Because all experiences are valuable.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"I've Got you Babe"

I love the movie Groundhog Day (starring Bill Murray). Have you seen it? I have seen it repeatedly, possibly more than any other movie. This strikes me as beyond ironically hilarious, because as you may know, this movie is about the same things happening to our erstwhile hero day after day after day. The point is of course, that he must master certain lessons of character before anything will change and he is allowed to move on. I could bring in a lot of thoughts on karma, ice-sculpting, Jeopardy!, and Sonny and Cher songs, but I won't. If you haven't seen it, suffice to say I would highly recommend it.

That's what today felt like to me. A deja' vu sequence from a bad film where the director went out for coffee and left the camera rolling by mistake.

More feeling inadequate for not supplying the proper groceries, reading the right book in toto, not communicating "clearly" enough with someone who wasn't listening anyway...rushing around to get things done for Monster Child #1 (I call my kids this because my 18 yr old and 14 yr old are both 6'1" and were each like 20 lbs at 3 months old... Monster size, not personality), having deep discussion with #1 at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (a favorite spot for deep discussions with MC #2), and watching fretfully as he backs ever ever so slightly into another car for the second day in a row and has to get the owner's amused release yet again. (I swear the next time anyone dings me a bit...they are home free.)Showing up at the right place with the wrong documents, and wondering for the maybe tenth time if it is okay for me to let my teenager sleep until 3pm in the summer.

I warned you this was not a well scripted film, didn't I?
It has to be obvious I have something to learn here. Let's see...what does Bill Murray learn on his Odyssey? Hey, having said that, why don't we throw in Odysseus himself.

Uh oh. I just realized that one of my top ten favorite books is the Odyssey. Coupled with Groundhog Day, I sense a theme here. Bill Murray has to learn to step outside himself and appreciate the tiny occurrences in life, the "little people" in all their folksy glory, and especially the delightfully psychic titular rodent. Odysseus had to learn humility, discernment, and some serious crew management skills. (I don't think letting my bunch get swallowed by Scylla or Charibdis is really an option.)

So, I'll look for good things and good people. The financial aid counselor at GSC who told me to just put zero if my ex refuses to provide numbers for the FAFSA form under investments (bless you, I can move on), the kind and chatty security guard at the Best Buy who couldn't believe I had an 18 yr old, the counter girl at Five Guys who thought my son was cute and gave him a massive amount of fries, which made us both smile inside and outside. The beautiful campus at Brenau University that I feel so lucky to be attending soon, the good news received on a broken SeaDoo (broken no more), watching Reid play Nintendo, getting nice text messages, knowing that I know how to make a really good cherry sauce out of $6 worth of cherries that need eating...

Some days aren't as deep as others. Some days aren't as delightful as others.
Sometimes the best thing that can be said at the end of the day is, "I survived."
And unlike poor Bill Murray, I get a different one tomorrow.

Now, where can I get a groundhog? Because that scene where the Groundhog drives the car off a cliff?? One of the funniest damn things ever.


  1. Okay, I know this is picky, but for an old man with rheumy eyes, do you suppose you could heighten the contrast between your comments and their background? This guy Frank seems to have a lot to say and he's hard to read. Of course it's possible that's what you intend, but just in case it isn't

  2. Groundhog Day is absolutely one of my favorites and there is a literal truth to it that underlies the fantasy...we all do run into the same problems over and over again, often of our own making, until we learn how to handle them or are defeated by them. I'm sure you know. Bill Murray plays the perfect unsuspecting jerk who is only gradually humanized by his dilemma. It is the same dilemma we all face, just not so boldly outlined or obvious to us as we live it.