You’re probably asking me why I’m posting a blog two weeks early about Groundhog Day. Well it is a rule of 3 thing again. You see my brother recently had a new years eve party, they were looking for a theme, my suggestion was come as your favourite Bill Murray character (Ghostbusters, The Life Aquatic, What about Bob?) the possibilities are endless (they settled on a wig theme, wig out!). It was a great party. I then read an article about Bill Murray just the other day, saying he would show up places and do strange things, then say “No one will ever believe you anyway.” I could see him doing these things, but he would deny it. Anyway it got me to thinking about Bill Murray and why he is bouncing around in my head. So I decided to watch the movie Groundhog Day, starring the aforementioned Mr. Murray. I thought it was a great comedy the first time I saw it years ago, but what I didn’t realize is the complexity of the movie, that I could only appreciate later in my life.
You see, Bill has this dry rapier wit which fits perfectly into the predicament that is the movie, Groundhog Day, there is something poetic in living the same day over and over again. At first he realizes he is stuck and it freaks him out, then he goes through an accelerated 7 stages of grief cycle which leads him to try and control everything, and he plays the role he thinks he needs to be to get the girl, which he thinks is the key to getting out. So he works that angle and works it until he falls apart. Tries to kill himself several times, then reinvents himself. When he finally lets go and changes himself, he changes everything around him. Lao Tzu once said “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” There is a profound lesson in this and a small rodent made me realize that I can’t force a square peg into a round hole. That I am what I am, and that I may not be Popeye, I am in charge of my life. You live life, you don’t just let it happen to you and complain about it later. William Ernest Henley wrote a famous poem called Invictus, but the section in it that stands out for me is:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I may have setbacks or stumbles but I right my ship, no one else, and if I am to live a proud and meaningful life I need to make that happen. So like Bill, re-invent yourself, hug your kids, pay attention and help out when you can, cause if the Groundhog sees his shadow we’re in for a long cold winter. Happy Pre-Groundhog Day everyone!