By Deborah Gantos, Editor-In-Chief of Surplus Today

The first thing I would like you to do as you read this letter is to answer the question: What have you done with your life so far? Just for fun, try asking a few people this same question and see what they say.

The reason I asked this question was that I recently received an invitation to attend my high school reunion. To give you a bit of background, I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. My childhood and teenage years were spent experiencing many of the things that other kids were undergoing, feeling the same angsts and rites of passage, all 650 of us!

Among the reunion-related papers, I received a request to provide an entry for the “Memory Book.” We only had 125 words to accomplish this task. Yikes! How was I going to accomplish that trick? I needed to give that some thought.

So I took a break and forced myself to start a project I dreaded: cleaning my cluttered, disorganized closet. Among the pile of books, mementoes and other paraphernalia, I found a diary I wrote when I was in high school. Some of you may remember the ones that had a clasp and lock so your mom or siblings couldn’t snoop at all the heartfelt feelings and private scenes you inscribed for each day of the week. The problem was each day’s entry was only one inch wide. My writing was carefully enclosed in those small spaces. Here we go again… small spaces to condense everything in my life.

If you only had 125 words to write about your life so far, what would you write? That exercise and reading my diary served as a wakeup call to quit sleep walking through years of my existence and concentrate on the present moment, day and year. I find myself telling my daughter to really live her young life: savor each day, go, explore, love, laugh and enjoy. Funny thing, my grandmother told me the same thing and I didn’t listen. So I am repeating that message in this letter to remind all of you to remember the past, but not to dwell on bad memories and cherish the wonderful ones.

So what is the point of all these musings? The point is to ask you to spend a few moments to take a personal inventory—just as you may do at your place of business. What patterns do you see? What and who are most important to you? Why are you continuing to do some of the things that fall under the category, “been there, done that”? Where have you been doing these activities? Is this where you want to be? If not what would be the location, state, country? If you do not know these things, how are you going to spend the rest of your life? You will be choosing the “same old, same old thing.” It is your choice. Choose to make whatever time you have left so that you can: