Whatever you were doing at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, you probably weren’t thinking about the fact that 2016 is a Leap Year. And it may not seem like a big deal. But every four years, we are gifted an extra day just to keep the calendar year in sync with the time it takes the earth to complete its orbit around the sun. So by adding an extra day every four years, everything stays in balance, but not necessarily everyone.
Why do we have a leap year?
Contrary to what we learn as kids, the earth takes longer than 365 days to orbit the sun. And so, we start every new calendar year with just a little bit of extra time left on our solar clock — 0.242 days, to be exact. By adding that extra day every fourth year, we use up the 0.242 days that accumulated each of the three years before that. In this year’s case, we’re using up the extra time left over from 2013, 2014 and 2015.
How does a leap year keep us in season?
If we didn’t have leap years, our calendar year would fall behind the solar year by one full day every four years. Over the course of 120 years, our calendar year would be one full month askew of the solar year. That could mean warmer winters and cooler summers, eventually leading to a complete overhaul of how we define our seasons.
The leap year is an over 2000-year-old tradition first started by Julius Caesar, but it isn’t antiquated. The next time you experience a warm spring thaw or a white Christmas, thank the leap year for keeping our seasons, and our lives, in harmony with nature.
It’s not uncommon for people nearing the end of life to lament, “If only I had one more day” to do something they always meant to do, like reconnect with a friend or a loved one. Nothing in life is more precious than time.
So why not make a “Leap Year Resolution” – and plan right now how you’ll spend that extra calendar day? Maybe you could take a day to recharge mentally, physically or spiritually. Spend a day designing a true family vacation for 2016 instead of waiting until the last minute. Or spend a day with a colleague in need of support or mentoring. Maybe you’d like to spend time with a former mentor who took time to make a difference in your life, or spend the day volunteering in your community. Perhaps spend a day being inspired by the beauty of nature or art or making the acquaintance of someone you admire.
Tradition has it that women are supposed to propose to their men on leap day. Is that something that interests you? Maybe you can ask your man to remarry you, all over again!
An extra 24 hours – What to do?
Here are 24 suggestions for how we might choose to be spend our extra time. My point is, using the gift of an extra day doesn’t require that you do something profound. But don’t squander the gift of an extra day. Be intentional. Plan how you’re going to use it. And make the most of your “Leap of Faith” in 2016!
What ideas do you have?
- Knitting, painting, making jewelry, organizing the closet.
- Reading up how to do a new project
- Catching up my with children/grandchildren/friends
- Sleep for 24 hours
- Netflix and chill
- Take a long walk/hike
- Get lost (LOL)
- Eat the hottest hot sauce ever
- Learn yoga
- Basket weaving with the Girl Scouts
- Write an essay for school
- Tend to my houseplants
- Buy note cards at LTD 7 and write hand-written notes to friends and family
- Visit LTD 7 and just shop! Open 10-2 Downtown and 10-5 at the Rowe location.
- Make a home-made dinner
- Teach the puppy a new trick
- Make prototypes with cookies and icing
- Recolor my hair!
- Watch “Leap Year,” the movie.
- Find a new nail polish and gel design. Get my nails done.
- Stalk Facebook and catch up
This year is a leap year… and it’s next Monday, February 29th. I will likely be at Grandma’s Bait…working on my newest “leap of faith.”
What are you going to do to celebrate?
Living the Dream,