Leap Day




2012 is a Leap Year.


Leap years are a means of attempting to synchronize the passage of time with the Gregorian calendar. A year in the Gregorian system lasts exactly 365.2425 days, necessitating the addition of one day every four years—leap day.


To further complicate the matter, the friction of the tides are slowing the earth’s rotation ever so slightly, making an occasional addition of “leap seconds” to the clock necessary in an attempt to bring time in alignment. The next leap seconds will be added in June.


Minneapolis combined leap day this year with a snow day. Given this city’s unfortunate ability to remove snow as quickly as it falls, a snow day is almost as infrequent as a leap day on a school child’s calendar.


So, Wednesday February 29, 2012 was REALLY special in Minneapolis!


One would think those two rare simultaneous occurrences would have been a tailor-made prescription for an entire day devoted to the pursuit of child-like fun.


Rather than exhilarated from a day of recreation and relaxation, however, I went to bed exhausted on leap/snow day 2012. I found myself buried deeper and deeper, not under fresh fallen snow, but rather the burden of work unfinished due to a power outage caused by power lines snapping in our neighborhood.


This caused me to reflect on how challenging it is to impose order on a truly unruly thing—time. Time mocks every attempt to control it. The amount of time we are granted is a gift. It seems to speed up as we get older, yet slow down significantly when the Internet is out!


Given time we can usually make more money. But, given money, we cannot make one additional second—not even a leap second—of time. Despite all of this, time is the most wasted resource on the planet. The illusion that somehow we get to augment time, like an occasional leap day every couple of years, seems prevalent.


My renewed commitment after leap/snow day 2012 is to truly appreciate time for what it is—the most precious and scarce resource on earth. What about you?


DO less. BE more




  • Russ Wyllie on September 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm said:


    I attended Carlson MMI program a few years ago and was a part of one of your sessions, which I enjoyed tremendously!!

    Really like the things you write and the thoughts you share. Just thought I would let you know.
    Russ Wylle