I thought it would be interesting to try to figure out some of the details of the 8 Leap Days (or at least the time periods surrounding the 8 Leap Days) I have experienced in my (ahem) 31 years.
February 29, 2012: Working full-time at a large law firm as a litigator; feeling totally overwhelmed with my cases and clients and experiencing major burn-out; loving my smart, gregarious, supportive, handsome, and hard-working husband for all he's worth but feeling bad because I feel like I have leaned on him pretty hard in the past few months as I have struggled with this working-mom gig; feeling so lucky and blessed to have the most darling, happy girl in this world who clings to me with ferocity, laughs all the time, and who has just learned how to clap her hands; not loving the extra weight I am carrying around but haven't done a thing about since I barely have time to do the basics of life (get dishes washed and laundry folded) let alone engage in a weight-loss regimen.
February 29, 2008: Studying hard as a second-year law student at BYU's J. Reuben Clark School of Law; Paul rides the bus to school early every morning and gets home late, at which point we forego studying and instead watch tv shows like "Lost" or go for walks in South Provo where we were living and debating whether it would ever be financially possible for us to live in California; I had not yet started the blog and instead spent lots of time reading Twilight and fooling around on Goodreads; missing Germany where we had lived the summer before and conniving ways to travel to exotic places again; having fun having my sister Jessica living in Provo as a Freshman and worrying about my sister Jennie who was planning a wedding from BYU-Idaho (I was much too protective and not very supportive of her during a time that was very exciting for her and when she probably wanted me to excited for her, which I am ashamed of to this day).
February 29, 2004: I was fairly recently returned missionary who was newly engaged, planning a May wedding, and living in a house south of BYU campus with some great girls (5 of the 6 of whom were also returned missionaries); I worked as a teacher at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah preparing mostly 19-24 year old men and women to go all over the world and be missionaries; Paul and I were practically inseparable even though we weren't married yet and we ate most of our meals together and were taking a dance class together; I was doing the Finance core at BYU.
February 29, 2000: I was a lowly college sophmore who had moved back into the dorms after a miserable fall semester off-campus; I remember feeling friendless when I moved back to the dorms and embarassed to be around all the freshmen--like I had failed at living off-campus--but I had my own tiny private room that was scarcely the size of a closet in Deseret Towers (now demolished) and I poured myself into German and Calculus classes and running on the BYU indoor track; I took up swing dancing and went to dances every weekend by myself where I stood against the walls and watched the other dancers until I learned enough of the basics to start dancing myself and asking some of the guys who seemed to be willing to teach if they would help me learn; I didn't know it, but Paul and I were in the same ward that met in the Law building where I would eventually obtain my graduate degree and he had been eyeing me for two months trying to get up his courage to talk to me.
February 29, 1996: I was sophmore in high school and bored out of my mind in North Platte, Nebraska; I had no friends and still hadn't heard of email at that point to keep in touch with my friends from Southern California where I had moved from the year before; I joined the track team since no other extra-curricular program would have me and I spent February training for distance races where I always came in last place; I took my sisters to the local rec center just down the street from our house many times a week so that we could swim at the indoor pool or sit in the sauna together.
February 29, 1992: (It is getting hard to remember what was happening now that we are this far back...) I was 11 years old and pretty much the only thing I did of note other than elementary school was I participated in a singing and dancing group and I think I was busy with rehearsals for the musical "Annie," where I played a hobo and a maid; I had one line in the play and I remember the director getting frustrated with me for always smiling while I was onstage as a hobo and her telling me that I was supposed to look downtrodden when I delivered my only line ("My fingers is freezin'!") instead of gleeful, but I was just so excited to be performing that I smiled like a dimwit every time.
February 29, 1988: Not a clue what was going on in my 7-year old life other than that I was living in Omaha, Nebraska and my best friends were Toby Meusberger (who the means kids at school would call "Toby the Tuba" since he was chubby) and Jenny Wood (who lived next door to me and whose mom I still email on occasion although Jenny and I haven't talked since I went to her high school graduation in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1999, although we are FB friends at least).
February 29, 1984: Are you kidding me? I was 3 and I had an older brother and a younger brother who I probably terrorized and bossed around.
Phew, that was an exercise in recall. Happy Leap Day.
P.S. An amazing friend of mine (who also happens to be an adoptive mama) is involved with a volunteer organization that is looking for volunteers to go to Honduras to spend some time working in an orphanage. If you or anyone you know is interested, you can learn more about the opportunity (which sounds amazing) on her blog: http://fyionrachandry.