Friday, June 13, 2008
One Fine Day
If you had a day to just do anything you wanted to, what would you do that day?
One of my friends had an opportunity to do that and we relished the day with her when she reported in by email, since none of us live close enough to share the time.
It made me think about how we spend a lot of our time--rushing around, doing chores, complaining, grousing, worrying and feeling stress about it all. We make choices everyday about what we will do. I've heard people gripe about their chosen profession--complaining about the very thing they chose to do. Have you ever worked with someone like that? If you have, you know it makes the workplace unpleasant.
One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andy McDowell. A grouchy, ug of a weatherman, Phil, is a person no one likes. He is sent to cover Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA , and when he wakes up the next morning, he finds that the day repeats itself over and over. In fact it goes on seemingly for years.
He starts off desperately hating the day, hateful to everyone, and then, moves to a self-indulgent phase where he steals, uses people and kicks the homeless beggar man to the curb. From there he plunges into depression, killing himself each day and waking up to start the day all over again. It's like God is telling him, "You're going to live this day until you get it right." All through it, he is in love with with Andy's character. She is a beautiful woman, his boss who has dreams and loves French poetry. At first he pursues her, tries to learn every single thing about her, and uses that info to try and seduce her. It turns out ugly and she hits him--a lot.
Finally, he starts to get it right. He takes piano lessons one day at a time. He saves a kid falling from the tree--every day, same time, same place. He buys insurance from the creepy guy from his high school. He changes the flat tire for the little old ladies. He saves the mayor from choking to death. He takes the old man in for a bowl of soup, takes him to the hospital. The old man dies, every single day. He desperately tries to save him, until finally a nurse says, "It's just his time." But he gives the old man one good day to die on. Reminds me of the Native American who said, "This is a good day to die," when fighting for his homeland.
He goes on to learn to do ice sculptures and finally is able to do an ice sculpture of the woman he loves. When she asks him how he did that, he just says that he has studied her inside and out and knows every curve of her face. It's a good day. A beautiful day.
Same day. Same things, same people, same storm comes, same ol' groundhog. But he learns to love the day and is satisfied with doing the same things over and over. It's a great movie with a wonderful lesson. He changes, not the day or the people. He learns to laugh and have fun, love everyone in town and enjoy the gifts he is given.
I was thinking about this a lot. What would be one fine day for you? I may have to come up with some things. Name some things that you would love to do in a day. Living as long as I have, I know the days I loved and the days I would rather forget.
But everyone would love to have one fine day.
(Hopefully, my days will be with electricity. We've been having a lot of storms and losing power a lot. Sigh.)
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Most people think I'm crazy but if I had one day to do whatever I wanted I'd do what I do on a regular basis. Spend the entire day at home, just enjoying my family. That's my perfect day.
Exploring the tidepool on the coast.
No, wait...I meant to say camping in the woods next to the river...or curled up with a book at a remote cabin...or planting flowers with my granddaughter...or sitting on my friend Jody's breezy patio sipping iced tea...or sitting on my own patio with a cup of coffee and an Ideas notebook, with no thought given to the time.
Ideally, one fine day would be to disconnect everything--phone, computer, tv, radio, and the neighbor's barking dog. But then I wouldn't be able to leave a comment on this fascinating topic, would I?
I had one fine weekend this past weekend, spending time with my writing mentor and some folks in my writer's group. We played and worked and laughed and ate. It was glorious. I believe it was the most perfect four days I have ever lived in my entire life. So, if anyone says, what would you do if you could do anything for one day? I'd say, go to Nancy's in Tennessee.
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