February 2020 480.632.7373 jensenlawaz.com
The Gift of a Day The Big Lesson Bill Murray and Harold Ramis Teach Us in a Cinematic Classic
I can still remember the first time I saw the Bill Murray and Harold Ramis classic, “Groundhog Day.” I was still in high school, and I was visiting my sister at BYU over the summer. The movie wasn’t too old at the time, but it wasn’t a fresh release either. Still, the Varsity Theater — this quaint little theater that would show discounted movies months after the release date in Provo, Utah — was showing “Groundhog Day.” As a teenager, it was just a funny film. I still believe Bill Murray nailed his role as TV weatherman Phil Connors, who is stuck in a repeating loop of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, over and over again. I still watch it and laugh to this day. (I’d like to personally shout out director Harold Ramis, who is no longer with us, whose comedic and cinematic genius continues to live on.) When I was at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, I could relate to some of Phil’s frustrations of feeling in a rut. You spend your days alternating between classes and eating as you prepare for a two- year mission; you don’t experience much else. But it wasn’t until I was older that I began to understand the larger themes at play. Phil spends years reliving Groundhog Day over and over again until he finally gets the “… while 24 hours may not seem like much, it’s still one whole extra day we are gifted throughout this special year. As Phil Connors learned, what we do with that day — and the other 365 — really matters.”
day right and learns how to become a better person.
It may seem hard to believe, but I try to take the lessons from “Groundhog Day” and apply them to my life. Attorneys have a bad rap as bloodsuckers who just want money
from their clients, but I don’t take my job lightly. Every day, I meet people who are in the middle of a difficult situation, and while I can’t make all their issues go away, I can give them the tools to find the right path. I can provide sound advice and make them feel at ease with the situation they are in. This is something I try to pass onto others too. I teach my kids the value of being a good person by helping our neighbors with yard work or catching up with neighbors when you see them outside. I also mentor 16–17-year-old men through my church, and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with my community in this way. I’ve been thinking about these actions this year as we prepare to celebrate leap day. Every four years, we are gifted an extra day, and while 24 hours may not seem like much, it’s still one whole extra day we are gifted throughout this special year. As Phil Connors learned, what we do with that day — and the other 365 — really matters. For me, the gift of an extra day means I get more time to spend with my family. Maybe I will work on a science project with my kids or play their favorite games and do a puzzle. In the evening, I’d love to get dinner with my wife. Regardless of what I do, the gift of another day means I can build those relationships with those who mean the most to me. As we approach leap day, it can be easy to think of it as just another day of the year. But when you consider what the value of one whole day can be, suddenly Feb. 29 has a whole new meaning. What will you do with your day?
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