reflections on february, the movie ‘groundhog day’ and change

Groundhog Day Movie | groundhogday1.jpg

You want a prediction about the weather, you’re asking the wrong Phil. I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” -Phil Connors, weatherman in Groundhog day

As February ends I’ll be doing a happy dance.

Having been stuck indoors so much, I recently watched the 1993 film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray as weatherman Phil Connors. In a moment of zealous over-thinking, I had a beautiful moment of mundane enlightenment.

Everyday, for about 10 years, Phil Connors wakes up to the same day – February 2nd or February 25th or any day – in the endless stream of redundant, grey, blizzard around-the-corner, wind chill at-the-ready, cold, and foreboding type of February day. Insanity or assurance?

To me, this February feels like the one in the movie. Am I stuck in some type of metaphorical time loop? What is the message here?

In the movie, upon the realization that each day is the same, Bill’s character begins to experiment with the outcomes of different behaviors. He rebels, becomes hedonistic then suicidal, all without effect as he continues to open his eyes to the same next morning. Finally, assured that he can effect a different outcome, he begins to reexamine his life – changing bits and pieces in each day – slowly, and over time, until one day, he wakes up… and it’s over. He happily and successfully moves on to a new day.

When I relate the film, and its satirical comment on change, to my February, I can patiently tolerate the bleakness of the month. But, only if I think of the month in terms of a déjà vu  I’m supposed to spend time in. As the weather reiterates cold and grey, I understand this environmental drabness is meant to prevent outward distractions. Marooned indoors by the bitter wind chill, I am forced to look for the light of my own reflections. Like it or not, I have no choice but to examine my habits and come to terms with them. Are these habits taking me where I want to go? Am I doing, getting, being all that I want? If I want to break the cycle of the present, it takes baby steps toward a new future. Change is slow and repetitive over time. If I keep at it, the reward will arrive in one brand new day. Of course, the groundhog is the icon of hope I carry with me. Six weeks or six months to change (Bill Murray’s character took 10 years) what matters is – I stick with it.

As I look ahead, I am assured March is right around the corner. I find it interesting, the name of the next month is a verb –

March…

  • To walk steadily and rhythmically forward in step with others.
  • To begin to move in such a manner.
  • To proceed directly and purposefully.
  • To progress steadily onward; advance.

If February is a time of reflection, March seems to be the month made for action. Time to take some baby steps into the beginning of change.

How about you…any ideas for some brand new walking goals? Here’s a link to a post I wrote on walking – pros and cons, just in case you need some help to get started.

A brand new month is right around the corner, let’s work together to…

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