Last week, although I mixed in some casino subjects, I talked a lot about family activities. I always want to stress that it is good for a gambler to have balance in his life between his gambling activities and those that Brad and I always refer to as those in the “real world.” This goes for both the casual and/or recreational one and for the professional who depends on his skill for some or all of his income.
It is a known fact that when a person has no social or family ties his mental and physical heath is in danger. And when gambling is hurting the gambler’s relationships, then real problems are brewing – leading in too many cases to divorce, estrangement from children and other loved ones, alcoholism, drug use, or even suicide.
Brad and I have tried to always keep a balance in our lives. Sitting at a video poker machine for too many hours, especially at one stretch, can take a toll on one physically. So we have always had an exercise program in place. Back twenty-seven years ago when we were tourists, we walked 3-6 miles a day couponing up and down the Strip, over to Palace Station, and even to Downtown. But by the time we moved to Las Vegas 11 years ago, our knees and legs were no longer able to take the long walks. So we were happy to switch to swimming in our heated condo pools and utilizing the machines in the exercise room.
People often are surprised when we tell them that we don’t play VP every day, and when we do play we usually don’t put in much over 2 hours. Brad plays more often than I do, averaging about 50 hours a month compared to my 30. But that leaves us plenty of time for non-gambling activities: visiting with friends and family, movies, reading, watching TV, eating out, writing (for me), naps (for Brad), exercising, Facebook, shopping, and just the business of “living.”
We also have always been active in volunteer activities, including the Visiting Nurse Service and the Salvation Army. The last four years I have spent several days a week helping in a kindergarten at the school down the street, working with at-risk students. I also tutor a little neighbor girl five or six hours a week.
The joy you get from helping others can be just as good as a royal flush! I recommend you try it.