Personally, I think Groundhog Day should be a “real” holiday. You know, with the post office and banks closed, schools closed, the whole 9 – yards. And not because of the nonsense going on down in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. I could care less whether or not Punxsutawney Phil actually sees his shadow; winter will go on for much longer than 6 more weeks in this part of the world regardless. Nope, that’s not the reason.
The reason February 2nd should be a national holiday is to commemorate one of my favorite films – “Groundhog Day”. Released in 1993, this wonderful comedy with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell follows a rather mean-spirited meteorologist (and his producer) as they cover the festivities in Punxsutawney. The problem, of course, is that the Bill Murray character (Phil Connors) finds himself in a very nasty time – loop. He keeps reliving the day over and over and over again. We never really learn for how long, but it’s possible that it goes on for years (but only for him, obviously; no one else is aware of his dilemma).
Apparently, some cosmic force has decided that this guy is going to get it right no matter how long it takes. Even multiple suicides have no effect – he just wakes up again at 6:00 AM, on February 2nd. By the time he does “get it right”, he’s learned to speak French, play the piano, knows everything about everybody in town, and of course turns himself into an outward reaching person, completely opposite the egocentric, narcissistic asshole that he was when he arrived in town. Oh, and he wins the girl (Rita). And they all live happily ever after (I guess).
I’ve learned over the years that people either love this film or they hate it (my wife absolutely hates it). Those who are of a practical bent seem to hate it – it just doesn’t make sense to them. It’s just a silly fantasy that keeps going through the same nonsensical stuff over and over again.
But for those of us who love the film, the “nonsensical” part doesn’t matter. It’s the idea behind the nonsense that matters. What if there were opportunities for “do-overs”? What if you could go back and correct mistakes, with full knowledge of what you’d done wrong in the previous timeline? If such things were possible, what would you fix? Could you pick one day in your life that you’d like for your personal “Groundhog Day”? (Hell, if you had such a day, just think what you could do with Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule!).
I don’t know about you, but I have a couple of days in mind. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But thinking about such things might just influence what I do tomorrow, or next week, or next year. The past may be intractable, but the future isn’t. Ain’t no such thing as “destiny” (manifest or otherwise).
By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie, you should give it a try. I may have to drug my wife to get to see it again, but it might be worth it.
Why this image of one of my favorite locations in Sin City? Because one of my potential “do-over” days has to do with my Las Vegas experience. Were it not for that particular day, I might be in that spot right now.