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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET holy ground without running away. I knew there was something spiritual about second chances, and I made a promise to myself to find out exactly what it was. How could I do that? I established a daily practice. Again, I made a checklist: • Begin each day by reading and reflecting on a quote or inspirational message. • Dedicate time each week for heart-to-heart conversations with true friends and fellow seekers. • Participate in at least one Twelve-Step meeting each week, wherever on earth I might be. • Explore a new part of the world (India and Nepal). • Listen to music that soothes my soul (Brahms to Smokey Robinson). • Pray and meditate. • Ask for help when I need it. • Be present and open to the deeper possibilities inherent in each moment. • Oh yes, write a book and blog about second chances. So at sixty-eight years old, with this list in mind, I smiled, crossed my fingers, and stepped into the New Year, ready to unclutter my life in order to see what treasures and life lessons awaited me. Remarkably, one of my best friends, Marina, who had been a child care professional for more than thirty years, made a similar resolution. We decided to begin our New Year by participating in a spiritual retreat on the topic of letting go. Letting go of expectations and opening to unseen and unfamiliar possibilities, Marina and I were reminded, is a prerequisite to uncovering second chances. Have you ever made a decision that sounded good at the time but then led to unanticipated results? One example would be the decision to give birth to, adopt, or foster a child. We can never fully predict how profoundly our lives will change when we welcome a child into our family. In fact, what I needed as a parent of young children was exactly what I would need this year: an open heart, a sense of humor, an adventuresome spirit, and courage. I had no idea how much I would need courage. I now see that changing without courage is an ornery thing. Letting go requires A Year of Second Chances 9 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Comfort in Little Things Recall your favorite teacher or someone who “got” you when you were young. Find out how to contact that person. Write, call, or show up to say thank you. Savor the moment.