The Last Groundhog’s Day

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We waste our lives by seconds and minutes, not days and years 

Up early, like yesterday. Two cups of coffee, black, as always. Time to start the day. 

They run together, the days. How did Johnny get so tall? He was an over-charged, darting little squirrel just yesterday. Five, I think. And now he’s what? Sixteen? You’ve got to be kidding. 

I guess we haven’t been paying attention. Life gets in the way. Well, we let it. Giving it permission to repeat itself is our way of abstaining from our responsibilities for today’s actions. We react when our course could be intentional action. Purposeful, planned, and expected. Later we will wish we had done more and made decisions that would improve our futures. 

We waste our lives by seconds and minutes, not days and years It could be Tuesday. Maybe it’s Friday. Is today garbage day? Oh, then it must be Friday. And before we know it, Johnny turns sixteen. 

Our American population has become addicted to adrenaline and is loathe to change. Schedules, organized calendars, and repetitious behaviors have long left the rage of our lifestyles. They’re just not exciting enough. Things must change every day. Different activities, new adventures, a regular change in the dinner menu, new vacation destinations, even new friends when the ‘old’ friends are less interested in trying new things – they are suddenly boring. Many have learned to exhaust themselves in fast-paced, entertaining ways but with no real goal in mind. What is your Why? As in why are you doing what you’re doing? Could more of your wasted time be better spent if it was time invested in positive efforts with a belief that there is a real purpose in it? 

The pandemic we are trying to get over and forget forced us to stay put while waiting for a cure. Weather that repeats itself like a prolonged scientific experiment encourages dullness in our behavior, an excuse to pass blame for our melancholy. Laziness, lack of ambition, slovenly complaining, the fault of the weather? Think again. How often have you been instructed to get plenty of rest? Then followed that advise to the extreme! We encourage ourselves to be more like a sloth than a cheetah. When your feet hit the floor in the morning do you have any real idea what you will do that day? Have an idea, a purpose. Know your why to getting out of bed. 

How much more could we be doing if we simply put in a little more effort? Make that quality effort and we would be amazed at what might be accomplished. I guarantee it. 

A thousand times we’ve heard the adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. If we really must get something done somehow, we get it done. Imagine, just imagine, how much we could do if we had the ‘attitude of necessity’ just 25% more often? We could strut and boast and pat ourselves on the back without shame, instead of doing those things shamefully like we do today, without apology. Establishing a goal to create your own ‘Attitude of Necessity’ may take you to places that have only been dreams in the past. 

The great Steve Prefontaine is credited with the quote, “To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” 

I regularly repeat it so I don’t forget my “Why”. 

Give your best effort. Start getting better by small margins every day. 

Greg Henderson 

Greg Henderson is the retired founder of the Southern Oregon Business Journal. A University of Oregon graduate and a six year U.S. Air Force veteran. Contact him at

Photo by Steve Wrzeszczynski on Unsplash

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