An Extra Day

Leap Day. February 29th.

It comes once every four years – a novelty like a shooting star. It’s somewhat extraordinary when you think about it.

I say somewhat because science has boiled it down to a basic understanding. We really get 365 and 1/4 days each year so those quarters add up to an extra day.  We get it.  We understand.

But to think we get an extra day added to our calendar can be an opportunity for something exciting. It’s a gift really if you want it to be.

I started my Leap Day uninspired. Just a normal Monday and the blues that comes with it. Feeling frustrated with the things at work that aren’t moving along – the everyday boulders we can only budge an inch or so along.

But I was reminded that today is a unique opportunity – a day we get once every four years. A day we get to do something different, or just find something beautiful in the ordinary.

After the normal work day, I found myself at a happy hour with my best friend, having a routine conversation, tracing the past, talking about the present and dreaming about the future.  We had a normal “bro” conversation over food and beer.

Then I come home, the house to myself I find myself selecting the next book I want to read and typing this blog.  Looking through a pile of over 20 books I’ve bought but haven’t read, and a series of draft posts started but not yet finished.

I finished my latest book, What Remains by Carole Radziwill – a book that really reignited my love of reading and writing.  I select my next book – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.  I’ve heard it is a mix of Catcher in the Rye and The Sound and the Fury – I’ve only read the former.

I sit and I start a blog post.  It’s about appreciating the details of life.  I give it a title and save the draft.  I start another on getting through the grit in life to make you better in the long run.  I give it a title and save the draft. I start another titled “Benchmarks,” it has no content, but I save the draft anyway.

Then I sit and really start to think about Leap Day.  The phenomenon of an extra day plopping onto our calendar. It’s almost like a gift – you are given an extra day.  It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of our own lives.  We don’t know when we will die, so every day is an extra day.

But the novelty of Leap Day, if you allow it to be something special can be just what you need to remind you just how special life is.  Do something crazy and different, or take some time to appreciate and do what you love most.

The metaphor of an extra day, of any day really, is the chance to make it something different.  You can shake yourself from monotony.  You can relish in love, friendship, and laughs.  You can take time for yourself.  You can dedicate it to spending time with others.  You can read. You can drive.  You can eat take-out in bed.  You can do whatever you want.

But whatever you do enjoy it, cherish it, savor it.  You have been given an extra day on February 29th, but every day that follows is an extra day. So did you make today special? Maybe you did.  Maybe there were small moments to appreciate. Maybe you did something scary, or something you never did before.  But maybe you got caught up in the distraction and weren’t present.  Maybe you were frustrated and let the negativity dominate you.  Maybe you were lazy and didn’t do anything fulfilling. There’s still time left to do something special.  If not and if God allows it, there’s always tomorrow.

So if we are lucky enough for tomorrow, what will you do with your extra day?

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