Does Life Sometimes Feel like Groundhog Day?

Is life a Groundhog Day

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Do you wish you could have a Groundhog Day? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some days we could replay, so we could get it right? Or would it?

We all enjoyed Billy Murray in the film Ground hog Day, where a narcissistic weatherman finds himself in a time loop which keeps repeating until he gets it right. But, would we really like to experience that even in our dreams?

Does Life Feel Like Groundhog Day?

Sometimes our life does feel like a Ground Hog Day on steroids. We eat, work and sleep, day after day fuelled by caffeine, until it is time for retirement, then it is eat, find things to do and sleep. How tedious that all sounds, but is it reality?

Take a step back, and we find we are definitely not in Ground hog territory but living cyclic, as expressed by Erik Erikson’s well-known map of the human life-cycle with his 8-stages of Psychosocial Development. Whether or not you go along with Erikson’s theory, each cycle, or stage of our life has something of value to contribute and needs to be appreciated, even when a cycle is full of pain, or heartache. There is a purpose to every stage.

Life is Cyclic

People gather annually to celebrate Clymer Freas, (I867-1942), who is said to have conceived the idea of Groundhog Day, which is meant to be the forecast of the end of a long winter. The weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: Dachs) is the forecasting animal. Groundhog Day or not, cycles are vital to life, for without them we wouldn’t experience life as we know it.

A cycle is when something comes into existence, grows and develops, but eventually reaches a critical mass and declines, making room for another cycle to begin. The ending of something is just the beginning of something else. Often we find ourselves in situations that come into existence, grow and develop, reach a critical mass and we make decisions, that allow a new cycle to begin. Like a star, it is born, grows, shines brightly, reaches its critical mass and its all over. If a star was never born, we would never get to enjoy its beauty.

What are Cycles?

We are surrounded by cycles, some longer than others. There are the stars in the heavens, the calendar year, night turns to day, to the water you drink from the tap. There are cycles we regret, and others we thoroughly enjoy, but cycles are essential for growth, adaptation and change.

Albert Einstein, with his glorious uncontrollable cloud of white hair, said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”. We don’t like change, but it is essential to growth and needs to be embraced until it becomes part of our everyday life, for we live in the constancy of change. It is therefore, essential to develop the skills to live in a world of chaos.

Cycles of Grief

Sudden change causes us grief, yet there are cycles within that grief. There is the initial numbing shock, like an earthquake, with subsequent tremors, that seem reminiscent of Groundhog Day, coming again and again. Yet, they turn into a cycle of subsidence as the grieving person begins a whole new and vastly different cycle. If we refuse to adjust and accept change, we end up in a rut and our progress is stymied, like living forever in Groundhog Day.

The nice thing about cycles is that they don’t last for ever. Think about your life and the cycles you have experienced. They range from childhood to adulthood. Parenthood, participation in the work force, onto retirement. On the way you experience many different valleys and mountain tops.

Our Inner Cycles

Then we have inner cycles, just talk to long-distance plane passengers, when their internal clock rolls into turmoil. You arrive in England from Australia, and your time clock is so out of sync you don’t know what sort of meal you should be eating.

The wonder is, the body does adjust, until you take the return flight home. It takes time for the balance and stability to return to your day-to-day life. Do long haul flight attendants ever get used to always being in a state of flux?

No Cycle is Forever

No matter what cycle you are in, it is never forever. The truth is, ‘this too will pass’. What we need to do is always give of our best wherever we are, and that may mean having the courage to instigate change. Do what you can to enjoy the journey even if it means looking at things from a new perspective. Tomorrow is full of exciting new challenges. Don’t short-change yourself – you have what it takes. You are a success even if you don’t always feel like it. Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do.

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