This morning at the hair salon, I took note of the fundraiser box of candy bars in front of me. After cursing its presence, I promptly bought a Twix and felt good about contributing to a junior lifeguard’s efforts to go to New Zealand.I polished off both cookie bars and decided to check the expiration date. Fortunately for my person, it said, “Best by 12/26/12.” Whew. Note to self, next time check expiration dates prior to consumption. December 26. The day after Christmas. Yes, I’m best by that date, too, because starting the 26th and going straight through to at least the end of February, I tend to mourn the loss of Christmas. I’m moody (more than usual), I don’t want to do much, and I play Christmas CDs since KOST is no longer playing holiday tunes 24/7. Truth be told, even if Christmas officially lasted a month instead of a day, it probably wouldn’t be long enough for me. As it is, I start my holiday prep the day after Thanksgiving and late December always comes too soon. I started thinking about the “best by” advice, and started relating it even more to me. In my last job, was I “best by” a certain date? Yep, most definitely. I feel that date was a good two years before I actually moved on, which is somewhat unfortunate…because just like the Twix, come December 26, all freshness starts to go downhill, and the little tasty offering isn’t as delicious. One of my guity pleasures is watching Metal Mania on VH1 Classic, and so many of the videos I grew up on (think Poison, Whitesnake, Scorpions) are still at my fingertips. Were these guys best by? Sure. I’m sure this particular date is likely debated among many, but the mere idea of “best by” inspires me to make the notion be less about a single day and more about a lifestage. And I know I haven’t yet hit it. Tonight I am thankful for my “best by” thoughts in the salon chair which led to more “best by” thoughts throughout the day, which led to the realization that our best doesn’t end in a day like a Twix bar, but instead it can be as long as we have the desire to do our best — at something — each day.