An extra day to have some fun

As I began to write this column, I realized it would be published on Feb. 29, a leap day. Now as everybody knows, leap years only come once every four years, making them a special and somewhat rare occasion. However, for me at least, and I'm sure for many, they aren't very significant. And I don't mean to be rude to the lucky (or perhaps unlucky) few who get to have their birthday only once every four years. I wish you all a very happy birthday.

Anyway, as I was pondering the lack of pomp and circumstance, I was thinking we could all just decide to make this a more celebratory holiday. I mean, we have an extra day in the year! So, I made a list of easy, yet hopefully fun activities to do with a little extra time.

• Watch a favorite show. Sometimes we don't give ourselves the time to just binge a show with no regrets. I highly recommend the comedy series "Brooklyn 99," which is what I will be catching up on. It can be a time to plop on the couch, grab a handful of chips and enjoy seeing a comforting show.

• Listen to a podcast. My family and I have been listening to a true crime podcast, and I was a little annoyed at myself for not discovering this type of media earlier. You can find a podcast on any subject, from politics or sports to more obscure topics like reviews on pens and stationery.

• Bake something. Not to be cliché, but baking a simple treat can make your dreary February day a little sweeter.

I am personally on the hunt for the perfect brownie, so if anyone has any great recipes, please share.

• Take a walk. Apparently Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early end to winter this year, and although his success rate is only 39 percent, we can still embrace the possibility of an early spring and take some casual strolls.

• Go stargazing. Every once in a while, I'll come home late, peer up into the sky and remember how gorgeous the midnight blue hue looks littered with shining little dots. As long as it's not cloudy, it is actually possible to see stars out in Hinsdale. And it is so relaxing and enjoyable to do.

And there are more. You can ride a bike or play a board game or do a crossword or read a book. This "extra fun day" does not actually have to fall directly on Feb. 29; after all, it is just an excuse to have a little fun. And maybe make the day more memorable for the 24 year olds turning "6" this year.

- Leah Packer, a junior at Hinsdale Central, is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].