For those who follow me, you know I am in the process of decluttering. To me, this song is a reminder of that. I realize that my brain finds connections that aren’t always apparent but stick with me. I’m sure Kenny wasn’t singing about cleaning out his storage unit or sorting through 30 boxes of family photos, but in this song, he did touch on extremely important ideas. What comes to mind is the word Message, which I feel Mr. Rogers was particularly good at. Most country singers, honestly, have the storytelling down pat. The other word is Focus, something I have been incorporating into my life for the past several years.
Life’s messages aren’t always straightforward. Often times they can be lost in translation, or presented in a vague or flippant way. And I have found, the messenger themselves can often be someone you never suspect of having a profound impact on your journey. Similar to the thoughts of the old gambler in this song, messages come in all shapes and sizes. The most important thing is to be open to receiving them. Most messages come my way via feelings, or situations I find myself in, but there have been a number of times that a single person is brought into my life for the sole purpose of passing something on. Let me tell you, once you recognize it there is no turning back. Sort of like taking the red pill in the Matrix.
One instance happened rather recently. In a nutshell, someone was hired at work who had my maiden name. We found we were related after exchanging a few words, even though we had never met. Before he left a couple of months later, he came to me with an envelope and handed me something he found when going through his parent’s attic. The picture he gave me of my grandparents on their wedding day is now one of my most cherished possessions. He was gone a few weeks later, and I can’t help but think that he was placed in my path for the sole purpose of bringing me that photo. Perhaps a message from them that they are doing okay, at least that is how I like to think of it.
In this song, the message from the old man is one of finding and keeping focus. He recognizes someone who is struggling and gives him advice before passing on to the poker table in the sky. The full message you receive doesn’t always have to be kept intact, as a matter of fact, I am of the firm belief that you “take what you need, and throw the rest away” (a quote from a dear friend and one I have learned applies to a multitude of things, editing, and the writing process notwithstanding).
The message I receive is to follow my heart and really pay attention to what is important to me in this life. The young gambler found something of value, an “ace that he could keep” in the words the old man shared. I find myself often looking for the “ace” in all of my experiences, taking the advice I feel is of value, and applying it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s no harm in trying, and certainly not if it has been tested out by others. Why reinvent the wheel? 🙂
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s doneKenny Rogers – The Gambler
I grew up with this song, but it wasn’t until I applied my life experiences that it took on a deeper meaning for me. One where I know my path, and now just need to keep my eye on the target as I move forward. It is exciting and terrifying knowing what you are meant to do, and this quote by Stephen King pretty much sums up my mental state right now.
I’ve decided I’m brave enough for the next step, taking a gamble of the scariest kind moving forward. I’m going all in and I want to thank all the “old gamblers” in my life that have provided the messages I needed to hear along the way. I believe I have finally found “the ace that I can keep.”
As always, thank you for sharing this journey with me, and for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. It means a lot. For anyone interested in what I write, please feel free to stay awhile and poke around on my website. I have a ton of content I’ve been developing over the years and I would love to get your thoughts on it.
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As always, I hope this post finds you happy and healthy. Until next time! XO