My nineteen year old son and I like to play the card game Gin Rummy.  If you have never played it, the objective is to make a match of numbers or a run in suits with no less than 3 cards in those suits or matches, using the 10 cards you are dealt. .

When you first get your cards that are dealt to you, you start rearranging and trying to make a plan.  Then things get tricky as you try to watch the cards your opponent picks up and you start thinking that they may be waiting for the same card as you are, so you have to make a decision to stick with your original plan or rearrange your plan.  

This is my life.  This is life. If I had been given the choice to deal my own hand, I promise you some cards (events of my life) would have been taken out and some others would have been added.  

The hand dealt is life and the way you play is choice.  Luck is in the cards you are dealt and skill in the player.   

We can not change the cards we are dealt, but we can figure out how to play the cards we have  or we can fold. I cannot change the things that have happened to me, but when they happened I had to figure out what I was going to do to be able to continue to play the game. I am competitive and I wanted to win.   

I was dealt a very unhealthy marriage that was filled with infidelity, I lost a job I loved, my brother died after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer, I lost my house, and I had to start over from scratch with 2 teenage boys.  

I know my story does not begin to touch the adversities that some people have had and I know that my story may seem unimaginable to others.  No matter how small or large the difficulties are that we face, they are still hard. 

Have you ever known someone that complains about their circumstances and uses it as an excuse as to why they can’t succeed?  Or have you been that person? I have been that person. Listen, being dealt the best hand or given the best circumstances in life does not guarantee you success.  Just as being dealt an unlucky hand does not mean you should give up.  

Did you change your strategy and play the wrong card and lose this hand?  It’s ok, life is not one game. It is a whole tournament. So, get ready. The cards are being shuffled and dealt again.   Remember, you will not be able to change the hand you are dealt, but you can change the way you play it.