We live our lives day to day as if our time is going to be infinite. At times we feel like we are never going to run out of time, yet how do we know when our time is really up? That's just it. We don't.

We all have a time clock on our lives that is unique to our own individual life. We go through experiences that maybe our neighbor has never been through and vice versa. With that being said, it also goes to show that we all go through life stages at different times than others such as graduating college, getting married, raising a family, moving to a new state and so on.

Have you ever noticed that when a person is laid to rest, their headstone has the date they were born, a dash, and a date that they passed away? A wise friend once told me that what matters is not how long that timeframe is between the two dates, but how well they lived their life during the "dash" that counts the most. What a great way to look at life. It doesn't matter how long a person lived but how much of an impact they made on others through the time they were alive. The dash represents how full we lived our lives.

Think of a timeline of historical events. You have the start date, then a timeline of events leading up to the end date. For each year in between, for the most part, there is a significant event that happened and a mini story to describe the event on the timeline. Now correlate that with your own life. Think of what your life timeline would look like. Would it have long gaps in between years where you may not have lived life to the fullest? Or would there be a significant event to timeline each of the years in your life?

Timelines representing our lives are not just about significant events like getting married, graduating college, etc., but also the little things that can mean just as much or even more as the big things. For example, maybe the year you met your spouse was the same year you went on a Mission to help the needy in another country. Or maybe the same year you graduated college was the same year you started a foundation that raised enough money to provide school supplies to parentless children.

Everyone has a timeline of life events that is unique, personal and special to them in their own individual way. No two life timelines are exactly the same out there. The question is, if you reflected back on your timeline of events in your life up to this point, what would yours look like? Would you have long gaps in between and just have the basic events or would you have lots in between with events such as helping others, making a difference, or even showing kindness to someone else?

Although you may think that the "small" events above are not really significant events to include on your life timeline, somewhere out there, to someone, somehow, they disagree with you. For they know what you did for them qualifies to be included on your timeline because of the impact you have left with them.

No event is ever too small to include on your life timeline if it involves helping other people. Those are the events that will make your life timeline more meaningful in the end, when you look back one day and reflect to see how well you lived during the "dash."

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle "Mikey" Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at www.myaskmikey.com or myaskmikey@yahoo.com.

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