Monday February 2nd is Groundhog Day. Officially. That doesn’t mean we are all doomed to repeat the same day over and over again, like Bill Murray did in the 1993 film of the same name. It does make me think though. Is repetition and monotony good or bad? A typical day for me starts with being woken by the baby at around 6am; then a bottle feed; play with baby on living room floor; read a few baby books; pass baby to wife; drive to work; work; drive home; attempt to do exercise; eat dinner instead; watch TV; do a bit of work; bed; repeat… There are aspects of my life and daily routine which are inescapably monotonous, but I think that’s actually a good thing. The monotony acts as a counterpoint to the variables we encounter every day. New projects come in and with them new creative challenges present themselves. New ways of working, new techniques must be learnt and mastered, new people and new ideas pitched. Variation keeps us on our toes, but monotony, repetition and routine can help us get organised and prepare for the next big project to land – often when we least expect it.
The movie Groundhog Day, from 1993 spawned a new phrase into popular culture: The feeling that you’re repeating the same day endlessly. Too much of the same thing is indeed a bad thing – it drives Bill Murray mad. Groundhog Day itself though, is actually a North American traditional celebration of February 2nd, grounded in folklore, whereby the persistence of winter depends upon whether or not Groundhogs (small rodents) emerge from their burrows in cloudy or sunny conditions. If the day is sunny, then the Groundhog is impelled to retreat to his burrow and winter will continue for a further six weeks. Read more.
So let’s hope for a cloudy day on Monday. This winter is really dragging on.