It always baffles me that more people don’t get excited about Leap Day. It’s not a holiday. In fact, this year it’s just a typical Wednesday. The morning shows might make some casual reference to the calendar oddity, but apart from that it will go largely unremarked upon by the world at large. A much bigger deal will be made of Groundhog Day, which is pretty mind-blowing when you stop to think about it. (Yes, I’ll say it: Groundhog Day is ridiculous.)
Maybe I’m just overly intrigued by calendars in the same way that I’m overly intrigued by maps (I could stare at them for hours, flipping through a 50-State Rand McNally American Road Map like I flip through a hair-raising novel). I mean, think about it: it only happens once every four years!? This is like violating the laws of physics! Every day happens once a year, but for this one awesome exception…
See, not a lot of people get excited about this. We get really excited about Christmas, which happens annually, like almost everything else in the calendar year does. Shouldn’t Leap Day, by extrapolation, be four times as awesome as Christmas? As New Year’s? As your birthday? And of course, if your birthday happens to fall on Leap Day, that makes it extra anticipatory. Take a moment to raise a glass to all those extraordinary thirty-two-year-old eight-year-olds.
Who’s with me? No takers, huh?
The thing about Leap Day is that it almost doesn’t count as a real day, right? February 28 is the last day of February and March 1 is the first day of March, case closed, but every four years we briefly fall into the twilight zone of Leap Day. I think of it as a day to experiment, to take time to work on or achieve something that might very well fail spectacularly. If it does, well, we’ll pretend it never happened. Kind of like Leap Day itself.
So, shelve that work in progress! Churning out a 200,000-word fantasy doorstopper? Take some time to write a few pages of comic fluff. Be eclectic; try your hand at crafting a stage play. Eke out that Babylon 5 Londo/G’Kar slash fiction you’ve had on the backburner for ten-plus years. Channel your inner Louis C.K. and piece together a stand-up routine.
Remember: what happens on Leap Day stays on Leap Day.
As for me, I’m going put the final touches on my plans for that big quadrennial Leap Year party I’ve been hotly anticipating for the last 1,460 days and leap myself into oblivion.