Happy Groundhog Month

10 Feb


Okay, I know I’m over a week late to the Groundhog Day thing, but it’s all right because I’ve decided that Groundhog Day is a month-long holiday.  Groundhog Month, if you will.

You know how October gets Halloween and December gets Christmas? I declare that February gets Groundhog Day.  I will not listen to those who say February already has Valentine’s Day so don’t try.

Now that we’ve established that…

One of the movies I studied in my screenwriting class was Groundhog Day.  Along with this we read How to Write Groundhog Day by Danny Rubin.  Excellent movie, excellent book.   I love the section where Rubin talks about the messages in Groundhog Day:

I think the most emotionally compelling argument made by the movie, the one that seems the most inspirational and optimistic and inspiring of all, is this: The absolutely worst day of Phil’s life took place under the exact same conditions as the absolutely best day of Phil’s life.  The best day and the worst day were the same day.  In fact, a whole universe of experiences proved to be possible on this single day.  The only difference was Phil himself, what he noticed, how he interpreted his surroundings, and what he chose to do.

This is an extremely empowering message.  It suggests that, like Phil, we need not be the victims of our own lives, and that the power to change our fate, to change our experience of a single day, rests within ourselves.  No matter what cycle we are stuck inside, the power to escape is already present in us.

The world changed because Phil changed.  That means the difference to us between a bad day and a good day may not be the day but may be the way we approach the day.

Happy Groundhog Month to you and yours.

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