This archived article was written by: Jordan Sanders
It’s 7:30 a.m., and that annoying beeping sound rips you from your slumber to blare the fact that your island getaway in the hot sun wasn’t reality, but merely a dream. You slowly shuffle your way into the kitchen with your slippers and Einstein hair to pour your favorite, but now long overused, cereal into a bowl with milk and stare aimlessly into the abyss.
Eventually you coax yourself into the shower to get ready for yet another day…just…like… yesterday. You have started another monotonous week of the same routine that you have been living for what feels like a lifetime.
Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell star in “Groundhog Day”, a movie which emphasizes the idea of monotony well. Murray plays Phil Connors who is a self-centered, obnoxious, selfish and heartless newscaster who could really use an attitude adjustment. He and Rita (MacDowell) do a weather forecast on Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa., which happens to be where the groundhog lives.
As Connors finishes the day, a huge storms forces him to stay in Punxsutawney. He gets some sleep, but when he awakes, he finds that magically it is Groundhog Day again. This happens over and over and over and Connors is stuck on Groundhog Day for what he thinks could be forever.
The monotony gets the best of him and he tries killing himself multiple times in different ways, but he always wakes up to the same stinking Sonny and Cher song on the radio to find that it is still Groundhog Day. No matter what he does, or how many different ways he tries to spend the day, he always wakes up on Feb. 2, and cannot break the rut.
After living months and months of the same day, he starts to realize that serving others and self improvement can ease the monotony. He starts to learn piano, French and ice-sculpting plus he learns as much about Rita as possible because he starts to like her. He also looks for things that he can do to improve as many lives as possible in old Punxsutawney. When all is said and done, not only is he really good at a lot of things, but his attitude is adjusted and he and Rita get together. When he finally gets Rita to like him, he awakens the next day, and guess what? It’s not Groundhog Day anymore! He has finally broken the rut.
In reality, it is easy to become bored with routine activities. Sadly, routines are exactly what comprise the adult life and the life of a student. We have schedules, meetings, classes, extra curricular activities, etc. etc. and yet life still gets boring because it is the same schedules, meetings, classes, extra curricular activities, etc. etc. every week. Though this is true, it doesn’t mean that we all have to conform and become robots. Creativity and the desire to think outside the box can help us to break the rut in which we find ourselves.
It worked for Phil Connors, and though he was a fictional character, the Groundhog Day Syndrome can be a real disease, and self improvement and thinking outside the box can be an effective prescription. What are things that you have always wanted to accomplish? Maybe there is a talent that you have secretly wished to develop for years, but among the routine of life, you have never found the time. Put the clock away for a few minutes a day and develop that talent.
Maybe there is a hobby that you used to enjoy, but haven’t done it for a long time because of the demands of life. Go on vacation from life for a moment and enjoy that hobby. Honestly it is not only fun, but healthy to break out of the routine and have a little bit of ME time.
Another thing that helps to relieve the constant “blah” feeling, is to serve others. There are more than enough projects and opportunities of service in the community. The only thing that those projects lack are volunteers. You can be that volunteer. There is an incredible phenomena that happens when one serves another which is hard to explain until it is experienced. But problems and stresses shrink when they are replaced with the joy of helping another. Not only can you ease your own unpleasant symptoms, but many who need service can have their symptoms relieved through your efforts as well.
Break out of your comfort zone. Put away that boring flavor of cereal and have some cake for breakfast, or better yet, use that hidden talent that you have and bake a cake for the needy family down the road. Make your dream a reality and put aside some extra cash to visit that warm island getaway. Most importantly, kill the Groundhog Day syndrome, and live deliberately and with pizzazz.