Yes, it is Groundhog’s Day, but what I really want to talk about is not about some furry creature seeing or not seeing its shadow, but something a little more philosophical…
In the film Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric Pittsburgh Pennsylvania TV weatherman who during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney is frustrated because his career is stalled and by the fact that he can’t seduce his producer, played by Andie MacDowell. He sees his assignment—waiting for a groundhog (or a rat, as Murray’s character calls it) to see if there will be six more weeks of winter—as the final indignity.
However, this is soon to change. The next day he awakens in the same bed in the same bed-and-breakfast, to the sound of the same tinny clock radio with Sonny and Cher singing ”I Got You Babe” and the babblings of the frighteningly cheerful local D.J., to discover that it is Feb. 2 again.
At first, he uses the repetition to his advantage—he learns French poetry, for example, as part of his scheme to seduce the producer. Then he realizes that he is doomed to spend eternity locked in the same place, seeing the same people do the same things every day.
After indulging in all manner of hedonistic pursuits, he begins to reexamine his life and priorities. It is not until he accepts his fate and sets about helping people (saving a homeless man from freezing to death, for example) that he is released from the eternal cycle of repetition.
And you know, when I think about all the years I have spent in Korea, all the trials and tribulations, success and failures that I have experienced, it sometimes feels a little bit like my own “groundhog’s day” doing much of the same thing over and over until I get it right. While I haven’t indulged in too many hedonistic pursuits, I have definitely been reexamining my life and priorities that seems more defined as I near the big five-oh in a few months.
Maybe that is one of the reasons why I ended up back here last year after I had left here in 2006.
Just trying to get it right.