The most important thing to remember, ever.

Today I woke up with Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”stuck in my head. I’m not sure why. Last week I mostly woke up to Whitesnake.


Where the hell did that come from?

Not that there’s anything wrong with Whitesnake, it’s just been ages since I’ve listened to them. I can’t imagine why they’d be stuck in my head.

And for those of you wondering which song, it was “Slide It in”.

I’ll just go ahead and leave that there.

Anyway, back to Kenny Rogers. My mom used to play one of his greatest hits albums every weekend when I was a kid. It was sort of her soundtrack while doing housework.

The nice thing about Kenny is most of his songs tell a story. That’s a good way to engage a kid. And, it would seem, to making dusting shelves less painful.

I decided to give “The Gambler” a listen while eating breakfast. And you know what? I think it’s a great song that stands the test of time. It also occurred to me that Kenny Rogers could be considered one of my first spiritual teachers.

Just think about it. The first four lines of the chorus pretty much give a workable formula for living.

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em.
Know when to fold ’em.
Know when to walk away.
And know when to run.”

And with a new year fast approaching, I’m taking an inventory of my life to see what’s working and what’s not.

When should I hold’ em and when should I fold’ em?

Is it time to walk away from some things in order to make room for new opportunities?

Are there people I need to run the hell away from?

What about you?

No one gets out of life alive.

What are you going to do with the time you have left?

I’ll be pondering that question too.

Like Kenny said:

“Every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser.
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

That might be the most important thing to remember, ever.