Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Groundhog Day

So, yesterday was groundhog day, a strange tradition that I've never understood. I remember having it explained to me when I was a kid and so much about it puzzled me. First, there's the whole shadow business. Seeing a shadow means a later spring, but doesn't a shadow necessitate the sun, which, you know, typically appears on nice days?

But more troubling to me was the 'six more weeks of winter' bit. I couldn't for the life of me understand that. Every calendar I ever saw had the day spring begins very clearly printed on March 20th. So say the results of groundhog day meant that spring was going to start on a different day, would that mean that all the calendars were suddenly wrong or should be reprinted? I cannot tell you how much puzzlement this whole groundhog thing brought me when I was a kid.

Now, it's just a mildly amusing sideshow and quite irrelevant in Ireland, where we don't have groundhogs at all. But it does make me smile, in a way, when I remember one of my all-time favourite films: Groundhog Day. I'm a sucker for existential angst and I love the progression and development of Bill Murray's character.

I was reading Slate yesterday and came across the Happiness Project, an effort by Gretchen Rubin to document her attempts to develop a happiness in her life. In yesterday's post, Gretchen mused about what you would want to do with your day if you were forced to live it over and over again, Groundhog Day style.

I had a good long think about this and here's what I came up with:
  • an early morning wake-up
  • a few hours of productive writing
  • a good, long run
  • a visit to a pet farm with Peter
  • many rides on a Big Swinging Boat
  • a good long walk with the dogs and Peter
  • a quiet evening relaxing at home

  • I guess it's sort of a combination of my favourite parts of a regular day and the best parts of my birthdays.

    How about you? What would be your perfect Groundhog Day?

    Ed. note: My Uncle Greg did the snow sculpture of Punxsutawney Phil. They've gotten a lot of snow in Cleveland recently.


    At 3 February 2009 at 23:34, Blogger Babaloo said...

    Your uncle's sculpture is class! :)

    My personal groundhog day? Gosh, I don't know. A regular, nice day like we have on the weekends I guess. Going back to bed with a book after walking the dogs and having breakfast. Cooking a nice dinner. I'm easy to please.

    Although.... if you asked me this question again after my big trip in June, I guess my answer might be different and it could include palm trees, lots of sunshine and sand. Who knows... ;-)

    At 5 February 2009 at 13:43, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    And in ireland Spring begins on 1 Febraury which never fails to amuse any non-irish folk :-)

    Not sure about my groundhog day but it'd definitely involve a bath and possibly some champagne :-)

    At 5 February 2009 at 20:41, Blogger The Finely Tuned Woman said...

    I think I am having a Groundhog Day most days already in that mostly I am doing what I want to be doing and would not change much about them. I figure, if I go to bed satisfied, than that´s not half bad. I would like to see my daughter and grandson more often, so I would include that.

    At 7 February 2009 at 13:05, Blogger Career Guy said...

    Sadly, mine would be exactly like yours, except no running, pet farming or boat swinging. I might keep the bits with Peter and the dogs, though.

    At 7 February 2009 at 19:25, Blogger -Ann said...

    Babaloo - I will be sure to ask you after your holiday then.

    Conortje - Ah, a bath - good call. I love baths too.

    TFTW - Glad to hear that your happy with your days although I'm sure it would be good if you could see your daughter and grandson more.

    Dad - Ah but would you want every day to be a trip to Skellig Michael with Peter?

    At 8 February 2009 at 04:13, Blogger Career Guy said...

    Yes, please.


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