It’s Groundhog Day…Again
February 2, 2024
Not only is Groundhog Day my favourite holiday of the whole year, it is also the name of a great movie starring Bill Murray.
If you aren’t familiar with the movie, Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman stuck in a time loop in Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania on February 2nd. No matter what he does, he wakes up each morning to find that he is reliving the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over again.
And the point of the movie becomes apparent as Phil repeats the same day over and over again. He learns that although his actions on any one day seem inconsequential, it is through improving himself on a daily basis that he eventually changes from being inconsiderate to being kind. He takes piano lessons on his repeating Groundhog Days, retaining the skills learned from the previous day, without the calendar seeming to change.
This lesson can be applied to taking care of our health as well. We may try to eat healthy some days, go to bed early to get a good sleep on other days, or occasionally get some extra exercise. But then we wake up the next day to feel the same, look the same, and not notice any change. We can easily become frustrated with our healthy habits and feel that we are in our own time loop. Every day looks the same no matter what we do.
Phil Connors shows us that is not true. One day may seem like it doesn’t matter, but you can achieve enough in one day to start the next day farther ahead. Add up enough of these little days and you will have built up something amazing with time.
Imagine your next doctor’s appointment. It could be just like your last appointment, with your doctor telling you that your cholesterol is still high, that you should keep trying to improve your diet and exercise more, and actually take the prescribed medication. And the appointment after that could look the same, like a repeating Groundhog Day.
Or, you could commit to make those improvements, get that exercise, and get out of the time loop. By the time your next doctor’s appointment rolls around, your doctor could be as amazed at your progress as the people in the movie listening to Phil Connors play jazz piano flawlessly seemingly out of nowhere.
If this sounds like hard work or fantasy, remember that Phil didn’t learn to play the piano on his own. He had a teacher. You have access to people to help you with your health goals as well. Your pharmacist can guide you on how to make those improvements, and how to use medications most effectively. You can escape from the sameness of Groundhog Day, and wake up to a healthier version of yourself.
Spring is right around the corner.