When I think of a new beginning, I think of the movie Groundhog Day. I know, wrong month. Wrong holiday. How strange!
Here's the movie in a nutshell: A blizzard strands a narcissistic newscaster in the small town where he's covering the annual Groundhog Day festival, featuring Punxsutawny Phil, a cute little groundhog who should have his driver’s license revoked. The newscaster and crew, including a lovely and perpetually optimistic producer named Rita, are forced to stay another night. Much to the newscaster’s confusion, he wakes the next morning and it's Groundhog Day again.
At first, Phil uses this strange phenomenon to gather information he can use to his advantage. He figures out the exact moment he can steal money from an armored car. He tries to seduce Rita by pretending to like the same things she likes. He even tricks a woman into having sex with him by asking her to marry him.
He’s a DAWG!!!
But as with all good heroes, Phil has a transformation. Eventually. First he has to feel frustrated, angry, and hopeless before he's ready to change. Then he realizes waking up to the same day is an opportunity instead of a curse. He has his new beginning.
Phil learns to play piano. He studies French Renaissance poetry. He performs random acts of kindness, saves a boy's life, makes friends, and learns how to love. What a great use of this new life he had been given.
I've certainly had times when I've felt like I was waking up to the same day again and again and again, wishing something was different. Anything. Everything. Having no clue what I wanted. And like Phil, one day I realized I too had an opportunity. I could continue waking up to I Got You, Babe on the radio, longing for something I couldn't name, or I could embrace my life and take some risks.
Making the most of my life doesn't have to be on a grand scale either. It can be as simple as scheduling a mani and pedi for a mother-daughter day, or allowing myself an afternoon to read a good book without feeling guilty about neglecting the things on my to-do list.
Then there have been riskier things I wanted to try, such as learning to tap dance (That’s another whole story, pregnant and dancing in a children’s recital with my best friend), getting my motorcycle license, taking belly dancing classes, writing a book. Allowing people to read my book.
Riskier things are harder because we have to overcome the fear of failing, or the fear of succeeding. Possible ridicule by others. Yet, the alternative to risktaking is waking up to the same old sameness day after day and taking an even bigger risk: missing our chance to live life to the fullest.
So, here we are in a new year, ours to do with however we see fit. The best gift ever. I hope this year is happy, healthy, and fulfilling for all.
Now, for me to be nosey. What is something you’ve always dreamed of doing, or something you already did that seemed risky at the time?