Most of you know that Groundhog Day is inarguably my favorite holiday. (You can read about the origins of that love here.) This year though, I was not feeling like celebrating. Matters nationally (almost every cabinet pick and every executive order has upset me on some level), locally (there was a proposal on the ballot in November to raise money for schools that didn’t pass and the school district is looking at closing schools as early as next school year), and personally (a mix of typical winter blues and minimal progress in my MIL’s health) had left me feeling much like this clip from the movie Groundhog Day, like “every day is exactly the same and nothing [I do] matter[s].”
On Groundhog Day I woke up early and had some quiet time to myself. I was thinking about the movie Groundhog Day and remembered that even though it took a long time, with a lot of repetition, change eventually DID come in Phil Connors’ life. He endured a lot of dark moments, but in the end he was a better person for it. In the day to day it sometimes feels like my contributions don’t amount to much, whether they be letters to my elected officials or helping my kids with their excessive homework (just an opinion), but I’m hopeful, I have to be, that eventually they will make some sort of difference. Yes, there are 6 more weeks of winter, but spring will come. I decided then and there that celebrating Groundhog Day was more essential than ever.
The weather that day was awful. We’d had freezing drizzle the night before and everything was covered in a thin sheet of ice. When I drove Cooper to school we had a small sliding incident (thankfully no people or property were injured). Glenna had an appointment and getting her to the car was a little dicey, but luckily when Noel lost his footing on the ramp he and the wheelchair slid gracefully down to the bottom. When school pick up rolled around I was still carless. I optimistically thought Ellen and I would be able to walk to pick Cooper up. Unfortunately, everything was still slick as snot. It took us 10 minutes to walk two blocks and at some point Ellen fell and I went down too landing on top of her. At the rate we were going we would make it to the school 30 minutes after school was over, assuming no one seriously injured themselves. I didn’t want to admit it, but we were in over our heads. I texted a few friends and one of them let us hitch a ride to and from the school. Once we were all safely back at home (including Noel and his mom) we made new and improved Groundhog Day flags, ate a Groundhog Day themed dinner, and of course ate rice krispy treats. This Groundhog Day may not have been my favorite, but it sent me back to my Groundhog Day roots. I previously said that celebrating this quirky holiday is a reminder “that it’s the little things in life that are worth living for, that sometimes being a little crazy is the only way to keep your sanity, and that attitude makes all the difference.” This year I would add, it’s also a good reminder that perseverance pays off and not to let life (or ice) keep you down.