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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Stepping into the Unknown: Not Your Average New Year’s Resolution Perhaps because my birthday is on New Year’s Eve, I’m inclined to take New Year’s resolutions to heart. I don’t have a choice about getting older, but I can aim to be older and wiser. I have known for a while that I can allow habits to elbow out creativity. Old patterns of behavior are like old friends. By relying on what I know, I can be comfortable in my ways. I know what to expect. I don’t have to devote all that energy to starting over. Okay, so life might not be as passionate or as fresh as it was when I was a wet-behind-the-ears teacher learning everything on the job or one of the small percentage of attorneys who were women in 1973. But a steady life is a predictable life. Forsythia and lilacs bloom each spring; my dog greets me with adoration at the door. My work is rewarding. My son, Nick, and I talk every evening. My friends are steady and loving. Why would I think there is more? Isn’t this enough? Sure, life as we know it is enough. But life as we don’t know it? That’s where the magic awaits. That’s where second chances abound. As I contemplated my New Year’s resolution for 2014, I recalled in a deeper way that life is gloriously enlightening when I summon the cour- age to walk where I have not walked. Perhaps the time had come for this teacher to surrender to being taught in ways that I could not foresee. The time had also come for this attorney to trust the fluidly evolving spirit of the law more than the predictable letter of the law. And that is why I decided to dedicate a year to my quest to understand second chances. Along the way, I hoped to answer the following questions: • What is a second chance? • Where do second chances originate? • Do we earn second chances? Do they fall into our laps, or both? • Can we create second chances for ourselves? For others? • Is giving someone a second chance ever “wrong”? • What are the spiritual principles behind second chances? • Why are second chances essential for educators and the children whose lives we touch? A Year of Second Chances 5 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL