Happy Groundhog Day everyone! It’s Tuesday, February 2nd, and it’s officially the day the entire US leaves the fate of our weather system up to one fat, furry rodent in Pennsylvania. (After the year we’ve had, that tradition is somehow the least wacky thing I’ve heard.) Thanks to the magic of Bill Murray, this holiday has also become just as synonymous with monotony as it has with wintry weather. If you’re somehow not familiar with the plot of the movie “Groundhog Day,” it is about a weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop and has to relive February 2nd over and over again. With all of us still living with Covid restrictions, nonstop election coverage, and just the drabness of day-to-day life in general, I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like I’m existing in my own unending loop of the same old same. It’s time to breathe some life back into…life.
With spring being right around the corner (I don’t care what our bucktoothed pal in Punxsutawney says) I am ready for vacation. And as much as I love the cold and winter, even I have to admit a long weekend on a sandy beach with my phone on airplane mode sounds divine right about now. Tonight while trying to plan an upcoming trip with my best friend Robbie, I skirted all my administrative work responsibilities in favor of daydreaming within the beach homes listed on Air BnB . Frankly, I’m not upset about it. These weren’t pressing work matters, and I’ve had kind of a gloomy couple of days. It felt nice to zone out and let my mind wander somewhere a bit more pleasant than the dullness of my current “5am-coffee-work-gym-clean-bed” reality.
If you’re also in a bit of a funk, I have a couple of suggestions for pulling yourself up and out. First of all, attempt to limit your screen time, be it television or phone. Since Covid began, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in the amount of time I spend sucked into scrolling over crap with dead eyes. I feel so much better when I take the time to swap the death rectangle for an actual book, if only for 15 minutes at the end of the day. Get outside for some fresh air and leave the phone plugged up inside for a while. You never know where a walk around the block might end up leading you. Who knows, if you’re not staring Hey, it’s all part of the excitement!
And I definitely suggest booking some type of vacation. No matter your budget, get something on the calendar you can look forward to. Whether it’s a week in Mexico or just a night out for a nice dinner, having something to work toward can reignite some purpose into your day. Americans work way too hard, and that’s not what life is about. I firmly believe we weren’t put here to slave away making money for other people 50 hours a week so we can pay bills and then croak. Learn to play just as hard as you work; life is all about balance after all.
It also might be fun to start a new weekly tradition with family and friends. I love the idea of game nights and potlucks, especially right now when many places are still shutting down early. Weekly Sunday brunch with the girls, wings and pizzas and poker with the guys, couples board game night, weekly field day competitions for the kids…it just feels good to be connected right now. Conduct yourself with the level of caution you see fit, and create a recurring event that works for your lifestyle.
This time of year is also a great time to pick up a new hobby or skill that makes your brain start cranking. It could be as simple as working crossword puzzles in the evening or as difficult as learning a second language; there is an abundance of opportunity out there to challenge yourself mentally. Check out local classes, or even enroll in some online courses. Most instructors now offer virtual experiences, many times at discounted costs, from painting to cooking to cocktail making and everything in between. And if you’re looking to do some learnin’ for free, I love the idea of utilizing you’re the talents of your family and friends to teach one another. We all have talents that others don’t possess that we could pass along in exchange for knowledge on other topics. For example, I know a bit more about wine than many of my close friends. I would be happy to do a wine tasting night where I shared some basics, and my friend the personal trainer could impart some wisdom for building muscle while cutting fat and my friend the bartender could teach us how to make a classic cocktail. It’s like show and tell for grown ups!
The point is, this world has become a very negative place at times. I love anything that give happiness and hope to what can sometimes seem like hopeless, unending days. I’m all for putting some fun back into life, and I hope you are too!