Today is one of my favorite holidays – Groundhog Day.
This is not because I have a love for small, furry rodents, or winter, or even that I wish for spring. I’m just a movie buff – and a Bill Murray fan.
I hope you’ve seen his movie, “Groundhog Day.” It’s a romantic comedy, but the emphasis is on comedy.
For the uninitiated, it’s a story of an obnoxious, sour weather reporter who has to relive the same day, in the same town, over and over again. Director Harold Ramis said Murray’s character would have to live the same day for about 30 to 40 years to achieve what he achieved. You see his progress from goofing off, getting into trouble to finally using the time to improve himself.
I think about that last part often – the improving yourself part. What would you do if you could spend 40 years without aging? Would you master some skill, become a better person, or just waste the time?
What would I do?
If I were smarter, I would like to discover the hidden secrets of the universe through string theory and astrophysics. But “I can’t math.”
I could become a pious man and study the wonders and mysteries of God. While I am a fan of the man upstairs and consider myself a Christian, I don’t have the patience or willpower to become a monk. Besides, the hairstyle isn’t for me.
Honestly, I have no idea what I would do. But what Murray does in the movie isn’t why I love it so much.
It’s just that he was given the chance, and used it to become a better person. That’s why I love the movie. It’s rebirth and renewal and the opportunity to do great things, even if every day is or seems the same.
Let’s face it, when you work somewhere long enough, the days do start to blend together. One day looks like the next, and you find yourself saying didn’t we do that last year? …or the year before?
Lord knows the newspaper business can get that way. Newspapers run on schedules and repetition like cars run on gasoline. Every Monday it’s time for All Around Wise, Tuesday is time for the Wednesday edition and Friday is the day we put together the weekend paper. Rinse, lather, repeat.
While my job can get repetitive, it is really rewarding. I couldn’t work in any other industry. I find opportunity in the grind. I get to be creative and improve myself and the community through my work.
So later on, I plan on curling up with a bowl of popcorn, my dog, and my fianc e to watch “Groundhog Day.”
To all you Punxsutawney Phil fans, may you have an early spring.
Jimmy Alford is a Messenger reporter.