2016 is a leap year, and today we enjoy the gift of an extra day on the calendar, thanks to science. The explanation for doing this is based on the fact that our calendar year is based on the time it takes the earth to wobble its way around the sun. A time period that takes about 364.25 of our 24-hour days. Well, actually, that would be 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds. And then there is true solar time, which can vary the “real” time of midnight by up to 146 seconds. So, an extra day is added every 4 years, except (as I learned here at CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/29/tech/why-do-we-have-leap-year/index.html), by “century” years that are evenly divided by 400. And that, my friends, still doesn’t get us synched up exactly with the Universal Timekeeper.
I tell you all this because, to me, the month of February is long enough at 28 days. When my children were growing, it seemed that February was the month of flu, bronchitis, frozen pipes and blizzards. Thanks to the modern marvel of Facebook, I now get daily reminders of previous February misery packaged as my “memories.” Ah yes, the sick days, the shoveling, the shivering. Not much to laugh about there.
Or, so one could assume. No doubt that trying to laugh with bronchitis is painful. But if laughing for the health of it is something we only do when it is easy, it isn’t much of a practice, is it? February, as it turns out, is a great month to get together with friends for a laughter night. Queue up a funny movie (this month, we enjoyed watching, and laughing at, “The Intern.”) It is a wonderful month to bring a Laughter Wellness Program to your place of employment; a real stress-buster just when we feel as if winter is never going to end. The staff at the tech company I visited last week was ready and willing to get their endorphins flowing! And, the challenge of more indoor time with restless toddlers and older children can be broken up with time specifically devoted to laughter and dance. Go ahead, get out those old dance/exercise DVDs and challenge your kids to bust a move with you. Once you’ve got them moving and laughing, you may even get them to help you shovel the driveway. Before you know, February, even in leap year, will have passed and Spring will be in the air. (Please, don't write me to tell me about your March and April snowstorms and strep throats. Let me live in the fantasy.)