There was no year end wrap up. No look ahead to 2015. There have been no posts for months and months, actually, and I have no excuse except that I was simply fried. Toasted. Roasted. Burnt out.
I spent most of 2014 watching Ellie run up the track, watching Bobo lose interest in racing (and finding her a forever home), running the Canterbury Racing Club and keeping up with that blog, launching the 1st Canterbury Club alumni group, writing for the Daily Racing Form, getting laid off from the "real" job, finding another "real job" and then getting up to speed with the new "real job" (and ALL the stress that accompanies all that!), trying to make a contribution to the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association's Board of Directors, writing some handicapping articles for an Australian web site and creating a new presence on the web that will be unveiled in a week or so.
Something had to eventually give and it ended up being this blog. I feel badly about that. Not because so many folks are wondering when my next explosion of blistering insights will hit the web, but because this is the most personal and intimate look at anything I do in racing. And that was the premise when I first started it - share my insights and experiences. I have a great deal of fun interacting with readers and it's been fun sharing. Am I back to contributing regularly in this space? I hope that the answer is "yes". The large lesson learned over the last year or so is that you can't do everything. To that end I've worked on streamlining life a bit.
While the Canterbury Racing Club and my own partnerships will go on, I've made some changes:
- My term on the MTA expired this past year and I declined to run for re-election. I loved being on the board and I may run again someday, but I simply could not give it the commitment I felt it needed so I stepped aside and let others step in who can be more dedicated and productive;
- The DRF jettisoned several freelancers and will be trying to cover most racetracks with staffers in central locations. This is probably fine for stakes previews and recaps but for developing stories there is no substitute for being there. I'm afraid that the tracks affected by this change will suffer in terms of media coverage. Those fun stories that you come across every summer may never be told. It makes me wonder about the fiscal health of the Form as well. I know what we all get paid for a story and THAT shouldn't break anyone's bank. However it does free up quite a bit of my time this summer to pursue some other interests that I'll talk about a not-much-later date;
- My work Down Under is on hiatus for now and while it was fun and profitable, it also took up quite a bit of time;
- The new "real job" as a Regional Gaming Sales Manager for Incredible Technologies has settled after the first six months as I move from learning a new company and it's ways to getting into a routine of customer visits and travel schedules.
Racing has been streamlined as well, but I'll get into that in a future post - a not too distant future post!
Getting life in some kind of relative order is a challenge and while some decisions are hard (leaving the MTA Board) and some get made for you (the DRF moving away from freelancers), it was important to make them to sharpen my focus and resources in order to get the best possible outcome.