With yesterday being Leap Year, I was inspired to think of all things leaping. Images of frogs, nine ladies in Christmas garb, and Orphan Annie blurting out, “Leapin’ lizards!” passed in and out of my immediate thoughts.
Then, I became more mindful about what having an extra day used to mean and what it means to me now. Quite frankly, I do not recall any other Leap Years. I must have been either really soused or hung over, or completely irritable.Perhaps I was all of these. In my drinking days another day would mean another repeat of my miserable process of passing days which I used to refer to as living: I would wake late and irritable, begin the self loathing, try to recall the previous night’s events, texts, calls, behavior, followed by more shame and guilt. And this all in the first three minutes of my alarm.
The day would continue with me trying to remember what I had planned for the students, how quickly I could pour coffee into my veins, and scouring any memory of what the day in general had for me. Grabbing the kids, their book bags, and a hot cup of coffee, we’d dash off into another morning of mommy being irritable. Dropping them off in a mad dash at the sitter’s, I’d hop back in my car and choke down as many cigarettes as humanly possible in the remaining 30 minute commute.
The rest of my day- at least until noon or so, I would muddle through. Doing my best to look perfect, act perfect, and worse expect perfect from everyone around me, I would trudge through another day at the job. No joy. No laughter. No passion. Nope. Just the passing of the hours all heaped together into what I would mockingly refer to as, “Living the dream.”
Being sober today, I can reflect on this Leap Day and be totally grateful. I woke up sober, happy and pumped that I had another day to look forward to. I was excited about it being a Monday so that I had all fresh units to explore with the students. We are nearing the end of my sons’ basketball seasons so we have four final games this week and then they’re over! My older son turns 11 so I get to bake for his class and take him shopping for his gift. My eldest daughter is attending a job fair so she enlisted my help in proofing her resume. The younger daughter chatted with me about her online class/computer issues and basically let me know she’s struggling, but she has the incident under control. My husband is happy; the dogs are joyous and remembering how to stay inside of the invisible fence line. Life. Is. Good. Notice, I didn’t say, “Life is perfect.” It isn’t. nothing is. But what I CHOOSE to focus on is positive. Could I provide you a list of ick happening? Yep. I could, but I don’t want to. I had an extra day and I planned to spend it happy, joyous and free.
I spent the day mindful of complimenting others. I worked hard to stay in the present and not to get too far ahead into the week. I bit my tongue when others started the gossip train. I stayed off of Facebook because I tend to compare my life to others’ lives and I just simply know better. I stayed off of the scale so as not to sabotage my leap day. I made a good, healthy, fresh, clean dinner for my family and they liked it. I knew when to say no and when to say, “I need a minute. Please wait.” Yesterday was such an amazing day because I was vigilant of the extra time. People close to me know I really love Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.” My Leap Day felt like that- although I didn’t go skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing or 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu. I did, however, love deeper and I certainly spoke sweeter. It’s astounding to me when I am mindful, what I can do.
The realization that the contrast between my two worlds has collided is nothing short of miraculous. I cannot believe I get to have the life I have today simply because I decided to let my HP drive and I hopped into the passenger seat. I completely recognize and appreciate that I have put into action a great deal of work and I have prayed like mad. I’ve also had the support of a number of really important people in my life. But the real beauty is in the contrast and in the leap of faith I took November 7, 2013.