Take a Leap

Wild Man and Kermit

Wild Man and Kermit

I wake up this morning and there’s a strange feel in the air, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. I ask myself: is it the gloom that comes with a Monday?


Or is it the ass-dragging hangover that comes with watching The Knick too late and taking a muscle relaxer for your sore back?


Or is it the acknowledgment that tomorrow is already March and the year is flying by and it’s a metaphor for how my entire life is doing the same amid a series of mundane day-to-day experiences that make up one enormously boring and straight-laced life?


Morning routine: feed the cat, switch on the coffee maker, take grapefruit out of the fridge, squeeze lemon wedges into a large glass of warm water, slip back into bed with my tablet. News. Leo won. Goodie. Trump is the valedictorian of Ignorant America. Great. And it’s Leap Day. February 29th. Wow.

Leap Day. An extra day every four years. Though it’s not a holiday, there seems to be an attached vibe. A free day. Make the most of it! Take a leap, be bold, be gutsy today, do something different.

Different. Wild.

I don’t teach on Mondays, but work at home. I write in the morning, take a walk to the shops after lunch, and then do schoolwork in the afternoon. I cook an early dinner and then head off to Aikido class. It’s a perfectly routine day.

But now all this Leap Day talk has me wondering if I should be wild today.

I get out of bed and pour my coffee, chug down the large glass of bitter lemon water. Doctors say that warm lemon water first thing in the morning is good for your kidneys and liver. These are organs I’d like to use for the next fifty or so years, so I have been drinking lemon water every morning for 6 months.

I sit in the armchair with my coffee. I need to mull over this wildness and boldness idea. At 41, I find that boldness and wildness are best enacted after deep consideration over a hot beverage.

After a few minutes contemplation, I decide that I used to be wild. Well, wilder. I think. I dig back in my memory and vaguely recall late nights and alcohol and drugs and pubs and seedy bars and stupid things I can’t believe I lived through.

For sure there were no morning routines. This is largely due to the fact that there were no mornings, as I habitually woke up at 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Now there is nothing I enjoy more than my morning routine, best way to start off the day.

I’ll be wild. Yep, I’m gonna do it. But drinking alcohol this early in the day doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I’ll just be hungover later in the day, which always throws off my sleep and then there goes my whole week!

OK, so I’ll be slightly wild. I will make a large, calorie-packed, grease-soaked breakfast. The kind of breakfast I only have on Saturday morning (cheat day). I go to the kitchen and there’s this sliced grapefruit on the counter. And plus, I’ve already opened the packet of oatmeal. Besides, these big greasy breakfasts bother my tummy and I don’t want to take those antacids that makes me poop chalk.

OK, I’ll get wilder after this reasonable breakfast. But I do add a little extra honey to the oatmeal, just to show routine and reason who’s boss around here.

After breakfast it’s time to get wild. And then it occurs to me that I don’t really know how to do that. It’s not an age thing or an “I don’t know how to do that anymore” thing. Imagine someone told you to be spontaneously wild, what would you do? Cut your credit card in half and go on a trip? Shave your hair into a reverse Mohawk? Drink milk without checking the expiration first? Send nude pics to your boss?

I mean, if I had remembered last night that today is Leap Day, I could have prepared to be wild today. But instead I just did my nighttime routine: make popcorn, cut grapefruit and lemon, clean the kitchen, prep the coffee, watch a show.

It’s really not my fault.

Instead I take my coffee into the office and start with a little research. I Google how to celebrate Leap Day and end up on an article entitled 29 Fun Things to do on Leap Day. All of their Leap Day activities seem to involve frogs (leap, get it?), Leap Day trivia, writing yourself letters, and Leap Day math.

As an aid to procrastination, I sit back and reflect. Yes, perhaps I used to be more spontaneous, wilder, and bolder. But those qualities walk hand in hand with ignorantly confident, unsettled, and unstable. Now I am more settled and probably more boring, but those qualities come hand in hand with happy and comfortable with myself. And I don’t hate the person I am now. Besides, if those ideas are the most fun things people can come up with to do on Leap Day, then comparably I am Hunter S. Thompson.

I finish my work for the morning and have a lunch of leftover roast chicken, homemade gravy, and spinach. It’s delicious and healthy. Perfect. I get ready for a walk to the shop. And in that last moment, I decide to forego boxers.

That’s right, I go commando.


But first I put on baby powder, because I don’t want to chafe.

  1. #1 by greg on February 29, 2016 - 6:01 pm

    Just figured out your xmas present-talc.

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