I just read somewhere that if you want an extra day, you just had one. What did you do with it? The reference was to February 29, being Leap Day and if you didn’t catch the recent 30 Rock episode devoted to a celebration of Leap Day, find it. It’s worth a chuckle or two, especially Leap Day William.
My own take on an extra day is that every day is a gift and a great way to begin the day is to start with that same question, what will you make of it? You see, the truth is that we don’t actually know how many days we will have, as they are definitely numbered, and we’re most fortunate, for many reasons, to have come this far. Thus, I start out also with gratitude for being given the opportunities that lie ahead to make the most of this day, today, February 29. That it is presented once every four years to catch up with a rather weird calendar of minutes in an hour, hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month and months in a year is of no consequence.
For a long, long time, since I was a kid who delighted in snow (and still do), I have had this vision of a new day being like newly fallen snow. No one, especially me, had made any tracks in it yet. I look out on this new day and there it is, laid out for me in all its splendor with hundreds of possibilities and choices as to how I will engage, with whom, on what terms, for what purpose and where I will be present and make a mark. And the day begins.
I have a routine, like most people, and mine starts with some meditation, reflection and prayer, often before my feet hit the floor, but many times while sitting or even standing upright. Position can be very important for thinking, feeling, seeing, musing and planning. Right now, to my left, is a large body of water, Elliott Bay, in Seattle. Since I live in the high desert, I often choose to stay on or very near water when I travel as it gives me a deep and visceral connection with one of the elements that nurtures life including my own.
I have already started making my tracks in this day and they will continue with an informal breakfast meeting with a colleague and friend, more encounters and conversations at a national conference of several thousand educators, welcoming my wife flying up from California, seeing long time friends and associates, enjoying a dinner this evening sponsored by an architectural firm in San Antonio and so on. I will avoid as many formal meetings as possible and probably end the day by reading some of my current night stand book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. And I will finally review the day to see what kinds of tracks I made, the swiggly curves here and there, the intersections, the pathways, the connections and then turn it over, let it go
and welcome sleep. At least, that’s the outline and plan. Will it go exactly as I think it will? Of course not and that’s perfectly OK. I am open to learning something new and taking a different tack.
Since I regard each new day as a gift, to be unwrapped, surprised by grace and celebrated joyfully as often as possible it’s even exciting to contemplate the possibilities. Will they all be realized? No, but if I can even embrace 50% of the possibilities that lie ahead, what a great day it will be! I hope you enjoy your day, that you make the most and best of it and have the time of your life. Now, off I go to see what I can give to this day that has been given to me.