Day One – a milestone & a lot of learning

one of my fave scenes

Hello Friends!

It’s a beautiful Saturday, Day Two of the racing meet and the house is abustle – we have dear friends en route from just north of Montreal, and loved ones (thank you Padre for all the projects you’ve tackled this week) waking up to pack and get rolling on to their next venue. The Summer of Saratoga 2018 train has left the station and we’re rolling – 39 more days of this incredible ride.   We’re off!

I’m happily here in my writing room, proud of starting the makings of a “streak” with two posts in two days, but struggling a bit to quiet the racing mind that wants to jump in to all the to dos on my list this AM.   That will likely be the battle to over these early weeks of trying to write daily.  Much like the practice of meditation, which I’ve now quite firmly established in my daily routine (it took about 3 months and a commitment to Headspace to get there, with the invaluable “cheering” of my meditation-mate, Lisa, in AV) it takes discipline to value the long-term benefits of something thoughtful versus the short-term payoff of doing something tangibly practical.   However, I’m sticking to the belief that there will always be a never ending list of to dos – and if I don’t sit back and reflect on this experience and these precious days in our new life, I might risk missing some of it – or forgetting some of it – in all the flurry and frenzy of day to day life.  This is one of those times that I think the Maven’s quote applies very well:

Discipline is Remembering What You Really Want

So, Day 1 – wow!  It was a huge day, it was a good day, it was a beautiful day and it was an exhausting day.  The learning curve was steep (and there’s surely more ahead), but it was wonderful.  Lot of pics to share, but the big takeaway was one of those tried by true nuggets – pace makes the race (a.k.a. it’s a marathon not a sprint).  As my wise friend Kendra once noted “a good pace and good company make all things possible” – so true!

Much like this exercise of writing every day, and my meditation practice too, the key (I think ) to successfully navigating this new and fabulously complex circus-like routine over the next 39 days will be to sort out a reasonable schedule, and to set the pace in the reasonable range – which actually isn’t my comfort zone.  The danger here is my penchant to want to and try to literally do it all… and we all know that doesn’t end well. 🙂

So, a quick recap of things I learned about my weekday routine (as the to do list beckons) –

  • I need to wake up by 5:30 to have a chance of doing all that I want to do, and next year I might aim for 5:00 – both of which are totally wimpy compared to most people involved in the horse-side of racing, but I’m a rookie.
  • I need to figure out which days to run – because I can’t do backstretch walkabout and running on the same AM. I think Sunday (tricky with feeding the horses), Tuesday, and then…maybe Friday?
  • Big lesson, when I go to the backstretch in the AM, I need to plan to be out for a long time and to go directly to the office from the track.
    • The fun thing is that this means lots of hours in the office in jeans, a baseball cap and pre-shower, it’s a brave new world.
    • The unexpected things are that I need to have a better, bigger breakfast plan, I need my wallet, and I need to plan to drive to the track (which seems crazy when we live so close), because I need to drive to the office (or other errands) after the backstretch, and then drive home to shower and prep for afternoon at races – to get there for the feature & some networking. Ah logistics!!
  • And, all this reinforces how important it will be to have our dinner plans in some sort of shape before the day begins, because there’s just not much wiggle room in this sprint.
  • Above all, need to be heading for bed by 10… or earlier!

Highlights from Day One included so much – a beautiful backstretch walkabout with Jennifer, a couple fun errands (pies!), some focused time at the office, a mad dash back to the track to see Adam & Alyssa, a quick hello with OS friend, Erin, and a first race in our new seats – a wonderful gift from my Madre, and a lovely evening to soak it all in on our front patio.

Day Two awaits!


Maven & Magpie – in our new seats, section N!
ErGu in the Grandstand – such a fun, but all too brief, visit!
This is what makes this place so magical…
No more pressing nose thru the fence!
Nothing like it… post parade
Happiness is…


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