Just take a leap of faith this year


I’ve managed to steal time.

Utilizing ancient methods of stealth chicanery, I’ve been able to throw a metaphorical lasso around the neck of Father Time, drag him in my general direction and coerce an extra day out of him. I’m not proud of the waterboarding and other various methods I utilized to get my way, but, hey, extreme situations call for extreme measures. The fact of the matter is I got the thing done, and we all benefit.

I bet you never knew so much was behind Leap Year, did you?

Actually, I’m a fan of Leap Year. Sure, it doesn’t really accomplish much outside of keeping our calendar in whack, but there’s just something that interests me in the idea of getting an extra day of February. Would I prefer that the extra day was, in say, July? You bet. But I have no problem stealing that day in February every four years, either.

The real problem comes down to how to utilize that extra day. Do you take a day off work and just mentally convince yourself that you’re not wasting time, since it’s a freebie day anyway? Do you just do your normal Friday schedule, and take the extra day in stride? Or, do you get, well, creative?

I’m choosing the latter.

Oh, so many plans for this special day. First off, the extra day postpones the inevitably of those coming bills due the first of the month. Granted, it’s no cause for grand celebration since there’s rarely a new paycheck that comes in to help out, but you can’t argue with the sheer mental health of keeping that money in your personal account that extra day.

Come to think of it, maybe I’ll just schedule annual payments like homeowners association fees and things of that nature to be automatically deducted every Feb. 29. Yeah, that could potentially backfire, and I’m guessing that the payment would just come out March 1.

Next plan.

Initially, I was warming to the feeling of testing myself by making a conscious effort to fast every Feb. 29. You know, just one of those deals where you push yourself to the limit by sacrificing something important — a little self-confidence boost when you achieve something, and it only has to happen once every four years. But, again, I ran into a stumbling block. That happens to fall on my poker night, and there’s no chance of fasting once Bob Bertram breaks out the pretzels. Plus, I’m chubby. It’s my natural inclination to devour.

Next.

Feeling positive about my chance to do something positive that I really only have to commit to once every four years, I decided that I would volunteer a few hours every Feb. 29 to my favorite charitable organization. This got me excited. I could work at a soup kitchen, or read to the visually impaired or just stuff envelopes for some charitable group that’s trying to raise funds. Alas, after I determined that my favorite charity is, in fact, an organization that pays for breast augmentation for wayward Danish adult dancers, I decided that I could not pursue that angle with a clear conscious.

Batter up. What’s next?

How about a major project? Something like powerwashing my house or doing a major project with my yard or taking on the paper-laden albatross that has become Susan Lyons’ office? All well and good, admittedly, but they all seem like an awful lot of work for a mere quirk in the calendar. Why don’t I just consider picking up after an elephant on an all-bran diet or concocting a plan to make Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hold hands and live together for a new reality show?

Next!

I admit that frustration was beginning to kick me in the belly. It seemed that I couldn’t get a handle on anything special to do with my extra day. Do I just treat it like any other day, go into work, come home and pack it in — or, is there actually a burning desire deep inside me to tackle this situation, come up with a plan and put all my effort into accomplishing said goal?

Or maybe, just maybe, the solution to this problem is to simply lean back my head, clean my brain and contemplate if there is one item that keeps bouncing around my cranium that I constantly wish I had more time to fit it into my schedule. Do I constantly sigh to myself and wish that I had more time to go fishing, or watch movies or just talk with my parents on the phone? Well, sure, but that doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?

But maybe that’s the key. It’s a day of doing those things. I could sneak out for a little bit during the day to take care of some personal things, or make sure that I reserve the time to watch a movie or just flat-out carve time out of my schedule to talk with my parents. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this new clarity should not only be exercised on Leap Year day, it should be considered every day.

We all get swept up in our lives. We’re too busy to do the things we want to do, and only focus on the things we need to do. I’m as guilty of that as anybody, and it took this silly exercise in futility to see the forest through the trees. You really do have to take time out of every day to take care of the things you want to do, instead of focusing on the doldrums of day-to-day life in America.

Man, it’s liberating when a simple little truth of life pops you in the head. Excuse me, I have to take care of some personal things. Those poor Danish girls need my help.