This year, we are lucky enough to get one extra second at the end of the year. This “leap second” is necessary to keep the atomic and solar clocks in time as the Earth rotates differently during different periods of time. Without this tiny second included every 20 – 30 years, we would eventually be completely off, and end up with a half hour extra in the morning 600 years from now.
I find it interesting that we are so attached the construct of time that this is something that is studied extensively and given resources to research. We are so worried about controlling time, when really, we have no control. Our literature often contemplates the concept of time travel, because it fascinates us that we could have enough control over this concept to move backwards and forwards in it. Instead we are rather trapped in it, but that extra second definitely gives us a little bit of hope.
So what do I plan to do with my extra second of 2016? Well, no one said we had to wait till the of the year to use it. Here are some options:
- Make baking cookies just a little crisper
- Give my family another hug
- Give my cat more snuggles
- Add a tiny bit more to videos I made for GISHWHES (the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen). Sometimes that extra second can add a little more information, a little more joy, a little more poignancy
- Enjoy another sip of my favorite drink
A second isn’t very long, but it’s enough to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, as well as other people for just a little bit longer. And for now, I’ll take it.