Saturday, February 02, 2008

Groundhog Day

As I heard what the blog exchange topic would be, I was immediately reminded of Bill Murray’s movie entitled Groundhog Day. How day after seeming day, Bill’s character, Phil, kept waking up in the same bed, same Bed and Breakfast, in the same town, and it was ALWAYS Groundhog’s Day.

At some point, Phil asks, “Is God really omniscient, OR, has He just been around for so long, He knows everything?” And this becomes the theme of the movie: With enough time and experience would a person be aware he/she IS creating his/her life and already living it? And if that person has that awareness, would that person become a conscious creator of that life choosing differently so the outcome would be different?

My son isn’t a particular Murray fan, however, I cannot tell you how many times he’s seen this movie. Since it’s not the actor he’s so passionate about, I believe it’s the topic he finds so intriguing. Me too. To be an aware creator of my own life--what a concept.

The main character begins as a very superficial person. One of his lines is something like “Enough about me. Now, what do you think of me?”

Like the several steps a terminal patient goes through when told death is inevitable, Phil, who is trapped in this unending Groundhog Day cycle, begins going through fairly well-defined “steps” of personal growth. He first finds ways to amuse himself at others’ expense, which is very similar to how he‘s been conducting his life already. Next he tries to see how life looks without consequences, which allows him to push the envelop on ways to amuse himself.

The “games” soon grow tiring, though, so he begins to see if he can set “larger” goals for himself--trying to make a conquest of his co-worker, whom he’s not been able to gain any ground with previously. Try as he might, it does not go from better to better, to winning--instead it begins to get worse; he loses ground, and finally realizes, he’s not going to be able to get the gal through trickery.

There is a saying that goes: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Phil finds out rerunning his old “tried and true” gags over and over again, really doesn’t get him where he wants to go.

Stripped of all he used to count on and thought he knew, his next “step” is depression. Not thinking he has other options, he decides to end it all.

However, at the “end” of every death scene, he once again awakens, back in the same bed, same life. So he discovers, not even Death is the answer.

Then he’s left scrambling. He’s tried looking inside of himself, and none of that worked--so he finally has to start looking outside of himself. If he finds no happiness doing things for himself, then perhaps he will find happiness making someone else happy. If he can’t change his life, perhaps he can make a difference in someone else’s.

He finally realizes the only meaning his life holds is what meaning he attaches to it and how he chooses to live it. He must make the most of the day he’s living, even if he’ll have to live that one day for eternity--it is, after-all, the only day he’s got. It’s a bit of a twist on “Live today as if it is the first day of the rest of your life” to “Live today as if it IS the rest of your life”.

If something in life has value, it’s because value has been placed in it. If a person wants respect, that person must give respect. If a person wants friendship, that person must be a friend. And if a person wants a life worth living, then that person must live it worthily.

Groundhog’s Day--there's more to this movie than might first meet the eye--it is a repeat treat that can be shared more than once a year!

Wholly Burble is hanging with SMID today. Normally she writes at Rocking Chair Ruminations, and that is where you’ll find SMID today.

Wholly Burble is a student of Life, and hopes she’ll get to keep on learning for years to come. Oh yes, and occasionally she teaches, writes, and plays with her four dogs.

Check out other Blog Exchanges here.

** Hostess note: I didn't give Wholly Burble my best piece. I've been sick (the throwing up kind) so I feel terrible that she hasn't gotten both the attention and quality she deserves from me. Go commend her for joining the Exchange. And for tolerating me.


Jenn in Holland said...

I think you've really nailed something here WB, something which actually makes this movie a classic worth watching again...
This whole internal reflection and personal growth and creating our own destiny is truly universally appealing. What are we waiting for to learn some of those things which Phil mastered? Why can't we truly take on that philosphy and make the very most of every single day?
So intriguing to consider the options if we actually did just that.

anno said...

This is brilliant, WB -- thanks so much! I knew there was a reason I keep nudging my husband to add this to our NetFlix list!

anno said...

And, SMID, hope you're feeling better soon!

Sister Sassy said...

I wrote about Ground Hogs day today too- and the movie! lol! I really do love the movie though, it does have a really great story.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Wonderful piece, WB, and so, so true. A great reminder for our overly busy culture. Just brilliant.

Heather said...

Wow. I obviously missed a lot in that movie because I really didn't care for it when I saw it. Of course that was when it first came out so maybe I just wasn't old and wise enough yet to appreciate it. Maybe I should give it another viewing!

painted maypole said...

i didn't realize this was an exchange, but was thinking that this didn't sound like your voice, SMID. ;)

we LOVE that movie in our house. Very funny, and this was a great post about it!

Yummy said...

WB, I'm reflecting on this post and I will look for a cd/dvd on that movie. Nice post and thanks for sharing!

SMID, hope you feel better soon!

bleeding espresso said...

I love that movie, and, interestingly, I've thought a lot about it too. Probably because I've seen a good couple hundred times. How ironic eh?

NoExpertsNeeded said...

Thank you for reminding me about this movie. Like your son, I carefully choose which B.Murray movies I watch, but I did like this one.

Since my daily life is focused on the 'meaning of life', watching this movie again will be a light departure. Thanks again!
Louise Lewis, Author
No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You! www.noexpertsneeded.