Take the Leap & Make it Count

27. February, 2012 Opinion No comments

As we become more time-starved and live more hectic lives, it is increasingly common to wish for a little extra time to get things done, to tick off the boxes on our action lists. But if we had more time, would we really make it count or would we just stretch our activities to fill the time void? There is always more to do and, if we have become good at one thing, it is prevaricating. We always think there is another day. Sometimes that is not the case.

This came to mind especially this week, as we prepare for the extra day that is added to our calendar every four years: January 29. Being a Wednesday, most of us will simply continue our usual routine of work or study, almost unaware of the date, but that should not prevent us from marking this Leap Year by doing something special or out of the ordinary.

Undertaking charitable work or making a contribution to those more in need would be very commendable, of course, but I am not suggesting that everyone needs to make such a grand altruistic gesture. I am also not talking about the outmoded idea in some countries where a woman is ‘able’ to propose marriage to a man on 29 February. Surely, in these times of apparent equality, such a simple act should not need a special day every four years.

The type of meaningful deed I am considering is one that could make this a day for adding value to your own life and the lives of those who are close to you. It could be the day that kicks off a new attitude to dealing with life. It does not need to take a lot of time or effort, either. It could be as simple as picking up the phone to someone you have not spoken with in some time or dropping by after work to visit a family member or neighbour.

Recently the relative brevity of life and the need to grasp every opportunity to share times with friends and family was brought home to me with a jolt. While travelling in Peru for most of this month, I was tracked down with the shocking news that a good friend had died. We had recently spoken about getting together to catch up over a few glasses of wine, but we had both allowed minor matters to delay an actual meeting. Now that chance has gone forever.

We are all guilty of pulling out of opportunities to meet when we are a little tired or just do not feel like making the effort. We can make excuses and reschedule with the best intentions of meeting at the next chance. What we do not consider is that chances like these are not infinite and we never know when they are about to run out. And when they do, we can never turn back the clock. The event that I experienced serves as a reminder that life is too short to put off until tomorrow what can be done today.

It might be purely symbolic that this week will provide an extra day, but I intend to make my day count. I will use it as a chance to call friends and make firm commitments to meet up. It is a small thing, and arguably something that we should all do already, but this Leap Year will encourage me to make those calls. What will you do with your day?

Marcus Agar has been commissioned to write a series of observational reports for Wannabe Magazine. Click for Serbian or for an interview in English or Serbian.

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