Senior Living Advice: Lessons to be learned from Groundhog Day

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By Beth Dow, Solutions by Beth

For some of you, February means Valentine’s Day … a day of love, chocolate and flowers. But for me, February is all about the Groundhog. I love Groundhog Day.

The first Groundhog Day was in 1887 and has its roots in ancient Christian and German traditions as a way of predicting weather.

In Germany, the rodent predictor of choice was a hedgehog. German settlers in Pennsylvania switched to using groundhogs due to their abundance.

Groundhogs are also called Woodchucks, (so now you know who the Woodchucks are that are chucking wood) and Whistle Pigs, because they whistle when they are frightened or looking for a mate –which too can be frightening.

So as the story goes in 1887, a groundhog hunter from Punxsutawney declared that Phil, the 
Punxsutawney groundhog, was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog. Since that time, a line of weather predicting groundhogs have since made their way across America: from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada, and our very own General Beauregard Lee.

But since 1993, our furry weather predicting friends have had to share their notoriety with weatherman Phil Conners, aka Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. In the movie, Phil Conners relives the same day over and over. Soon he learns that by making a few adjustments to his life, his day can net different results. And the lessons relayed in this movie are more predictable than the weather.

Lesson No. 1: Be kind to others.

No. 2: Try different things.

No. 3: You can’t fight the weather or who you are.

No. 4: To find real love, work on you.

And No. 5: Life is what you make it.

Whatever General Beauregard Lee’s prediction for weather was, the real predictor of how your life will go in 2020 is how well you can follow these lessons.

Come out of the shadows and ensure 2020 is not just a repeat of years past. And guess what? This year you have an extra day in 
February to get it right!

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Beth Dow is a Dementia and Alzheimer’s Educator, CAEd, 
Geriatric Case Manager and 
Certified Senior Advisor. Contact her at [email protected].

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