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Floral handbag

Maybe it’s because spring is finally here, but I am filled with anticipation. Could that be the key to real happiness—having something to look forward to? Today’s post is a mish-mash of six ways to help you celebrate spring. None of them will break the bank!

The riotous.
Plot a riot. Or just listen to something that caused one like Stravinky’s Rite of Spring. It met with so much criticism and discomfort when it premiered in 1913 that the police were called to calm the unruly audience. Don’t you ever long to do something that would stimulate that much passion? Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once quipped, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” (Special thanks to Maureen Festa for proper attribution of that quote. Maureen is the winner of the last Six-Word Thursday contest.) So that’s why we’re not famous—we’ve been too good! For the tame at heart, make it less outrageous if you must. For inspiration, read my friend Whitney Smith’s story about a woman who organized a bus tour of local resale shops. It’s a modest (or not-so-modest) idea that stirred a mini-revolution.

The ridiculous.
Read this from New York Times fashion critic, Cathy Horyn: “I’m very picky about blouses, which are having a comeback.” Excuse me? Comeback? I can’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of this sentence. I don’t know about you, but other than T-shirts, tunics, shells, sweaters or jackets, blouses are pretty much the only thing I wear to cover my top half. Yet another example of why you can’t take fashion critics too seriously.

The natural.
Sleep with your windows open. Let the birds be your alarm clock. Warning: they start rather early! After being shut in all winter, I felt reborn this morning by nothing more than nature’s music, even though it was only 5 a.m. when they began their concert. If you’re not an early riser, scatter some wildflower seed and see what happens. For people who lack a green thumb, find a wildflower walk in your area instead. Here in Indiana, the season begins this weekend here and here. Or for my Indianapolis friends, here’s one at Holliday Park that starts tomorrow. For people with kids, I love this little handout from Bradford Woods for helping children learn about wildflowers.

The social.
Go to a networking event in your city. Surprise yourself and make it fun. It’s amazing how much bigger the world seems afterwards. Last night, I met a grief counselor who specializes in helping widows, a purveyor of fine teas (Nelson’s Tea), and a renaissance woman just my age who is sorting out what to do with her life as her kids fly the coup. A friend was there, carrying a gift for me—ironically, a book on networking! The evening was loaded with rich and wonderful conversations. Of course, I didn’t want to go. I had to push myself. You may feel that way, too. Go anyway. You never know who you might meet.

The fresh.
Wear something fabulously fresh, yet vintage. Wonder about its previous owner. Is it too early for a yellow seersucker shirtdress? Yes, probably, but not for the vintage handbag at the top of this post. Don’t you wonder how women managed when handbags were so small? To make this handbag work, I consolidated my possessions: a small wallet, a hankie and a lipstick were all I could fit inside.

The inspiring.
Charge your mind with positive thoughts. Pray for people who are sick. Wrap your mind around people who triumph over difficult circumstances. If they can do it, imagine what you can do. My friend Trina writes passages of scripture in brilliant colors on her mirror using a dry erase marker. Isn’t that the coolest idea ever?
Alpha Chi
Speaking of inspiration, I want to thank the women of Alpha Chi Omega — Abby Abby Wickens, Alexis Kollay D’Ettorre, Gina Fox, Alli Badgero, Kathleen Headington, Amy Strasburger — who helped support victims of domestic violence by attending Blue Breakfast this week, a benefit event for Coburn Place. I only had my iPhone camera, but I want to share a photo of these extraordinary women. Promoting healthy relationships is one of their organization’s primary causes. They came just to show their support for Coburn Place.
Leading Reads Table
Ditto for my friends Kathy Slaughter (Integrative Health Resources), Heather Pirowkski (Retro101), Kristin Seed (Netlogx), Vanessa Stiles (Victory Sun PR), Whitney Smith (IndyFruGal, Indy Star), Jennifer Colbert Stringer (Gracie Communications) plus Elise Vestal (The Peers Project), plus those not pictured: Jennifer Shirk (IndyFashBash), Cherri Guyer, and Erin Elyse Moehring (Indianapolis Marion County Public Library). Thank you one and all for being my guests and supporting Coburn Place!

These ladies were truly an all-star team at Blue Breakfast earlier this week. I am grateful to have friends who have a soft heart for people who deserve a second chance.

How are you celebrating the arrival of spring?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.