The Wild Side
Get lost on the Metro:
Take a ‘leap’ of faith and get lost in Kansas City. A RideKC day pass only costs $3, which allows you to ride around on all the buses for an entire day. You might surprise yourself with where you end up. Take the time to have a conversation with a random person on the bus; you could have a big impact on their day, or they could have a big impact on yours. Not to mention, there’s probably so much of the city that you haven’t seen. You might have been up and down Main on your way to the Liberty Memorial, but have you explored 39th Street? Areas like River Market, Crossroads and Westport have so many secrets just waiting to be shared, so take this day to get to know them a little better. Think about all the pizzerias waiting to be discovered. Doesn’t your mouth water? And don’t you get curious thinking about an old antique shop hiding somewhere in River Market?
Go to a psychic:
Maybe you believe in psychics, maybe you don’t, but going to one is still something that everyone should experience. Use leap day as an opportunity to go outside your comfort zone. It will broaden your horizons and could be a great conversation starter. I went to one on Westport Road, and at first it seemed a little sketchy, but it turned out alright. The first question she asked was what my full name and date of birth were, which left me a little skeptical. I was weirded out that she needed to know my middle and last name, but then she started spewing out all of these specifics that were relevant to my life. While psychics typically say very broad things that everyone can relate to, she said some pretty specific stuff. Some of her advice really got through to me, and I’ve been reflecting on it since. She told me that I need to live in the past less, and focus more on the future. You never know what a psychic might say, and that’s just part of the fun.
The Mild Side
Write a letter to yourself:
Stress, homework and responsibility continually badger high schoolers. Another paper, another project, another meeting. Life seems to speed forward faster than our tired legs can keep up with. Take this extra 24 hours to reflect; write yourself a letter. We never have time to slow down, to give each moment of the day the attention it truly deserves. Talk about the team you hope to make or the college you’re dying to apply to, your closest friends, your likes and dislikes. Describe a big event that just happened in your life or a struggle you’ve been dealing with. Give yourself a time capsule to open on the next leap year, when your life will be so very different than what it is now. Leave yourself a comparison so you can appreciate the growth and change the next four years will bring you. Writing your thoughts out is a great way to see and think through all that you have learned and the memories that you have created. It’ll help you appreciate those papers you managed to turn in on time, the game-winning goal you scored, and the late nights eating ice cream with friends. It’ll allow you to appreciate the year that has passed.
Put away the phone:
Put down that damn device. Set it on your bedside table and forget about it; I promise it won’t hurt you to spend a bit of time away from snapchatting ridiculous selfies. People on average spend 90 minutes on a cell phone each day.That amounts to 23 days a year wasted by looking down at a bright little screen, scrolling through Instagram and retweeting posts about trending funny videos. Use this leap day to be fully present. Leave your phone behind because the constant chiming of a text distracts from the life happening around you. Enjoy the conversation at the dinner table, beautiful trees in the park and engaging murals that we miss while looking down at the piece of technology in our hands. Give your full attention to whatever it is that you choose to do, because our lives can never be replayed (but a Vine can).
Take these extra 24 hours to volunteer your time. It is easy to get caught up in our own lives as countless responsibilities demand our attention, and we often forget about people other than ourselves. Use this day to remember the size of our world and just how easy it is to make an impact. Bake cookies for your local fire station to thank them for their hard work. Put together sack lunches for the homeless people we so often see sitting outside on the plaza, because sometimes a meal helps more than the cash in your wallet. Donate blood at the Community Blood Center on Main street. Read through the wish list of Children’s Mercy Hospital in order to put together a collection of some of the items that are in need and drop them off at the downtown donation center. Bring a smile to someone else’s face with this additional time because another day means another opportunity to spread joy. And I bet you’ll feel accomplished, too.