survival handled, what truly brings me joy?

With that question and article in mind, I got to work on thinking about play. I’ve come up with a few things for starters, but am really looking forward to living in question for all of 2016. Here is what for me feels like play:
– science…I get lost while reading studies, from health, to star-stuff, to economics. This just means to build in some time for that type of thing.
– walking…be that with the dogs, with a friend or one of Val and my “Epic Walks” that takes us 10-15 miles from home.
– time with friends…this could seem like a given, but for how many of us, do we try to squeeze in one more thing at work, answer one more email, return on last voice mail. If I say that play for me is “time with friends”, I will start putting it in its rightful place.
– dance…yep, that’s me, I dance around the house, I get down in the car, I make the dogs jump up and pretend to samba. Just want more of it.

That’s the rundown for 2016. I’ll be posting updates as we go along. I wish you a year full of happiness and success in the goals you’ve set for yourself.
XO
J