Life is a big, competitive, noisy, hilarious, heartbreaking poker game — a game of challenge mixed with chance, strategy rolled up with luck.  A game of skill that can knock you on your ass- and one that’s nearly impossible to perfect .

It doesn’t escape my attention lately that I live my life the way I play poker, which is to say, like I’m going to pull the wildcard out of the deck Every. Single. Time.  Because the thing is – luck is all about perspective. It’s intangible and plucky, and seemingly elusive, but it isn’t.  It’s here for every one of us at any time we choose to see things in a different way.

Didn’t get that ace I was looking for?  Fine – I’ll go for the straight.  Not hitting the flush draw?  It’s cool, I’ve got a high pair I can work with.  Didn’t win the hand?  That’s alright, I got out at the exact right time, and I learned a little something for the next go ’round. 

I can’t lose.

I was lucky.  I had a father who told me there were no limitations to what I could accomplish, and I believed him.  I’m a worker and a go-getter and there’s not a whole lot of things I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t figure out a way to make real.

But there’s a huge difference between always wanting something more for the sake of wanting…and wanting what will bring more joy, an understanding, growth.  I’m one of those people always wondering where the grass is greener, thinking whatever it is I don’t have must be somehow better than what I do.  Where that comes from in me, I have no idea, but it’s always been there.

I haven’t been home long enough to be doing or feeling any of these things.  Lately I feel so content I don’t even have heartburn, or heart palpitations, or eye twitches that were ever-present a year ago.  It isn’t fear of the unknown that makes me restless – that’s just living life.  It’s fear of being on the wrong path, wondering whether I’m where I’m “supposed to” be, doing what I’m “supposed to” be doing.

How could the comfort and contentedness I feel here on the inside of my life not be right?   Why is it that we’re taught (with every television commericial, every ad campaign) that what we have is not enough, whatever it is?  That who we are is not enough, somehow.  That something outside ourselves is better, and should be longed for and sought constantly.  I’ve learned: this longing is no way to live if the searching takes you further and further from yourself.

It took me 40 years, but there it is.

I am capable of absolutely anything.  We all are.  I just want to make sure the things I give my full attention to the right things – for me, for my family.  And you know what?  I worked hard to have everything I ever wanted.  I’m going to enjoy it without wondering about what’s next.  Gonna play the hand I’m dealt.  Gonna stop going for the wildcard.

Gonna double down.