Thursday, February 2, 2012
Are You Doomed to Repeat Ground Hog Day?
February 2nd I think of three things. First, I remember a little girl in our Erie, PA church named Carly Larson, who by now is probably in her early twenties. Carly was one of the few people I have ever met who had a birthday on Ground Hog dog. So, Carly, wherever you are, "Happy Birthday and Happy Ground Hog Day."
I also remember my daughter Gaby, when she was just a punk in grade school informing me and her father, "It's ground dog day today!"
And then I think of one of my favorite movies, "Ground Hog Day," starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. If you haven't seen it you are missing a treat. Murray plays an arrogant weatherman who is given the assignment of covering the Ground Hog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA. But when a snow storm thwarts their plans to leave town after they are done they extend their stay overnight. Murray wakes up in the bed an breakfast to the annoying Sonny and Cher song "I've got you Babe," on the clock radio and he soon learns that it's not February 3rd but February 2nd all over again. He remains stuck in Punxsutawney, and each day he awakens to the same exact scenario. Locked in this private hell, he begins to try different things to change the events of the day in hopes of breaking whatever charm holds him there. The results are hilarious but his character slowly undergoes a transformation. By the end, he is a changed man.
There is no middle ground on this movie. I've found people who count it among their favorites, while others hated it and just wanted it to be over.
I think we all live our own Ground Hog Days in a way, stuck in ruts trying to get out of unbearable circumstances. The more we try the more it seems we are doomed to repeat our own miserable existence. The takeaway from all this is attitude. We can either have a bad one and lash out and blame people, or make the best of it. It's this subtle change in attitude that can truly impact our lives the lives of those around us.