Today is Leap Day - that extra twenty four hours that we get every four years. A couple of days ago, my seven year old son asked what it meant.

"What can you do on Leap Day?"
"Well, women can propose marriage to men."
"Oh." For a moment, he looked rather disappointed then with a cheeky smile, he said "I could have an extra birthday on leap years."

Leap Day has always been a bit of a non event for me. It comes and goes without celebration or cake. We think 'oh, it's Leap Day this year' and then we pass back into our normal lives, but maybe that's ok. Maybe we don't need to add special meanings and traditions to it. Perhaps it's just there as a reminder that not everything needs to be planned. Sometimes we just need to take a leap.

I don't mean a safe little skip from one steady rock to another. To me, taking a leap suggests jumping out of our safety net or comfort zone without the reassurance that we're heading for a dry, steady foothold. We may fall. We often do but then we just pick ourselves up again, brush off our bloodied knees and get on with things. Some leaps will be blinded by bright sunshine. Others will be blurred by miserable fog. Many people won't take the leap. They'll stay where they know what to expect, even if those expectations aren't happy ones, because the unknown, what lies beyond the cliff edge seems so much scarier.

Over the years, I've taken many leaps. I've applied for jobs that I thought were beyond me (and got a couple of them). I've moved to a different city to be with a new lover whom I had only just met. I've turned down a secure salary for the chance that a project might work out. None of those choices were safe. All of them bore the possibility that I might fall. I often did but just as often my feet found new ground.

Taking a leap can be the most terrifying and wonderful thing. They are never 'sure bets' or guaranteed. They are simply choices for brave hearts. What leaps will you make this year?


  1. I have leaped to see if my project will fly!

  2. Great post, Fi! I love that your son wants an extra birthday on leap days. LOL.

    I think I take a lot of chances. I try to force myself out of my comfort zone because it's the only way to figure out what you can do. I did this when I started writing YA. I thought I was a middle grade only writer. I was so wrong, and I'm glad I made the leap.


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