Extra day not one to waste

OK, so today isn't really an extra day.

But it sure feels that way.

After all, Feb. 29 only comes around once every four years, at least usually. (There is the exception for end-of-century years that are not evenly divisible by 400, which means the next "skip" will be 88 years from now.)

The added day to the calendar's shortest month gives a feeling, if nothing else, that we have a bonus day today, a day that is in some ways "off the books." Many of us long for more time, a few extra hours to get some things done that we never seem to be able to get completed.

Well, here it is. An additional day, just waiting to be used.

So, what will we do with it?

It's an opportunity to get back in touch with that old friend you've been meaning to call, to visit someone you've missed, to finish that project that your spouse has been bugging you about, to read that book that you started and put down ... we all have stuff we've been meaning to do. This is a good day to do it.

It's also a good day to sit back and appreciate life, something that is far too short, even for those of us who are fortunate enough to be in our eighth, ninth or even tenth decades. It's a good day to remember how precious this gift of life is, and what a shame it is to waste such a gift.

We all to often lose sight of that, crushed by tremendously busy schedules at work, at school, at organizations, at home. We get so busy with our lives that we don't stop to live.

And maybe that would be a good use for part of today. If nothing else, steal away a few minutes to reflect on life, where you're heading and where you've been. Take this leap day as an opportunity to realize what's really important.

Life is a gift too precious to squander. Today is a good day to remember that.

-- The Albany Herald Editorial Board