When the universe is kind enough to grant you a second chance, you need to grasp it with both hands and squeeze. You need to appreciate it while it's there in front of you and never never never take it for granted.
This time of year, six years ago (amazing that it's already been that long), I thought my life had fallen apart. I was divorcing, moving, changing jobs, everything that comes with starting over. I was 32. Until about a month before this, I thought my long-suffering marriage was on an upswing. There was talk of a second child, a vacation, renovations to the house. But, in one clear moment of lucid honesty, it was over, as it should have been many times before.
For a few months, I lamented. Even at the time, I realized it wasn't the marriage I was grieving for. It was the other things I would be losing: a house I loved, a life in a wonderful small community, a job with great people, my opportunity for a second child, a VW Bug, my independence (temporarily), the ability to do anything at all without my oldest child in tow, my community theater group. There were a lot of things I loved about my life at that point, but none of them were my husband. Him, I really wasn't going to miss. About his absence, I felt relief.
So, since I don't do actual spring-cleaning, I'll do some soul spring-cleaning. I'll remind myself how very lucky I am, after hitting that bottom six years ago, to again have a home I love, in a lovely small town, a good job in a pleasant place with good colleagues, a second child, a sweet if kind of stupid dog, and the very best husband there is.
That last part, that's the balance. That's what I missing before. It's one of those things that, once you have, you can't understand how you lived without it so long. So, I'm keeping him, and encouraging him to keep me in return.
It's both wonderful and terrifying, having what you want. And I'm holding on tightly. And telling them all every day how lucky I feel to have them.