Sour grapes.

There are too many stupid statements that open with the words
"If only..."

Sit down and think for a minute. Catch your breath. Ask yourself "Why?" Yes, exactly. Why are you painting yourself into a corner with a napkin full of "If only..." Grab a piece of paper, preferably a piece that already has writing on the other side, and write down the benefits of recounting your list of "If only..." The paper is likely to still have one blank side.

There is one reason, and it comes from the wonderful world of "learning from your mistakes." You feel pretty fancy when you say things like that, don't you? It makes you feel all warm inside when you find reasons for your foolishness. Now, go and throw that piece of paper away. Or recycle it if you are into that sort of thing.

If only...

The Scarecrow wished he had a brain and the funny thing was that he was the smartest one of the bunch. His perception was out of whack due to his line of work. "If only..." works in the same way no matter which way you play it. If only I had done this back then I would be all set right now... Sure, but you didn't. You tossed that card into the pile hoping to get a better draw from the deck. It didn't happen. Play the cards you have. "If only I had enough money to buy that... If only I was able to figure out this problem... If only I could convince her to come home with me and fuck my brains out..." Don't have the cards in your hand to make it happen? Move along. Step onto the escalator and take it up to the next floor, please. You aren't getting anywhere playing the close your eyes and make a really huge wish game. If it isn't possible... now... at this time... then keep moving. Window shopping is fine until you start staining the window with your drool and handprints.

Know when to hold 'em...

You have quite the handful of cards in front of you, whether you accept it or not. They may not work for the situations you have recently been confronted with. They may not seem like the right cards to you. Every card is a winner. You just haven't found the right time and place to play them. The reason you are beating yourself over the head is that you just aren't where you need to be. Sinking deeper and deeper and coming to believe none of your cards plays out as a winner. The table is fixed. Try another one. The dealer might be more friendly and your hand might just be what they are looking for.

Know when to fold 'em...

No one said you had to keep all the cards in your hand. Sometimes you hold them too close to your chest. Some of them are excess baggage. Change the rules and discard as many as you can and see if your hand improves. Or fold them and start over. Don't hold onto those cards so tightly. Your sweat is starting to make them crumple and stick together. Remember, the rules of the game are completely up to you, so the value of your cards is determined by only one person. You know their value. Even if the guy on your left tells you that the four of diamonds is not helping you, maybe that is your wild card. That card could be the winner when you play by your rules. For the sake of all that is self-evident, play the cards you've been dealt. Play to win, but play to win your way. In the end only your rules matter. Just be at the right table when the dealer calls.

Smoke 'em if ya got 'em
It's gonna be a long war.