Because 2020 is a leap year, we get an extra day on Saturday, February 29th. It’s a bonus day–kind of like the extra hour we get when we turn back the clocks in the fall, only times 24.
And in honor of this very special occasion, I want to suggest that Leap Day is a fantastic time to experiment with spending time without feeling the need to fill it up.
Because that’s what we usually do–if we find a chunk of time, we pack stuff into it because we’ve got a real association between time and value. You know, the whole “time is money” idea.
But time isn’t really money. Time is…it’s own thing. Time doesn’t have value because of what you can accomplish or produce during it. It’s not a tool. It’s just a fact. A truth. A part of nature. Like a mountain.
Time has value simply because it exists. Just as you have value simply because you exist, and not because of how much you accomplish or produce.
So I’d like to suggest that we all honor Leap Day, and the bonus time it provides, by making a conscious choice to NOT try to fill it, and just…be. It’s an opportunity to practice mindfulness, which is simply paying attention to whatever’s happening in this moment, and not off in your head planning or worrying about things to come, or rehashing or worrying about things that have already happened.
Let this found time be a day where you can just catch up to yourself, and be a portal to simpler, slower time.
For everyone who’s wondering “But what will I do?” Or, “How?” here are 29 ways to spend this February 29th mindfully:
- Take a nap
- Write a letter
- Write in your journal
- When you get hungry, open the cabinets and the fridge and see what you can make out of what you already have on hand
- Putter around in your yard; investigate what’s happening during this time of year
- Think about what you haven’t had time for lately—and do that
- Take a bath; extra credit for Epsom salts and essential oils
- Declare a no-spending day
- Be lazy; stare at the wall
- Play with a kid
- Play with a pet
- Take a nap with your kid
- Cuddle up with your pet
- Read a book or a magazine
- Hang out in bed
- Have sex
- Walk around your neighborhood and chat with your neighbors
- Do a crossword puzzle
- Do a jigsaw puzzle
- Do an arts and crafts project
- Watch the clouds
- Pop in on a friend
- Open the windows, lie in bed, and listen to the sounds happening outside
- Lie on the ground and feel your body sink in to the floor, like a pat of butter on top of a stack of warm pancakes
- Take a walk with no particular destination—at every corner, just see which direction looks most enticing and go that way
- Really listen to some of your favorite music
- Watch the birds outside your window
- Bonus points for taking a tech-free day
Wishing you a great Leap Day!