Groundhog Day, Again

WARNING: The following post portrays its author in a very flattering light. At times, it just can't be helped...

Although the clock radio wasn't illuminating "6:00am" and it wasn't playing "I Got You Babe," when I awoke yesterday morning, the day had a very "Groundhog Day" feel about it. Throughout the thousands of days of our coexistence I've aspired to become a better person. A kinder, more thoughtful, giving person. Some days have shown signs of success, while other days - not so much. But as our allotted time runs out, I'd like to believe the positive days significantly outweigh the negative.

"Okay campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today."

The movie "Groundhog Day" is a wonderfully instructive lesson in how life should be lived. As you may recall, Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a self-centred television weatherman, whose got his eye on his producer Rita. While on a road trip to cover Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, Mr. Connors is forced to relive the same day over and over again. Although this appears as science fiction, we need to remember that all of us are essentially living the same day over and over again. And, just like Phil, each day gives us another opportunity to live it right.

Rita, "What did you do today?"
Phil, "Same old, same old."

Phil starts out hating this little Pennsylvania town and their pitiful groundhog ceremony. But over time Phil gains a few insights into his predicament. He realizes the "days" themselves aren't going to alter significantly, so he must change himself. He comes to the realization that helping other people, as opposed to ridiculing them, is very rewarding. Each day allows Mr. Connors a chance to grow and learn something new. Over time Phil becomes an excellent pianist and ice sculptor. Within the one day Phil was allowed to live, he ultimately finds both happiness and love. Phil sees beauty in things he once hated, and finds joy in things he once ridiculed. Preventing an old man from dying was the one thing Connors couldn't change. No amount of attitude adjustment will keep death at bay. But, that's life.

Perhaps you've learned how to lead a better life from your parents, a friend, a spouse or even your children. Phil Connors learns from his producer Rita, who is played by the beautiful Andie MacDowell. With Rita's help Phil transitions from being an egotistical, ungrateful know-it-all to a giving, grateful and humble man. Ultimately Phil falls in love with Rita and when she is willing to spend the night with him, the spell is broken. Bill Murray's character didn't asked to be placed into a time loop and we never asked to be born. But, after taking our first breathe we'll spend the next 20,000 days, plus or minus, reliving a day we can view as an opportunity to improve ourselves or to stagnate and feel a victim of circumstance. It's all about making the best of the situation you're placed in.

My Groundhog Day contained the following sequence of events...

I woke up early, around 6 am, to give my wife Nettie, a ride to the airport. After a kiss and hug at the terminal entrance, she was off to visit her Mom.

I went online to shop for my son's birthday gift. Another pair of earbuds!

While passing through the checkout line at my local supermarket, I handed the cashier the flowers she had just wrung up. She was touched and flew around the counter to hug me.

Upon leaving the parking lot I witnessed a woman struggling to gain access to the bank ATM area. I rolled down the passenger window and yelled, "Magnetic strip - bottom left!!!" In the rear view mirror I saw her wave as the door opened for her.

It was my sister-in-law's birthday. The flowers I had ordered arrived in Florida and the delivery man sang "Happy Birthday."

Spent time chasing my golden retrievers around the yard.

Texted a sick friend who works at Jos. A. Banks Clothier. They are famous for their many sales. I texted, "Get sick one day, take two more days off at no extra charge!"

For myself, I did some writing (you're reading it) and spent time at the gym. That covers both the body and the mind.

Heading home that evening I couldn't help but feel the day had gone pretty well. Drifting off to sleep I realized I hadn't saved anyone's life, but it was a day full of giving and growing.

So, you'll understand my deep disappointment the next morning when I awoke and Andie MacDowell was nowhere to be found.

Maybe tomorrow.

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