As Leap Day approached I began to have this sense I was to get what I always seem to need: an extra 24 hours in the day. I didn’t write this blog post as usual on Monday because, well, I could do it on my “extra” day (and I also wanted the novelty of posting on Leap Day for no other reason than to have February 29 logged on the blog, which is about as significant as picking out a certain coffee mug to drink from in the morning to elicit a certain mood, but that’s what I do).
An extra 24 hours.
Would the laundry get washed, folded and put away? If so, Leap Day could replace my desire to declare “Naked Day” for this same purpose.
Would I have enough time to work on upcoming deadlines? If so, Leap Day would allow me to bring my head “above water,” rather than stay where I usually am, just below the surface, breathing with a snorkel.
Would time for my workout come easily? If so, Leap Day could become the “restart” day I’ve needed in the slow-to-motivate last two weeks.
Then I started to think that perhaps Leap Day should be designated a holiday so that people can take advantage of their 24 hours however they wished. I wanted my daughters home from school. I wanted us to approach our extra 1,440 minutes with intent. By marking this bonus day in some way special, we would celebrate time–really consider what it means to have time here on earth–and thus, our life and our time together.
Backstory: I spent the weekend at the Motherhood and Words Writing Retreat. I was cocooned with seven extraordinary women with ample time for writing my life and a bonus health coaching session that provided much needed tools for living my life (and don’t you know I’ll be blogging about that in the future). If you’ll allow me to continue with my metaphor, I feel as if I’m still snugged up in that protective cocoon built from my experience at the retreat. Sure I came home and dove back into “real lice”–oh my gosh, did I say lice? I mean life, although, yes, there was lice, too (again, another post, focus Kara!)–I can’t shake the serenity. There was a metamorphis. I feel different. I have new friends; new essays; new ideas; new knowledge. I am by no means ready to fly, I am still enjoying this place of comfort and transition–LO!–the PRESENT!
Is that truly possible? Am I here, living in the present? Or… is it the coffee mug I chose this morning? The one that evokes Eastern religion and meditation for me. The green is calming, the orange blossoms–my favorite color–make me happy. Or did I pick the mug because I’m already here, in the present*, where I should stay because, to quote a friend: it’s the only place my body knows.
Would you believe… while writing this post, the school district called with their automated message announcing that, due to severe weather, school is cancelled today, Leap Day. Coincidence? No, I can’t see it that way. God is so unbelievably good to me like that. I will embrace the day for the holiday it is.
*Disclaimer: I kind of hate it when people talk about the importance of living life in the present when I don’t feel I’m doing that very well, mostly because I’m hearing something I already know and forcing myself to thinkabout being present doesn’t seem to work very well. Therein lies my problem, as I learned on this retreat. I can’t just *think* about being present, I must act on living in the present. I can no more think my way about being present as I can think myself into running a personal best 5K. For that I am planning my workouts and diligently following the plan with specific speed and strength training. So it is with living in the present. Apparently mindful workouts (sitting still, reflecting, meditating) are necessary.