Who among us has had the pleasure of watching the movie, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell ten or more times? I have! I cannot count the number of times I watched our blurry, VHS copy. My Dad may be scarred for life. When I find a movie I like, I can watch it for weeks on end without getting tired of it. Eric has even threatened to hide the Back to the Future DVD trilogy he gave me before we got married. If he had only known. ~smile~
“That’s right woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Day!”
Those of us who have loved the movie Groundhog Day (or who have at least watched it once and tolerated it) can attest to the fact that Bill Murray’s character started off as somewhat of a jerk. The Pittsburgh TV weatherman referred to himself as “The Talent” and felt completely free to insult people with his dry, biting humor. Early in the movie, he met Rita (a new producer on his station) and from the very first day, he was very attracted to her – though he would not admit it.
Phil makes it clear from the beginning that he hates the ceremony of Groundhog Day and he hates having to cover it every February 2nd. However, he eats those words when, much to his dismay, he wakes up every morning to discover he is living in a perpetual cycle, waking up each morning on Groundhog Day. In the beginning, he sees this as a curse. He even loses his mind for a little while. After all, “What would you do, if every day was the same and nothing you did mattered?”
The Power of Repetition
As the movie progresses, Phil finds himself falling madly in love with Rita. He spent much of the movie in a desperate attempt to win her heart – even though he knew it would only be for an evening. As he began wooing her, he made a lot of classic mistakes. At first, he was not pursuing her with the best of intentions. He wanted her physically, but he did not truly love her. However, as the movie progressed, he really began to love her, care about her, and want to please her selflessly.
Finally, he got it all right. He had watched her, paid attention to her, and gotten to know her inside and out. He even learned how to play piano for her! The evening ends with the two of them happy and smitten; and, after months, or maybe even years (the movie never tells us) of reliving the same day, he wakes up to discover a snow-covered ground and a brand new day! Not to mention, he had won Rita over and could finally begin a real relationship with her.
The repetition he faced seemed like a curse, but it allowed him to watch her closely and get to know her inside and out.
Notice, Study, Take Notes
No one has ever been known to experience such a phenomenon as living the same day repeatedly – though some people probably feel like they do. ~smile~ Because our time is so limited, we have to create our own atmosphere for getting to know our sweeties inside and out. What won Rita over was Phil’s compassion, his kindness, and his character. These are not traits he possessed in the beginning of the movie. As he grew to love her, he also grew to be more compassionate and kind; and, his character grew as his heart changed.
One day in a local diner, Phil asked Rita what she was looking for in a man. She listed a number of traits she desired, and he began working on them. By the time he had truly turned into the man of her dreams, she could not resist him.
Though I am not suggesting anyone ever change the core of who they are for anyone (we believe God creates each person with a core calling), we can take a good look at ourselves, grow in necessary areas, and brush off undesirable traits and habits. If Eric came home and told me that he strongly desired a cleaner home, working on becoming a better homemaker would not interfere with my core calling in life. If he said, “Stop singing, you don’t have time for that.” Or “You need to stop caring so much about people. You have better ways to spend your energy.” he would be asking me to change the core of who I am. Not cool – or healthy.
When we love someone, we should be willing to work on ourselves to please him or her.
Take some time this week and really notice your special someone. See if you can discover five new traits of your beloved you had not noticed previously (e.g., how she plays with her earring when she is talking, how he cuts his meat into tiny pieces before he eats, how her nose wrinkles when she tastes something she does not like, etc.).
Beyond just noticing, study him or her. Even write new discoveries down. When she comments on something she enjoys, write it down. When he discusses his bad day at work, note what made it bad for him. You can get clues into the innermost parts of a person by picking up on subtle comments. His day may have been bad because he did not get to meet with any clients; whereas, a more introverted man may have considered that a great day! ~smile~
You will be so glad you took notes on your sweetie when the time comes to buy him or her a gift!
The Power of Repetition
We are not given the opportunity to live the same day repeatedly until we get it just right. Imagine how long our lives would be if we could! Since we have a relatively short time with our sweethearts, we need to pay attention to them and learn what they want. Sometimes they will come out and tell us, and other times, we will have to discover it on our own.
Working on ourselves and striving to be better for our sweethearts will not change the core of who God created us to be. Love propels us to transform into the man or woman our sweetie desires (assuming those desires are good). There are so many changes we can make to show our significant others how much they mean to us. Changing is one way we can show our sweetie we love him or her.
So, notice your sweetie. Study him or her and take notes on what you find. People seem to instantly warm up when someone shows an interest in them. Do you not feel loved when someone takes an interest in getting to know you well? No more going through the motions. Make each date a chance to discover something new about each other. And, never stop growing and improving – for your sweetie, and for yourself.
What new traits have you discovered in your sweetheart lately?