that's how the ball bounces

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that's how the ball bounces

There is nothing we can do about the way things have unfolded, especially bad things, so there is no reason to be upset about it. I'm pretty gutted about not getting into the grad school program I wanted, but hey, that's how the ball bounces.
See also: ball, bounce, how
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

that's how the ball bounces

Also, that's the way the ball bounces or the cookie crumbles . That is the way matters have worked out and nothing can be done about it. For example, I'm sorry you got fired but that's how the ball bounces, or They wanted a baby girl but got a third boy-that's the way the cookie crumbles. These phrases allude to an odd bounce or a crumbled cookie that cannot be put back together. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: ball, bounce, how
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

that's how (the way) the ball bounces/cookie crumbles

This is the way things have turned out and nothing can be done about it; that’s fate. These expressions became current in America in the mid-twentieth century and quickly spread to the rest of the English-speaking world. Both are enhanced by alliteration, and neither has a totally clear meaning. The bounce of a ball on an uneven surface can affect the outcome of a game, and a cookie disintegrating into crumbs is difficult to consume neatly. Edward Albee used the latter in his play, The Zoo Story (1960): “‘Well . . . naturally every man wants a son, but . . .’—‘But that’s the way the cookie crumbles?’”
See also: ball, bounce, cookie, crumble, how
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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