My daughter accused me of being obsessive today. Not specifically because of this project, but because also today, taking a day off from grad school work and other busy life stuff, we went to Disneyland and I spent a good amount of the time looking through my copy of the 4th edition of Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys to find the titular items--
(While there are decorative Mickey Mouse heads all over Disneyland and California Adventure Park, there are also hidden ones in and around most of the rides as well as some stores and restaurants, and this book is a guide to locating them.)
--though it was also because of this project. I'm not so sure that being a little obsessive is a bad thing. It certainly works for Phil Connors when he's in the time loop. He can remember things pretty readily or his adolescent phase wouldn't go so smoothly... of course it also wouldn't end so painfully (with all those slaps and then the depression and suicide). And, his good deed phase couldn't happen without a good memory and a little obsession over detail.
As for me, I wouldn't have done so well in my undergrad years if not for a little obsession when it comes to schoolwork; research, for example, can actually get a bit bothersome for me not because it's particularly difficult but because I kinda like it so I end up locating far more sources than I need. In grad school, that probably won't seem as excessive as it did before. At least I hope not.
And, this blog provides a useful stability in my life at a time when a lot of things are in upheaval. And, this wouldn't be possible if I didn't occasionally obsess about the little things in Groundhog Day. Well, that's not entirely fair. This also wouldn't be possible if I didn't occasionally obsess about the big things in Groundhog Day either. I mean, I deal with the actions of extras in the background and I deal with the definition of love, I deal with the color blue and I deal with eternal recurrence, I deal with screenplays and philosophy, soundtracks and tarot cards. I think I've proven I can take this project in just about any direction and, as I have mentioned more than once, I still haven't gotten to some of the obvious stuff like actor profiles.
Being able to take things in many directions, sometimes quite deliberately contradictorily (and who knew that was a word?), is what makes not only this blog but also debate (as a competitor and coach at the collegiate level, now also at the teacher and coach level for middle and high school students) and impromptu speaking. And, it's going to make teaching quite enjoyable, I expect, when I get to do it even more often.
Though many aspects of my life seem to be very much the same from day to day, I don't really feel like I can quite relate to Ralph anymore. I used to work office jobs and at that point I could totally relate. But, lately, there are unique readings to do each day, unique research to be done, and unique ideas to explore right here in this blog. Lately, I've been around my kids a lot more again and that also makes each day a little more interesting than days had been, say, over the summer. Having students has a similar effect, but I wouldn't go so far as to put them at the same level as my own kids--no offense to my students, of course.
I've spent time depressed before. Hell, in the past couple years, with my marriage drifting to and ending, there have been some dark moments. There have been moments where I certainly felt that nothing I did mattered. But, I think that was more a feeling than a reality. And, lately, I've got the feeling that, and see a reality in which, the things I do matter. Sometimes they matter a lot. As Phil says, "you make choices and you live with them." And, knowing that they matter, you think about them first. Some choices come too quickly, or rise up out of feelings we'd be better off not having--that I'd be better off not having--and those choices aren't as great as the more thought out ones. But, you still live with the consequence. I still live with the consequences.
Life is better that way. Don't get me wrong, though--a time loop would be awesome. But, ultimately, life means something because there are consequences to everything we do. Ripples out into the pond of friends and family and out into acquaintances and friends of friends and so on. It's a simplistic metaphor but it works.
Anyway, it's been a long day. It's been a long week. It's been a long month. It's been a long year. It's been a long life. I think I want to lie down and watch the rest of the film--Phil just got into his adolescent phase and he's about to rob the armored truck--then get some sleep. I'm judging at a speech tournament the next couple days and I've also got quite of bit of research material to read in the next few days. Like a Bokononist, I am busy, busy, busy.
And, that reference just gave me at least 2 or 3 more ideas of where I can take this project. And, now that my desktop computer over here at this apartment, I think I will finally get to talking about race in the film finally. And, there's going to be at least one reference to Doctor Who coming up sometime soon as well. Look forward to reading it and I'll look forward to writing it... Well, I'll probably look forward to writing it no matter what you do.
Anyway, I am off for today. I wish you all well, and hope life is as meaningful as you need it to be, less stressful than you can handle it being, and more wonderful than you imagine it can be.
Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to find all the hidden Mickeys... and to find some better shoes for walking around Disneyland all day.