Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day Motivation

Leap years were never a big deal to me. Last week, my eight-year-old granddaughter was fascinated by it and asked me why we had leap years. 

Because they just happen. 

Not the most intellectual answer but in my defense she asked me while we were walking into the grocery store. 

A smart grandma would have pulled out her handy dandy smartphone and used the internet to find the answer. I could have told her about how the calendar we follow is called a Gregorian calendar which uses 365 days to comprise one year and it needs to compensate for the Earth's complete orbit around the sun which is approximately 365.24 days. So every four years we get an extra day in February to make up for that .24 days. 

Yeah, she would have looked at me cross-eyed, too.

This year, my company made a big deal about leap year with all day events that my inner work scrooge sneered at. My perfect day at work is when I can get through eight hours at the cube farm blissfully cocooned within my headphones listening to meditations, positive affirmations, and music. I work better this way maintaining a semblance of sanity while hoarding the only solitary hours I have in my day. I try to avoid as much interaction as possible. 

But my mind was blown this morning when I heard a four-second ad blasting my eardrums before my meditation video started. 

TODAY IS LEAP DAY! YOU HAVE AN EXTRA 24 HOURS IN THE YEAR TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

Whoa. 

For someone who covets time I never placed value in the extra 24 hours I gained during a leap year. I never cared. 

Until now. 

I asked myself: how can I make a difference today? 

I started by participating in the events my company planned for us, smiled at the walking dead fellow employees who never reciprocate, genuinely complimented people, switched my irritation to gratitude, turned my seething anger toward colleagues into prayers of blessings. In other words, I consciously engaged without being fake. 

I know making a difference begins with small gestures. 

Yesterday, my granddaughter Rylee, ran her first race and received her first race medal. I remembered a time last year when she sat for a while staring at my race medals hanging on the wall. When I asked what she was doing she wanted to know if she could have them. 

No, baby girl, you win your own medals. It's the best feeling ever! 

I could have easily given them to her but I hoped to instill a hunger for challenging her mind and body to achieve a goal she never thought possible. I HATED running at her age. I tried out for track but was told I was too slow because of my asthma. That translated to "you suck at running." 

At the time she asked for my medals my intention was more on planting a seed than making a difference. But what I realized today was you make a difference when you plant seeds of inspiration, motivation, and determination. 

Once the medal was placed around her neck after crossing the finish line she ran to me with eyes shining brighter than her medal and said, "I want to run another one!" 

And right there a bloom sprouted from the seed I planted a year ago. 

Leap day is coming to an end but making a difference every day for the rest of the year should not. Let us all be kind to one another and not waste any second on negative thoughts and emotions. 

I found the ad on Youtube that reminded this work scrooge that kindness goes a long way.