I just flew with my middle daughter to California. Only a three-hour time difference and a six-hour flight, but it got me thinking about losing time. This summer I boarded a plane on a Wednesday afternoon to fly to Australia. I arrived . . . Friday morning. Essentially, that means that I lost a day in travel. In hindsight, I find that quite strange and a bit sad. A whole day lost? I guess at least part of Thursday happened in midair, but either way, I lost a significant amount of time.

I guess we all lose days. Sometimes it is simply because nothing monumental seemed to happen. Other times we just can’t remember what we did. It is the classic situation where my kids return home from a full eight hours in school to report that during their day they did “nothing.” Nothing . . .

And yet we all know how other days are so full, so brimming with activity and accomplishment and results, that those days define us in many ways. The days our children were born, the day we got married, the day we landed that great job. And of course, other days are etched in our memories forever as well. The day we lost a loved one. The day a relationship ended.

Ultimately, we have no idea how many days we have in our livesUltimately, we have no idea how many days we have in our lives. It is so easy to feel that our days are endless, that there will always be more time. And yet, think how many would do anything—give anything—for just one more day in their life. For just one more day in the life of someone they loved.

So perhaps that is why reflecting back on a lost day is making me uncomfortable. I don’t want to lose a Thursday. I don’t want to lose any day. Or even part of a day. And because I did, it is making me realize how much I can truly accomplish with my time when I make the most of it.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once asked what time a certain event would begin. He was told around 10:00 or 10:15. He asked which one it was, for he explained that there was an incredible amount that he could accomplish in fifteen minutes.

It is so easy and so cliche to say that we should use our time well and take advantage of every day. But it is true. For what a shame and waste that a twenty-four-hour period can pass, and we might feel that during our day we did “nothing.” All the more so if we let that day turn into a week, or even longer. Steve Jobs has been famously quoted as saying: “Live each day as if it is your last. One day you will be right.” We can’t live in the past, and we don’t know what tomorrow brings, but we can determine how we want today to be. So get away from your computer screen, and make the most of it!