This title comes from a 1966 film. Here is the synopsis I took from imdb.com:
Blondie (The Good) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a hit man who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide.
What does this have to do with me, you, or anything else that could possibly be on my mind? Let me start with The Ugly.
I fell to illness Saturday night. As these things often do, it was sudden, and I was bedridden. It has been 36 hours now, give or take, and I am pulling myself out of the grips of The Ugly. Nothing is pretty about being ill. It washes over us with ill (pun is obvious and intended) intent and essentially, like Tuco, “takes care of his own hide”. Illness makes us feel powerless and at the whim of the germs that have taken over. We basically wait it out and hope it doesn’t take too long before we can get on with our life. Whenever I’m ill and in pain I reflect on how absolutely amazing it feels to be pain free and filled with energy and ease. I never take being well and living without pain for granted.
As I took great efforts to let the illness take its course, the rest of life continued on and the task list remained. I started today wondering how to make up for lost time which only made me feel anxious. It is not possible to recover what has been lost, but I can look forward. The only path is forward. Once I righted myself to this, The Bad, of committing to a task and seeing it through, took over. I called in sick, so that I could be home today, as I recover from the discomfort of being dehydrated and without food – dizzy and on shaky ground. Since it is President’s Day, my children are home as well. I employed boundaries and restrictions today that they were not anticipating and have appeared resentful at my being home. We have forged forward and I have stayed my ground and the course of seeing the task through. My son suggested we all play a board game together and we did. Board games are always a great way to bring us together, so I was thankful for the suggestion.
I like to end on a positive note, hence my reversal of the title of the 1966 film. I am going to leave you with The Good. While I don’t particularly resonate with the life of a “professional gunslinger”, I do try to earn a few dollars. Ha! Although, I don’t believe earning a few dollars is what my life, or yours, is all about. I have had to ride a tide today, recovering from illness, and dealing with blow after blow from my children’s rebuttal to my parenting. I have endured the hurtful ways that they interact and their anger at me for raining on their parade of a “free day”. However, part of what I set out to do today was to be with them, no matter the cost.
I know that we all have our differences and that we are not always the kindest to the people we love the most. They are comfortable with me, as I am with them. Our comfort can bring out ugly sides of ourselves simply because we are not perfect and someone has to witness these parts.
In preparing for this and focusing on my own sense of calm I have been able to model for them how we can be together at times and apart at times in the same household without upsetting others. I take deep breaths when I do this. I focus, even when I am seeing red and screaming with rage inside my head, and call upon myself to stand above the chaos. Even though I’m still on shaky ground, I have been able to follow through. The Good is that I can do this and so can you. When life has thrown you a curve ball that knocks you off of your feet, whether it be an illness, or an event that you were not prepared to catch, take a look at it in three parts. What about the situation is ugly, bad, but also, where can you find the good?
Be well my friends.