When to Hold, When to Fold

In this game we call Life, knowing when to hold’ em and knowing when to fold’ em is the million-dollar question. Just ask Kenny Rogers since he liked to sing about it so much.

From a very early age we are taught to never give up. Ever. No matter how hard things get, how rough the road, how choppy the sea, how sick you become at the thought of continuing on with… <insert your own perceived challenge here>, we must NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.

I can understand this logic as it applies to many things. When your child is struggling with Math and they just need to hang in there and give it some more time and effort. Or when a relationship hits a rocky patch (as inevitably happens) and both parties need to try a bit harder.

But sometimes I think this “NEVER GIVE UP” black and white thinking can cause us a lot of unnecessary anguish and trouble. Especially when something threatens our very wellbeing — mentally, physically or otherwise. Perhaps staying in a toxic or abusive environment for too long… or wasting precious years and energy on people incapable of change… investing heavily in endeavors that are seemingly bound for nowhere.

I think there are times when “folding”—as unpopular as it may sound in our highly-driven-claw-our-way-to-the-top society—is the healthiest choice we can make… regardless of what others think of us as a result. Times when tearing a page from Life’s Playbook, lighting it on fire and watching it burn is the best thing we can possibly do.

How do we know when that time has come? Well, your gut will have to tell you that. Everyone’s journey is different. But I can tell you from personal experience that when you’re miserable more than you are happy or you awaken daily beneath heavy blankets of depression, anxiety or fear… When the people who love you the most are the ones being consistently hurt by your inability to function as a loving, caring and giving human being… When you’ve completely forgotten the sound of your own laughter…

Maybe it’s time to fold.

Maybe it’s time to walk away, pick up a completely different deck of cards and start up a whole new game.


11 thoughts on “When to Hold, When to Fold

  1. Wow. Yeah. Fold away. No one is going to give you an award for holding on to the bitter end and making yourself miserable in the process. I can think of very few situations to which I’d apply “never give up.” Maybe just the daily getting up and choosing to be part of society. I don’t want to give up on that. Or if someone I loved got dementia and became horrible to be around, I don’t think I’d give up on them. But otherwise?….

    Not that I’m a total flake (I hope), but if something isn’t working, I’m pretty quick to abandon it and move on. *Well* before it gets to the point of making me forget the sound of my own laughter. (Sorry. That line freaked me out.) Life is short. Some things (and even some people) just aren’t worth the time or effort.

  2. I think it is important to find that balance in our lives. I am slowly learning what to invest my time in as well as which battles to pick or walk away from. I do it for my health and sanity and that is okay:)

      • I enjoy reading your posts so ill definately be back!

        I’d also like to thank you for subscribing to me. Makes all those hours spent writing worth it when you receive another follower.

        • I definitely know what you mean about getting subscribers! It’s a rubber stamp that what you’re spending all this time on is really meaningful or enjoyable to other people and it keeps you going! Thanks for subscribing here too 🙂

  3. You posted this—or rather, I’m reading this—at a time when your central point rings true for me. I can’t say that I’ve forgotten the sound of my own laughter. I suppose I’m easily amused. But I hate giving up, more so than reason would allow. They say one definition of insanity is that when you find yourself in a hole, dig faster. I really should take the time to think all this over, but I have so much digging to do. o.O

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