How many have you gotten? When you got that second chance, what did you do with it - use it wisely or waste it?
Second chances are special. They're kind of like a do-over: This is where you get another opportunity to do something right that you might have previously missed the mark on.
When a second chance comes your way, you see it for the precious gift that it is. It makes you want to work harder to fully embrace the opportunity. Armed with the backward vision of what didn't work, you'll try extra hard to skip the old mistakes, running headlong. ...into new mistakes. Such is life; don't let it stop you!
I've just been given a second chance that, for once, comes to me because somehow I managed not to mess up the first one.
I'm June Jagunic, and I've been in this spot before, between July 2008 and June 2009. I really loved writing for you, the reader, and was sorry when my time was up. There were four of us then, and we each had a day every other week for one year to write about what was near and dear to our hearts. We're fortunate to get another chance to do it again.
When my time was up in 2009, I started a blog - www.1halffull.wordpress.com; some of you even read it. I enjoyed your comments and encouragement. After a while, I fizzled. There just wasn't anything that I wanted to share; what was in my heart and on my mind was more for my private journal. Or that's what I told myself, anyway. Maybe I'd just grown lazy.
When I got this invitation to a second chance, it woke me up to all the possibilities of what I might share with you this time around.
Since I'm an issues type of person, I can see myself getting on my soapbox to hopefully make you think more about a particular subject. You might agree with me or you might get angry; either way, you'll have the freedom to comment. I might even comment back.
I plan to share the stories of some local people whom I find very interesting. You probably won't meet them at the local gala or the biggest fundraisers. Nonetheless, they are people who are doing things to change our communities, to build us up rather than tear us down.
I hope to give you a look inside my own heart, my own head about days of importance and days that have meaning even though no one is out there raving about them.
And then there are the "feelings." I tend to be very passionate about certain things, things that cause feelings like joy, pride, happiness, sadness, anger, fear. I invite you to get on that roller coaster with me and see where we end up.
Here's a short example.
There's the feeling of my heart as it swells with emotion when I listen to the W.D. Packard Band on Fourth of July.
The band plays a wonderful array of music, but nothing compares to the "On Parade March." It is a grand salute to those who have served in our military, men and women, past and present.
As the first notes trumpet across the crowd, I start to tear up. By the time they reach the Air Force "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder," it's hard to hold back the tears. I think of my dad, who was a captain in this branch, serving in World War II and Korea; my heart melts. The Marine Corps' "From the Halls of Montezuma" booms out with pride as I think of my brother in the Gulf War.
I am thrilled by the rounds of thunderous applause indicating a full appreciation of the men and women who rise when their theme song rolls through the air. All present share a heightened sense of gratitude and pride in our country and the freedom those in service have made possible. It's a passionate moment shared by everyone present.
Do you feel what I mean?
With that small bit of a beginning, who knows where else we'll go together over this coming year? All I know is that it starts right here. I hope you'll come along with me and enjoy my second chance.
Jagunic is a Cortland resident. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.