February’s too short – unless it’s Groundhog Day

I was just watching “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray (one of my New Year’s resolutions was to watch a funny flick every fortnight). If you haven’t seen the movie, a surly reporter gets locked into living the same day over and over again – no one else does but this one man keeps waking up to the second of February, over and over and over…

It’s interesting to see that confusion for him then gave way to omnipotent meanness, to desperation, to acceptance and finally to understanding of the potentials he could explore in the community and in himself. I like that movie a lot. It makes me think about how I approach every Groundhog Day of my life. I wish I could say that it was always like the ‘last’ day – that perfect one that brings excellence, charity, clarity and compassion. However, even in falling short, we have the power to strive for it, and our thoughts lead to our actions, which brings us closer to that great day if we choose.

Imagine going over the same day an endless number of times – can you think of ways to make it exquisite in the first run? Understanding that our failure to learn from mistakes (lessons) dooms us to repeat them on other days… is there a wall that you’ve been running into over and over – let your thoughts fly and see what’s on the other side.

BTW – In North America, Groundhog Day is when everyone waits for a groundhog to come out of its burrow and see its shadow – if it does or it doesn’t there are either six more weeks of winter or spring is just around the corner (some Canadian corners are longer than others).

Most people think of February and naturally think of Valentine’s Day, another more widely celebrated holiday this month.

Who do you love? When did you tell them last? When are you going to do it next?

While it might not be ‘cool’ to tell classmates, colleagues, clients, others that you love them, maybe it’s time to make a change…

I was in a McDonald’s some months ago and got the same thing that I’d had six weeks earlier – hamburger no pickle – and because it takes a few more moments to make it specially, the woman at the counter had a bit of time to speak with me. She mentioned that she remembered me from the last time, my smile, my order – the fact that I didn’t ‘get fries with that’ – and made me feel like the most honoured restaurant patron in the world. When I left she said ‘I love you’ – I wasn’t sure if it was a linguistic error, and I noticed that I was a bit embarrassed – not sure if it was because she might not have meant it (I thank you is close) or maybe more if she did – that someone could express an honest love for another person with not strings attached, no expectations, no tension… felt strangely foreign.

When you express love, maybe you feel like you’re going out on a limb – that you’ll get rejected, laughed at, used. But remember that some of this is a holdover from experiences past – which won’t disappear, but we have the power to be put back in their archival place by refusing to repeat history, by expecting that this is the first and only version of this day, this moment, this expression of love… how wonderful.

I would like to let you know that I love you – for every wonderful thing that you do or are, whether I know you well or barely at all. And for the opportunity to say that, I am grateful.

Finally, this year’s February is longer than most – an added 29th day to round things off, and get the year back on track (after 4 of ‘lagging behind’). If your resolutions have slid, this seems to be a great day to have all forgiven and do what you need or want to do on this ‘extra’ day.


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