A Day Late
I was supposed to post a blog Friday as part of the October Blog Challenge, but I didn’t. I was in Vegas for a conference Wednesday through Saturday morning and it was difficult to blog. It’s very easy to end up on “Vegas Time” and go to bed at 1 or 2am (or 3, or 4, or ..), and that’s PACIFIC Standard Time (3 hours behind my home time zone of EST).
I did manage to write the guts of two blog posts on the plane ride out there, so that made it a lot easier than writing from blank space each night. Even though I got Wednesday and Thursday’s posts done at or slightly past midnight Vegas time, I did get them done. I really do want to keep blogging and wasn’t going to allow a business trip to be an excuse to fall off my horse.
A Dollar Short
Friday was a different story; I wasn’t able to get a post written. The bottom line is that I stayed up too late playing Blackjack. By the time I got back to the room it was around 1:30 am. Knowing I had to get up at 6am to get ready and out the door in time to catch my flight home, there was no way I could pull off writing anything. It was my first failure of the blog challenge.
Unfortunately it wasn’t my first failure of the trip. Over the course of three nights I “spent” (lost) a lot more money than I allowed for – by a factor of 10x. This wasn’t the first time that has happened, and so as the trip went on I slowly came to realize, after almost 15 years, I was finally ready to admit that it was time to quit gambling.
I don’t pine for opportunities to gamble, I rarely buy lottery tickets, and I’ve never “spent my last dollar” gambling, but I do “chase losses” and almost always spend more than I plan to. It’s fun, and then it’s not, and I am just tired if it. So, on this latest trip to Vegas, I quit. Forever.
I won’t say that I won’t miss it. I love playing Blackjack, but sometimes you have to quit something you love for something better. The cons usually outweigh the pros (as is likely typical for gambling in general) and I believe I’ll be a better husband, father, business owner, and Ambassador for Christ after removing it from my life.
I’ll share the details of my gambling journey in future posts in the hopes it is of help to anyone who may also be considering quitting.
As a side note, the responses I have gotten since telling people have been interesting. Some people seemed happy, some people seemed relieved, some people seemed disappointed! I got high fives, I got a “thank you” (from someone other than my wife), I got a “cool”, an “interesting”, an “awesome”, and a few more. I also received an email from a friend that didn’t know I quit asking if I was being a stumbling block to others by gambling, with a reference to 1 Corinthians 8:9. I’m thankful for it all! (except for the disappointment – I am not sure what that was all about).
My last hand of blackjack*:
* I actually won this hand and played two more before losing my last bet for good.