A Poor Hand Well-Played: The Moments that Define Us

Let’s face it. In life, people rarely get dealt a great hand to play.  In most cases, if you end up with a semi-decent collection of cards, you thank your lucky stars and make the best of it.  It’s never all good chances and circumstances or all bad ones, but learning how to make the best of a tough situation in life is not just a survival technique…

They are the moments that define us.

One thing I always remember when I am dealt a poor hand, is that…

It Could Always Be Worse.


No matter how bad things are, if you remind yourself that it could always be worse, it reminds you to be grateful for the good things in your life (even when they seem far and few between).

Yes, both of our family vehicles decided to start having issues at the same time.  Then the lawn mower must have felt left out and joined the On The Fritz crowd.

I have mice in my attic that the pest control company never caught or killed (although they did manage to feed them copious amounts of peanut butter before our contract ended).

Yes, I have a son with severe autism and that affects everything in my life.

Yes, I quit my job and my husband was out of work for three weeks between jobs. I also have to figure out how to afford therapy services, sign the kids up for swim lessons, and establish my freelance work in the next month!

And those are just the stressors on my mind today.

BUT, it could be worse.

My house didn’t catch on fire.  My family has a savings account we try to keep replenished to get us through hard times.  Our heater is working (as well as can be expected during this cold snap).  My husband and I have a good relationship.  I read 7 books already this January (well on my way to fulfilling that particular resolution for the year).

I have enough food to eat.  My fish are, by some stroke of luck, still alive. The 2018 Winter Olympic games are right around the corner for me to watch.  Not to mention, Coca-Cola still makes Diet Coke with Splenda (even if it is absurdly hard to find).

Some people say “Count Your Blessings”, I say…

Be Eric the Eel

For those of you who are not HUGE fans of the Olympics, like myself…you may have never heard of Eric “The Eel” Moussambani. He was a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea who participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Eric the Eel was a wildcard draw, meaning that he gained entry without meeting the minimum qualification requirements, which the IOC does to encourage participation from developing countries.

He had 8 months to train and had never even seen an Olympic-sized swimming pool before his 100-meter freestyle heat.  Eric the Eel didn’t have a coach.  He didn’t even know how to dive into the pool until watching and copying other practicing teams after arriving in Sydney.  After both of his competitors disqualified themselves by false starts, he was the only swimmer in his heat (which he won, since he was uncontested and completed the heat). He has the record for the slowest swim time in Olympic history (1:52:72).

Not only did Eric the Eel not give up, despite having been dealt one of the poorest hands, but he kept swimming after that!  By 2012, he was swimming at a time of approximately 55:00, and became the coach of the national swimming squad of Equatorial Guinea.

When things get tough, I always remember to play whatever cards I am dealt to the best of my abilities and hope for the best…just like Eric the Eel.

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One Reply to “A Poor Hand Well-Played: The Moments that Define Us”

  1. Dearest Kat,
    You made my day, I was so down in the dumps till I read your blog. I just got out of hospital with COPD & HLD. Kids have been quitting in day care, and making ends meet has been hard. But it could be worse. Family member is now in hospice care and I can’t go see her because of my illness, but my Heather is my rock she has been home helping me and is going to go visit for us all. Seems like house is falling apart and all I want to do is take camper and go camping. I so want the spring to hurry up and co e our way, we will have to get together as soon as it does. Hope your boys are well. And I will be looking for your blog, very up lifting, made me smile.

    Thank you

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