Insanity: Doing the same thing over and and over and expecting different results

I once heard it said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I’m not sure if that is true or not but it definitely gets one thinking.

I thought of the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray (who happens to be a native of Chicago and a true Bears fan). This is one of my very favorite movies. It is so far-fetched and funny that I seriously laugh out loud every time I watch it. I am embarrassed to say, I’ve seen it more than 7 or 8 times (I own the DVD).

I think I can relate to it in many aspects because in my lifetime (that short span of 45 years), I have often felt that drudgery of doing the same thing – over and over and over again. You wake up, have your coffee, read a little, check your emails, get in the shower, get dressed, go to work, drive home, fix dinner, deal with the kid, deal with the husband, clean up, get the kid ready for bed and then go to bed yourself all to wake up the next day and do the same thing over and over again. It becomes a rut in which we often find ourselves.

Now, add care giving for a loved one to that and you really can become overwhelmed and stressed out. Day after day you find yourself taking care of this person who may or may not even appreciate your time, care, and unselfish giving.

Perception is key. How we view what we are experiencing is key to our well-being and how we will cope.

Looking back at the movie, He wakes up every day and it’s Groundhog Day. A day in which he hates. He is forced to face the same people saying the same things in this little town that he hates. He is quite miserable but watch what begins to happen as his heart starts softening up and he realized he can never get beyond this dilemma until he accepts it and changes some things in his life, especially his outlook and response to what is happening in and around him.

I encourage you to watch the movie, which by the way, was filmed just 20 minutes north of where I live in the suburbs of Chicago in a little town called Woodstock, IL. I love going there and seeing the little town which totally takes me back to the scenes in the movie. It puts a smile on my face.

Recently, I was there shopping with my friend Lorrie during the Christmas holidays. We drove past the home they used as The Inn where Bill Murray stayed. Here is the picture I took.

What can we learn from all this?

Accepting what we cannot change, going with the flow, and saying to ourselves “How can I come out of this or through this alive and with a greater appreciation for those things that once brought stress, anger and depression and be the better for it all.”

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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5 Responses to Insanity: Doing the same thing over and and over and expecting different results

  1. Nurse Tim says:

    You’re right, Susan- being a compassionate caregiver is not easy for sure.

    If we were self centered, it would eventually burn us out. But, if our perception is that there is another One who IS love, compassion, etc, living His life out through us, that is, being Christ-centered, we now see our role through new eyes and it becomes an adventure and not a burden, meaningful and significant. Every day is new! ( or maybe I just have a short memory!)

    Now, to someone who doesn’t live by faith, you might think that I’m plum bonkers, but believe it or not, it really gives us the strength and determination to keep going. Thanks!


  2. Tami Moore says:

    Very cool, Susan! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚


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