You know you’ve been writing a blog for a long time when you can go back and reference the post you wrote last February twenty-ninth. Speaking of free days, last February twenty-ninth (one thousand, four hundred and sixty one days ago) I was in Banff, in the mountains, at a neuromuscular science conference representing my previous employer. I think I seemed just as lost back then as I seem right now. Or, worse, I am just as lost now as I was back then.
Since it’s my free day I’ve opted to include a less-than-flattering photo of my daughter. I think she was trying to be a pirate in this one. And a dozen years from now she’s going to hate the fact that photo even exists, let alone that is was posted on the internet. On February 29th, 2020 I’ll see what she says. And then maybe I’ll take it down.
On this, the free day, time stands still. No… really. I was one of six people in the office today and it was soooooo boring. It was as if time stood still. A temporal vortex or something. Really. I cleaned my desk and watched the clock tick by ever-so slowly. Then I went home early because no one was left to even notice. (Actually, the boss closed the office.)
Every four years we get a free day. Why? Because our clocks run a little slow. We neglect to consume approximately one minute every day. That make for roughly, a half an hour left behind every month — six hours every year — and twenty-four hours every four years or so. With that extra day (it really does add up, doesn’t it?) hanging around, we need to burn it off with a leap year. You’re probably thinking that it doesn’t sound significant, but just let those extra days pile up and next thing you know it’s Christmas in July.
Our free day was used wisely. I got my hair cut. I came home a bit early. We went for a long walk around the neighborhood. Then we had supper at Nina’s house, and the dads played video games in the basement. Being dads, our daughters helped to cut the evening short. Now, my free day is left to blog, if for no other reason than I need to take advantage of these rare free days.
Undoubtedly, in four years I’ll come back and read this exact post and wonder what words of enlightenment I’ll have had for my future self. What nugget of the past I could convey to the then to be present day from the current soon to be past? What wisdom of the ancients? (Because it doesn’t seem to work the other way around, unfortunately.) This is a risky proposition. Why? Because communicating with the future risks three poor options: (1) it was forgotten, and probably wasn’t worth knowing, (2) it was remembered, and thus useful but a wasted effort, or (3) it was wrong, and now I just look stupid and naive. So, future self… So, Brad of the year 2012, you thirty-five year old geezer… What is there to say? I’m younger than you. I have yet to experience those highs and lows of the coming (previous) four years. For all I know I am doomed to ultimate failure, boundless joy, exasperation, love, hate, revenge, anguish, fear, fortune, fame, success, or utter non-existence. You know. I don’t. And there ain’t much that could ever change that fact. So what else can I say but enjoy your free day. They only come around so often.