Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

You’ve got 24 more hours!

By JOANNE RAE M. RAMIREZ, The Philippine STAR Published Feb 02, 2024 5:00 am

What a bonus!

The year 2024, a so-called “Leap Year,” has 366 days, one day more than 2023. That means that this year, we have 24 more hours, 1,440 more minutes and 86,400 more seconds. That’s a whole lot of extra time.

Ironically, the extra day was gifted to us by the shortest month, February, which is sandwiched by two long months, January and March, which both have 31 days, year after year.

And yet, what it lacked in days, February made up for in special days—Chinese New Year (Feb. 10) and Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). Next to the Easter and Christmas months, I can think of no other month with more greeting-card holidays than February.

The Astronomical Clock in Prague: More time is what most of us ask or yearn for—more time to sleep, to travel, to spend with family, to finish a project, to take on a new hobby, to go on a diet, to write a book, to finish a painting, to make amends.

More time is what most of us ask or yearn for—more time to sleep, to travel, to spend with family, to finish a project, to take on a new hobby, to go on a diet, to write a book, to finish a painting, to make amends.

Well, 24 more hours may not be enough but they’re there, a gift that falls right in our lap. They can jumpstart the new things you want to do starting 2024.

Now, what to do with the gift of time? Let me count the ways—24 ways.

1. Go around the Philippines and discover new destinations off the beaten path. Let me retell the story of a former advertising colleague who refused to wear a wristwatch after his early retirement on his 50th birthday so he wouldn’t think of deadlines. Then he took his wife on a road trip all over the archipelago reachable by RORO, and go where the steering wheel would take them. Once, they ended up on a pristine beach but, alas, it had no hotels nearby and it was getting dark. My former colleague and his wife knocked on the door of a random fisherman’s hut and humbly asked the fisherman if they could spend the night there. The latter agreed but apologized to the couple that they would have to sleep on flattened carton boxes spread out on the sandy floor. The couple had no choice and the cool breeze was the best sedative. When they woke up the next day after a good night’s sleep, freshly harvested lobsters were waiting to be devoured by them on a makeshift table by the beach! What an unforgettable experience off the beaten path, indeed.

Exploring the world, one hidden gem at a time.

2. Learn a new skill. John Legend learned how to swim after he turned 40. Jo Koy probably learned humility at 52 (Oops, my ghostwriter wrote that!).

3. Go on an adventure. Go to the Masungi Reserve in Tanay or climb the Sydney Bridge in Australia like I did when I was already a mom. Engineers made it possible for tourists, attached to cables, to climb to the peak of this 456-foot-tall bridge. Once at the summit of this Mt. Everest of steel, the wind hissing on your face, and the cars below like matchboxes, you truly feel like you’re on top of the world. A quote often (mistakenly) attributed to Mark Twain says: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Adventure vibes only. Ready, set, explore!

4. Start working out. You may just like the adrenaline rush and do it for another day, and another and another….

5. De-clutter. Easier said than done. I’ve looked at my cosmetic tray in the vanity a million times but have not decided which bottle to throw or give away.

Simplifying life, one declutter at a time. Less stuff, more peace.

6. Watch a movie in a movie house. I haven’t done so in years! Go on a Netflix, HBO Go, Disney + or Apple TV binge. I am right now bingeing on Disney +’s The Resident after I watched the engrossing Killers of the Flower Moon on Apple TV. I have taken a pause from K-Drama because Hyun Bin has no new movies.

7. For lapsed Catholics, go to Mass and see if it gently strums your joy.

Peaceful moments at Mass.

8. Try having semi-permanent false eyelashes in a lash salon and wake up pretty every day. If kilay is life, having long eyelashes is living it to the fullest.

9. Read a new book. My son just gave me Patricia Evangelista’s Some People Need Killing, one of former President Obama’s favorite books for 2023.

New book, fresh journey.

10. Have a mammogram if you’re female and a prostate test if you’re male, just like King Charles.

11. Visit a sick friend, even if just virtually via Zoom.

12. Attend more class reunions. Join your velada if you’re an AC girl.

13. Have a facial, or an ultherapy session.

14. Fly a kite.

15. Visit an orphanage. A friend of mine visited an orphanage in her teens and fell in love with one of its wards. Eventually, her entire family did. The little orphan became the apple of the eye of her adoptive father. Even when she became a rebellious teenager and was into drugs, they loved her unconditionally. When the mother died and the adopted child was given the lion’s share of their mother’s jewelry, she politely refused, giving them to her oldest adoptive sister who had daughters. You might discover your life’s purpose, or your life’s joy within 24 hours after a visit to an orphanage or a pet rescue shelter.

Sharing joy at the orphanage.

16. Learn how to crochet or cross-stitch.

17. Learn how to paint. The late former President Cory Aquino learned how to paint in her early sixties, after her presidency. She told her daughter Ballsy Cruz, “How can I paint when I can’t even draw?” But she turned out to be a prolific painter with a style all her own.

Diving into the world of painting, discovering the magic of each brushstroke.

18. Go on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan or our Lady of Caysasay in Taal. A friend once told me that as soon as you even think of going to Manaoag, you are already being “called” to visit it. In Tagalog, “tawag” means “called.”

19. Clear your phone of duplicate and blurred photos and emails.

20. Flush bad memories down the toilet.

21. Forgive and/or ask for forgiveness and reach out to a person you have not spoken to in years.

22. Splurge, but only if you know you can manage your payments!

23. Garden.

24. Do absolutely nothing and enjoy the stillness and luxury of the extra 24 hours 2024 has given you. *