An Extra Day to Live

  • Michael Denmon
  • Mischief
An Extra Day to Live

Every four years, a special day on the calendar comes around. That day is Leap Day. The 29th day of February exists every four years to set straight the calendar that does not account for the 365.25 days we actually have each year. That quarter of a day adds up, and over a couple of millennia, the Gregorian calendar would be celebrating July 4th in the cold embrace of November if not for Leap Days.

For some, Leap Day is their recognized birthday. Those fortunate (or unfortunate) 40-year-olds who still like to brag that technically, they are only ten years old because they were born on February 29th. You know the type.

Then there is the rest of the populace who treat Feb. 29th just like any other day. Only this day has more scratching out of incorrectly written dates.

But what if Leap Day was something more? What if it was the reminder to re-set your outlook on life and live it to the fullest?

Breaking the Chains

The average American male lives to the age of 73. That’s 18 Leap Days, or 18 “additional” days to use as you see fit. Most people don’t think of it that way, though. Because for them, life just continues to go on. There is no change in their daily routines other than a bit of novelty seen from acknowledging the weird thing that is Leap Day. That seems like such a missed opportunity, though.

Now, imagine those extra days provided by the Leap Years were vacation days instead of just another notch on the calendar. How would you treat those days then? Would you still keep up with the normal routine? Or would you use that one vacation day to do something fulfilling? 

Consider a change in perspective when you approach Leap Day. This is a day to do something different. You may not be able to take today as a vacation day from work, but you can make it a vacation day from the routine. All you need to do is consider the opportunities you have to make a difference in your life or the lives of others.

Share The Wealth with Others, Too

While not everyone will warm to the idea of treating Leap Day as a day to reset their mindset, you have the opportunity to help change that by making the day a day of helping others. If you have one extra day and want to make the most of it, there aren’t many better options than the one of helping others.

So make Leap Day a day of service to others. You can do this as selflessly as you would like, but you can also get some good out of it as well. For example, why not use Leap Day as a day to clean out your closet and donate some unworn clothes to a local shelter or program for the needy? You get an orderly closet, and others get some nice clothes. Imagine 18 days of your life spent helping others get the clothes they need to help them feel better about themselves. What a way to live a life.

Memento Mori

The real opportunity of Leap Day is the ability to break loose from the norm. While it isn’t a sudden jolt to the system like a life-changing event might be, you can use this quirky day as your reminder that maybe you only have 12 Leap Days left in your life. One of the most impactful things a man can do is to remember that he is mortal. That he will die. 

Legacy is important to most men, and when you take the time to realize that the next year, week, or even the next day is not guaranteed, you can better understand your place in life and where it is currently. That awareness brings about an awakening within the soul, a drive to do more, to be better, to be remembered.

There are two deaths that a man will have occur. The death of his mortal life on Earth, and the death of his memory when his name is spoken by others for the last time. While your Leap Day activities may not be the times your life gets remembered for, do they have to be any less impactful?

Leap Day is a mark on the calendar that was the best solution to an inconvenient discrepancy between reality and a constructed timeline. Make Leap Day your own best solution against stagnancy by treating it as a day to re-shape your life into one that is lived to its fullest, every day of the year.

And then maybe you can use Leap Day as a day of rest, instead.