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My husband took me on a little vacation for my birthday. He knows that I love to play slot machines so he booked a stay at a casino resort where he could make use of the pool and spa and I could play the latest slots like Walking Dead and Britney Spears.

While I was losing money, it occurred to me that the way I look at slot machines is much the way I look at other things in my life, as well as, my illness.

I don’t really care if I win the big jackpot (thousands of dollars). I just like my money to last as long as possible by winning the little amounts and occasionally getting the fun bonus rounds that are always on the machines that I play.

In my writing life the same is true. I don’t need to be a New York Times Best Selling Author. I don’t need to be published in the New Yorker. I am happy with getting many things published in smaller publications on a regular basis. I don’t need to hit the jackpot. In fact, I don’t even have my sights on it. The important part is to be in the field, being allowed to participate.

I view my illness the same way. I’m not shooting for a full recovery like some people claim to have achieved. I am happy to have good days. I am happy to have days where I have the ability to write an essay, write a blog, write an article, promote my work on social media, and on the rare occasion, participate in an interview. In other words, I’m happy that I have some change left to play with – it is the ability to play the slots, write my ideas down, and participate in life, that make me happy.

I don’t need to win the great jackpots. I am satisfied with the little wins that keep me in the game and keep me going. The jackpots are one in a million and so disappointing, the little wins come frequently and are what make the game worth playing.

At the end of our stay here, I will have lost all my spending money but I will have won many small jackpots. The same is true at the end of my life, but I will have had fun, because I was in the game.

Stay in the game – the small wins are the victories that make it all worthwhile.  I think I have a couple more bucks in my purse, I better head downstairs to the casino floor. I’m not done  playing yet – I have lots to win both here and elsewhere. I’ll say it again, stay in the game and focus on the little wins, the daily wins. You may be lucky enough to hit a jackpot but if not, you’ll be happy if you can appreciate when you line three Britney Spears up and she starts to sing a song signaling that your won 500 pennies or more.