Groundhog Day – Taking New Year’s from the top


Okay, it’s true confessions time – I frittered away the first month of the New Year. But maybe Groundhog Day is the perfect holiday for making those resolutions I never got around to a month ago. February 2nd is appropriately amorphous and a bit confusing – I can never seem to remember what it means when the groundhog sees his shadow, or not, as the case may be. And today I learned, to my dismay, that it’s all a hoax anyway.

Apparently the folks in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, decide ahead of time whether Groundhog Phil will see his shadow or not – the rodent’s actual behavior on February 2nd has nothing to do with it. The Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle meets ahead of time in tuxedos and top hats to predict the verdict, so the fix is in. Regardless, they say, Phil is never wrong, because there will always be more winter somewhere.* (Somehow this scenario brings today’s political landscape to mind, but that’s another story.)

Today, apparently Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter, whereas his rivals, including General Beauregard Lee at the Yellow River Game Ranch near Atlanta, predicted an early spring. (I watched the Georgia festivities on YouTube. The General evidently lives in a Southern-style mini-mansion, but he didn’t venture outside. If you were an animal on a game farm, you probably wouldn’t either.)

Of course the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day comes to mind. He’s fated to live the same day over and over ad nauseam, and that’s what I feel I’ve been doing for the past year or so, suspended in the limbo of a dreary gray time warp. It’s like flying in a jet through an endless cloud bank and losing all sense of direction or momentum. Unfortunately I don’t believe there’s any pilot at the controls, and I have no idea how to work the navigational system.

But that’s the kind of depressive drivel I’ve vowed to leave behind in this upcoming year. I rather like the airplane metaphor, but I could donate it to one of the characters in Death Denied, the novel I started last November during National Novel Writing Month. On the whole, I’ve been feeling a lot better, so much so that I decided (with the agreement of my shrink) to cut back by a third on my Zoloft. I’m feeling more energized already, so we’ll see . . .

My trusty old computer crashed disastrously a month ago today, contributing in a major way to my January doldrums. We managed to recover most of the data, but the machine is still under the weather and perhaps terminally ill. So I’ve switched to the laptop my husband has been urging me to try for ages. There are quite a few changes I need to get used to, but I’m actually beginning to prefer it. One feature that could turn out to be a pro or a con: the most comfortable place I’ve found for using it, in terms of posture, back support and keyboard usability, happens to be my bed. My cat Lunesta seems to agree – she’s curled up cozily atop my legs and purring.

And now for the next big hurdle: can I figure out how to post this blog entry? If so, then maybe I’ll finally feel empowered enough to confront getting my books up on Kindle by the end of February. Yes, I can!

  *[See the complete story on today’s Huffington Post at

One thought on “Groundhog Day – Taking New Year’s from the top

  1. I enjoyed this piece of writing, Julie. I hope you continue to feel better and better and can get out of the depressive state. Your metaphore of flying endlessly through or within the clouds is apt.

    Whether or not the ground hog sees his shadow or if tuxedo clad men make a decision ahead of time as to his seeing his shadow or not, here is the truth.
    It is six of one and half dozen of another. I’m not sure which way the saying goes but it is all the same. See shadow=6 more weeks of winter.
    Not see shadow=42 more days till spring. Those are the same!!! From Feb 2 to first day of spring is 42 days or 6 weeks. Yes, it is a game that give some folk some early February fun.

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