Are you living the life you want? Every client of mine would likely answer “no,” at least initially. If they were living the life they wanted, then it would likely follow that their marriage would be a harmonious and empowering union.

We all seek joy in our lives. As we stand before each other at the alter, we believe that marriage will bring greater joy and fulfillment to our lives.

Recently, the Naples legal community suffered a shocking and unexpected blow, when it lost criminal defense attorney, Michelle Hill. Michelle was 42, in the prime of her life, raising her 18-year-old son, running a law practice and about to marry the love of her life when she died. This is the kind of tragedy that affects all of humanity, whether you knew her or not. It makes us realize the notion that you have time, that you’ll get to that thing you really want to do one day, that you’ll have your happiness later, is simply illusory.

For Michelle, while I really only knew her professionally, it was quite apparent from the tributes and photographs that came from far and wide, that she was indeed living the life she wanted. The tremendous outpouring of love and fond memories from her close family, to her fiancé, to scores and scores of her friends, made it clear that while her life was certainly much too brief, Michelle undoubtedly was LIVING the life she wanted.

Recently, my husband and I watched a movie called “The Way.” In the movie, the adult son’s parting words to his father were, “You don’t choose a life, you live one.” As an author of a divorce book that contains not only legal divorce advice, but also advice for finding your passion and creating the life you want, I am dedicating this column in Michelle’s name, and pose the question: are you living the life you want? If so, fantastic news and congratulations. If not, why not? What’s stopping you?

Whether it is getting out of a bad relationship, or ditching a mundane career, I urge you to be present to what it is you really want. There is a quote saying, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” But we are all aware that our days are indeed numbered. So live each and every day like you mean it.

There is no power in being with someone you don’t love or who doesn’t love you. In the blink of an eye, everything can change, so forgive those who trespass against you, and keep those who love you close while you love them back with all your heart. You might never get this chance again.

Rebecca Zung, a family law attorney, is a founding partner of the Law Office of Zung Clough, PLLC in Naples. As a renowned divorce authority, she helps clients transform and rebuild their lives. Her book, “Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide to Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Freedom,” is available on Contact Zung at or

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