Queen of Your Own Life by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff

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Queen of Your Own Life

Queen of Joy | Taking A Silliness Break



On a recent trip to New Orleans, we stopped into the New Orleans Old Time Photo studio for a portrait with the wonderfully creative and truly welcoming George Schindler. Just four friends on a mission to laugh and since we couldn’t choose between all the time periods his custom collection represented, we informed George that we were going to be time traveling friends who met in New Orleans for a girlfriends weekend.  We giggled as we perused the costumes and each chose the one we loved best.  Then we laughed our way through our wonderful photo session, delighting in the customs we chose and giving our characters fabulous “back stories.”  It was a wonderfully silly moment in our trip and we adore our goofy portraits.

The truth is that we are, in a way, time traveling friends who met in New Orleans for a girlfriends weekend. Each of us has our own very busy life and those lives don’t intersect every day. But some mutual recognition that we would enjoy the company of one another prompted us to take a moment off from those individual lives and create a weekend opportunity.  Ours is a budding friendship and we can’t tell you how surprising and delightful it is to add new friends to our circle at this stage of our lives.

There’s something very special about being able to laugh out loud with women friends; to wander the streets and window shop, to see the sights and be in awe, all without worrying about each of our own individual daily burdens.  We all have them, but that opportunity to drop them, even if just for a moment, is truly joyful.  Being together and being silly gave us all a vacation from worry, stress and responsibility. And here’s what we noticed.  Not once, during this photo session, did anyone judge themselves.  No one said “Gee I don’t make a very pretty southern belle or boy, what a lame bandito I am.” Instead, we played with the abandon of young girls, positively delighted in our dress up adventure.

Now here’s the thing.  We popped off to a wild adventure in an amazing city but you don’t have to do that to create a moment of joy. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to a friend to meet for a cup of tea or a funny movie.  If you’ve been feeling frayed, tired, overwhelmed and overworked (and we suspect that if you are a woman, you have), then take the pledge.

“I will create a moment of silliness with a friend at sometime during this week. I will plan it, schedule it and do it.”

One more thing.  Another thing we highly recommend in New Orleans is the Antieau Gallery.  Her description of her artistic vision says it all: “Inviting you to abandon all preconceived notions of what art is or isn’t, and to discover for yourself the joy of simply enjoying art.” Hint:  Chris Roberts Antieau is the bandito in our photo.  Our friend Angela Kline (the flapper in our picture) is, among other things, a film maker and you can find a preview of her documentary “Chris Roberts Antieau: A Love Letter to Tom Waits, here.

We’d love to hear from you.  Tell us about your own silliness breaks. Please feel free to post your pictures of your “Silly break” on our Facebook page so we can all enjoy! And, if you’re ever in New Orleans, be sure to visit George for your silliness break and let him know you’re our time traveling friends!

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