If there is one thing I learned in 2008, it's that none of us knows how much time we have left here on earth.
Although it sounds a bit trite, I've come to understand that every single day we have is a gift.
I believe that a gift is something unexpected, something not to be taken for granted.
The day that my mom passed away started out like any other for her. She was going about her normal activities -- visiting friends, shopping for groceries -- when suddenly, her time on earth was done.
Experiencing and reflecting on her passing jarred me into a harsh reality: The same thing could happen to me, or to any one of us, at any time. Any day.
Would I be ready?
Every single day we are here on earth is a gift, yet I often squander the gift of time. I fritter away hours on the urgent and neglect the truly important. I miss opportunities to connect with a friend or to really listen to someone close to me.
In 2009, I want to more carefully use the gift of time. I want to spend it more thoughtfully in order to leave the world a better place, be it through a kind word or deed, or a memory captured and preserved.
I don't want to leave the truly important things undone.