It’s no surprise that in this pandemic quarantine one of the top watched movies on Netflix is Groundhog Day. For those that haven’t seen the film, actor/ comedian Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a TV weatherman who travels to Punxsutawney to report on its annual Groundhog Day tradition. Fun Fact: The Punxsutawney town shown in the film is actually Woodstock, IL!– a reminder that things are not always what they seem. For some reason, Phil experiences a situation where he wakes up each morning and it’s the same day– just like the day before!
I certainly have felt this way during this pandemic- maybe you have too? Each day, I get up, get a bit of exercise, have my breakfast and then my husband and I retreat to different rooms to “go to work.” Whether it’s Monday, Thursday, or Saturday, each day feels mostly the same. The tsunami of COVID-19 has disrupted nearly everything. Classes are still taught. Meetings are still held. Decisions are still made. But they are all facilitated through online meeting software like Zoom or Google Meet as we are under shelter-in-place orders.
Aside from comedic entertainment, perhaps there is something we might take away from Phil Connors. He leveraged the opportunity of understanding the repetitive patterns of his days to learn new skills such as French, ice carving, and piano playing. He also learned the joy of making the lives of others better and realized what makes him truly happy. He found happiness by giving and connecting with others. He found love! The movie played on the romantic kind of love, but as we are all stuck inside with our families, we can rediscover the things we fell in love with about our partners and spouses. We can spend quality time with our children. We can, gasp!…have dinner together!
Things are not always what they seem. Of course, there is a lot that we have lost during this pandemic and there is no mistaking that the impact is significant and far-reaching. That being said, there are always opportunities in the midst of crisis. On March 16th as we were about to go into remote learning, our Upper School STEM teacher, Dr. Dan Dudek, reminded our faculty that Isaac Newton invented calculus, discovered the nature of light, and devised his law of gravity all while “distance learning” during the plague! What if we seized this opportunity to learn something new, to reconnect with family, or to volunteer remotely for an organization that we love. How might we hit the reset button on our prior assumptions about our lives and how we spend our days?
Sending virtual hugs to all in our Griffin Community! Take care of each other!