You Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em

My little Aidan is in trouble. He is definitely a future gambler. Anytime there is a machine in which you can deposit quarters in the small chance of getting a prize, he’s hooked. He spent a whole meal at Denny’s yesterday plunking coins into that damn toy crane machine. I told him I could buy him every toy in that plastic box at the dollar store for way less money, but it doesn’t matter to him. He loves the thrill of the possibility.

Craig and I had a rare evening last weekend in which we spent the night at a hotel. We were so excited to get away from our many children and animals, but the escape from our home took longer and required more strategy than the Von Trapps leaving Austria. After distracting the children with pizza and a new WII game, we snuck out of our home with only small satchels on our backs. Our babysitter couldn’t arrive until later, but our desire to flee was so great we didn’t care what sort of danger we left behind. We ran far, far away to a casino/hotel 5 miles away on an Indian reservation.

I am not big on the slots. I feel that pulling down a lever on a slot machine is the same as flushing that same money down the toilet. Shopping makes way more sense to me. I feel that if you are going to throw your money away, you should at least have a nice pair of shoes to show for it.

We were at the casino to see a comedian (the hilarious Nick Kroll aka Ruxin from The League). After his act we returned to our room and I sadly looked into my overnight bag, thinking about what I used to pack for overnights at hotels with Craig. Gone are the negligees and sexy undies. This time I packed old torn sweats, mismatched socks and a tshirt from Sydney Newmans bat mitzvah.

We were really, really excited to just.. sleep. Without interruption. No children with bad dreams, no sleepwalking, no dogs crying to get on or off the bed. Going to bed every night in our house is a gamble.. you just don’t know what you are going to end up with.

As I prepare this week for my kick off event for my new foundation on Friday night, I think what a gamble this whole year has been for me.

I also wonder why I bought a dress to wear to said event that I can barely zip up, to be worn the day after the food festival that is Thanksgiving. I’m also wondering how Black Friday benefits the Jews. We like to have all our gifts purchased and wrapped before our holiday starts too. “Blue Wednesday?” Think about it, Best Buy.

Any time we try something new, it’s a gamble. A move to a new house, going on a date, getting married, deciding to have a baby, auditioning for a new show or interviewing for a new job: it’s all a crap shoot. Deciding to leave your job or your neighborhood or your relationship: these are all risky too.

You must weigh the pros and cons, listen to the experts and read the reports, but it all comes down to fate or luck, added with a dash of strategy and mixed with soul searching and sleepless nights.

As we head into a week focused on giving thanks, I am thankful that I can spend this part of my life as a gambler. Not the kind who can sit in heavy smoke at 9 am in sweatpants continually putting quarters into machines with cherries on them, but the kind that can attempt to try a new game without the fear of losing all her chips.

I hope that this is my legacy, my story. That after a year of taking risks, I return from the road ready to take on some more. That I inspire other people out there who are bored or unhappy with their lives to make a change.

This is a gamble I’m willing to take if means other people will step up and try a new game too.

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