A(nother) blog post four years in the making…

This blog has been around for a while, which means that I’ve likely blogged on Leap Day 2020, 2016, 2012, and quite possibly 2008 (though I think I had a different page then…). So I have used this title before!

Once every four years we get an extra day in the year in order to align the time of the earth’s revolution around the sun more closely with the human calendar. It’s all really brilliant. Getting 6 hours behind each year (more or less) doesn’t sound like much but that’s 25 days over 100 years*, and 50 over 200, which would completely shift the seasons.

Anyway, an extra day is kind of exciting! People always wish for more time, and here it is. Anyone who is awake for 16 hours today has scored the equivalent of an extra hour a day for half of February.

And yet, most of us will fold this day into life as it is. I saw a hilarious tweet that went viral from someone wondering how the rent was the same for a 29-day month as a 31-day month, but for most things we just take the time as it is and treat it as any normal time. Today will be a Thursday like any other.

When people say they want more time, what they mean is that they want more discretionary time. They want more time when they are outside their current obligations. My guess is people also want more time when they feel at their absolute best (a lot of us have some time at 10:30 at night…but don’t feel like doing much of consequence with it…).

But those are all different matters than time itself. That said, I think that for many of us, if we did want to focus on discretionary time, we could figure out a way to add another hour or two a week into this category. It doesn’t require more time. It just requires changing how we spend the time we already have.

*Actually I think it skips every hundred years too, but not if the century is divisible by 400. So 1900 wasn’t a Leap Year but 2000 was…

One thought on “A(nother) blog post four years in the making…

  1. Now, in this case, Ms. Laura Vanderkam, as far as I can see, we’re discussing if it makes sense to spend Feb 29 just like any other day. I doubt if I can spend Feb 29 not like any other days. There are duties that I will need to fulfill, like there are more clients coming in yesterday Feb 29 than the day before yesterday. I suspect that I can solve that one even if I plan ahead of time. Another thing to notice is that while there can be instances where I spend Feb 29 differently from the other days, there are some daily routines that I cannot just stop doing, since they are the foundation of habits. I think that that will apply to Feb 29 as well.
    You also wrote that when I say I want more time, what I mean is that I want more discretionary time. I’m fine with that.
    You also wrote that a lot of us have some time at 10:30 at night…but don’t feel like doing much of a consequence with it…I’m quite sure that I spent almost all of the time between 10:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. last night on Feb 29 doing things of consequence. To get into more detail about that, that is, on what percentage of nights at 10:30 am I doing things that are important to me and on what percentage of nights am I not, we will need to look into my time tracking sheets. That is where it can be helpful if you write back as I’m sending an email to you or connect with me on LinkedIn, Ms. Laura Vanderkam.

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