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February 29th, The Extra Day

The 'glass half full' part of me declares that today is an extra day. Sure, it's part of the regularly scheduled Gregorian calendar, but February 29th (or should it be March 0th?) still feels somewhat different to me.

This extra day, occurring only during a Leap Year, helps adjust for the difference between a normal 365-day year and a solar year (which accounts for the earths placement relative to the sun). That difference is almost six hours, which is why it is needed every four years (give or take).

So, what does this extra day mean to us? Well, a few things, I suppose...

If you were born on February 29th, you can actually celebrate your Birthday without being either late or early. And if you can only celebrate once every four years, I give you my full permission to make it a doozy! Montreal Canadiens legend and winner of the most Stanley Cups in history, Henri Richard, will celebrate his 19th Birthday today. Happy Birthday Henri! Save me some cake.

If you are a salaried employee, you may choose to look at this extra day as a day you aren't being paid for. An annual salary rarely takes Leap Years into account, so you are effectively working gratis today. Thanks for your contribution.

If you write computer software date algorithms, this is the day you get to experience the joy of having your work triumphantly correct itself for the anomaly...or watch in horror as everything crashes and burns. I've written those algorithms. I won't tell you on which side of the fence I landed. ;-)

But, of course, there's always one more way to look at this day. It's all about how you choose to look at it. Why not think of February 29th as a day to catch up in your personal world? Why not use it to re-synchronize with the universe around you and make an impact. That might mean cleaning up a task on your plate. It might mean cancelling meetings and spending the day advancing a project. It might mean reaching out and helping someone. It might mean telling your family and friends that you truly appreciate them, and that you're there for them as well.

Whatever you decide to do with your extra day, try and make a statement with it. It can be as special as you make it.


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