Leap Day

Four years ago on Leap Day, I put out a box of colored cards and envelopes and a mix of markers. I asked my family to write a letter to themselves four years hence describing what they hoped their life would be like. They did it willingly, writing themselves short missives, and the whole process only took about five minutes.

They expressed doubt that I would remember where I’d put the letters. Oh, they of little faith! I knew exactly where they were. I’d seen them often during the years in their tucked away but obvious-to-me spot. I’d never so looked forward to Leap Day.

The guys, however, were confused, having completely forgotten the whole exercise.

I felt just a little disappointed at the generic note I sent myself. My hopes had to do with creativity, energy (health and wellness), and relationships—all good, and all things I work on regularly. One line stood out: that I would feel slightly uncomfortable taking on creative challenges. Nailed it.

The guys’ cards read true to their personalities: Guy’s cheered him on for a job well done; C21’s card was light, funny, relationally-focused; Q15 encouraged himself to be wise, faithful, and truthful—my sweet, old soul.

On the back of my card I’d written… Wise words: “Insist on yourself.” No idea where those words originated or why I thought that was what I’d need to hear now, but again, spot on. I haven’t been good about it, and I am done with that nonsense. I am again insisting on myself: getting strong and healthy, growing, taking risks, looking for opportunities. Not forcing things that aren’t meant to be, but trying to live authentically, with open eyes and hands to receive the present moment and its gifts.

This week I will again pass out cards, envelopes, and markers. It will be interesting to see who we become four years from now and what wisdom we will share with ourselves.

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