Tomorrow is Groundhog Day.
For those of you who don’t know, a groundhog is a rodent. Some call it a woodchuck. Whichever way you choose, it’s part of the extended family of squirrels.
Well, for some reason, the Pennsylvania Dutch have a superstition involving the groundhog. On February 2, if the animal comes out of its burrow and sees its shadow — thanks to rays of sunshine — it will rush back underground and winter will continue for six more weeks. If, on the other hand, the creature comes out of its den and doesn’t see its shadow — thanks to an overcast sky — spring will come early.
I admittedly know nothing about groundhogs. I know even less about the Pennsylvania Dutch. And, I long ago decided I wasn’t qualified to be a meteorologist. I do know, however, a thing or two about the movie, Groundhog Day.
The comedy (1993), featuring Bill Murray, tells of a weatherman who finds himself reliving Groundhog Day over and over and over again. He and we don’t know how or why he got “stuck.” But, with each repetitive day, we see him emote feelings of frustration, anger, despair and eventually hope and optimism. Putting laughter and humor aside, the movie has important messages to share.
Here are my top ten takeaways:
1. Learn from your mistakes. Stop making the same ones over and over again. Break your old patterns and habits. Getting a different outcome requires changing your attitudes, behaviors and actions.
2. Stop wasting time. How much time do you spend binge-watching TV? Texting? Tweeting? Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook? Do something meaningful! Read a book…learn a language…take piano lessons…go out with friends…make a memory. Stop making excuses. No matter how busy we think we are, we all waste time.
3. Self-indulgence is overrated. Focusing too much on “me, me, me” will leave you empty and lonely. What matters is the way in which we help and impact others.
4. Keep trying. There’s an old saying…”If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again.” It’s true. Don’t give up or give in too quickly.
5. Find your passion. Everyone needs something in life that he or she is passionate about. Find your thing and really embrace it.
6. Be introspective. Take the time to honestly assess your life; yourself, your work, your relationships. How are you doing? Is there room for improvement? Then do what it takes to be better.
7. Every day can’t be perfect. But it’s important to savor something…a person, a thing, a moment…each and every day to make it special.
8. Live each day like it’s your last. We don’t know how much time we have left. So make the most of each day.
9. Don’t be aloof. True happiness comes from meaningful interactions with others.
10. Say “I love you.” Tell those close to you how much you appreciate and love them. They need to hear it. And you need to say it.
If you haven’t seen the movie…watch it. And if you haven’t seen it for a while, watch it again. The older we get, the more imperative the messages.
Regardless of what the groundhog decides tomorrow, it won’t ruin my day!!!