My Kentucky Derby past. Derby Day fashion philosophy: Too much is never enough.
“The Kentucky Derby, whatever it is — a race, an emotion, a turbulence, an explosion — is one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things I have ever experienced.” ~ John Steinbeck
“The best thing about The Kentucky Derby is that it is only two minutes long. It is the quickest event in sports, except for Sumo-wrestling and Mike Tyson fights.Maybe drag racing is quicker, but I’ve never been attracted to it.” ~ Louisville, KY native Hunter S. Thompson
“Until you go to the Kentucky Derby and, with your own eyes, behold the Derby – you ain’t never been nowhere, and you ain’t never seen nothing.” ~ Irvin S. Cobb
Life will never be the same in so many ways because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss of life, the constant invisible threat of the disease, and the bludgeoning of the economy are foremost on people’s minds, for sure.
On the other end of the spectrum, not having a haircut for almost eight weeks doesn’t even come close to counting as a sacrifice … but I miss it.
There are also rituals and events in our communities that have been postponed or canceled because many of them involve large, even massive, crowds of people gathering … and there’s nothing a virus with a high level of contagion thrives on more than thousands of people, shoulder to shoulder.
Each year, on the first Saturday in May, my beautiful hometown, Louisville, KY, opens its heart (and our airports, hotels, restaurants, bars) to the hundreds of thousands of guests who join us — who become one of us — for the pageantry, excitement, tradition and debauchery of one of the most famous sporting events in the world, The Kentucky Derby.
But the city was quiet yesterday, the first Saturday in May 2020.
None of our streets or restaurants were swelling with crowds of people.
No one was selling flip flops to the stilleto’d women limping down Central Avenue outside of Churchill Downs.
There were not 150,000+ people at the track, roaring at decibels you cannot imagine when the bell rings and the gates burst open for the 8th race.
Not this spring.
As of this writing, the Derby is postponed until the fall, pending developments of the pandemic.
I will be surprised if that happens. It seems like the world needs to spread out and heal for the rest of 2020, but we’ll see.
Yesterday, I did a little mourning for the absence of what has always happened on the first Saturday of May, but I know the Derby isn’t going to disappear.
I think I was mourning the Derby for what we will soon say was “the way it used to be.”
No one or nothing will be left untouched by this virus.
We’ll work through it, adapt, and keep going, but we’re going to have lots of wistful memories of “old times” as we figure out what life moving forward will look like.
And someday, by the time my 19-year-old daughter is my age (48), there will be a “new old times.”
For now, I just want to hold onto my sweet memories of what once was.
I do find a lot of happiness and comfort when I think of one Kentucky Derby “thing” that won’t (I hope) be left behind: The hats and fascinators.
After the horses, the hats are where it’s at on Derby Day.
A lot of women have their “system” for choosing a Derby hat. Some scope out the dress, and then choose or build a hat around that.
I’ve heard some say it’s the reverse — find your hat; buy your dress.
There are some hat choices that all started with a pair of shoes.
Fact: I have an A+ hat and fascinator game.
I crush it every Derby week, as evidenced by the photos I shared.
My “system” for my hat or fascinator selection is answering a few simple questions:
- Do I think it’s beautiful?
- Do I feel beautiful?
And, most importantly …
- Is it a spectacle?
- Do I look like I want people to look at me?
If every answer to all of those questions is an unflinching “yes,” particularly those last two, it is done.
If anything, I now have plenty of time to think about how I’m going to next-level my hat in 2021.
If you’re up for it, join us in 2021 for the two-week party we throw every year for a two-minute horse race.
Between now and then, stay well.
Now — right now — is the perfect time to strengthen the foundation of your mind and the choices you’re making to build your life.
These are uncertain and sometimes painful times, but that doesn’t mean working on your future has to be a heavy and draining process.
I bring my lighthearted spirit when I am working with my clients in a way that is honorable and respectful.
Right now, I’m helping women across the spectrum with job loss, home school overwhelm, anxiety, inventing new — often online – streams of income, as well as my nurses on the front lines who are devoted, and also terrified right now.
We need each other; we’re going to get through this, and I am with you.
The world has given us a “reset” that we did not ask for.
Everything stopped for everybody. No one was spared.
It’s been tragic and upending. Unprecedented.
It can also be an opportunity to look at your life, decide what is important and ask, “Am I living the way I want to live?”
If it’s time to recalibrate or rebuild your life as we emerge from this crisis, I’m ready for you.
Let’s get moving.
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