In the movie, Clint Eastwood's character was a murderous bastard...until he fell in love and got sober. He had two kids, and his wife died of small pox. This flick begins with him being approached to kill a couple cowboys that cut up a whore. In the process, we see the simple ugliness of killing, the dirtiness of each decision involved in running a town. We see how even the worst of us is simply, to sort of quote Gene Hackman's character at the end, building a house. We don't always do the best job of it, leaving leaks in the roof and all sorts of crooked angles. But we try. And we invest in the building, the action as well as the structure. Sometimes we make good decisions, sometimes bad ones. We do the best we can with the information we have at hand at any given moment. But in the end, the only thing that makes us good or bad, is love. Loving someone so much, they take a chance on us. Loving someone so much, we take a chance on them and decide not to care what anyone else in the world thinks of that decision. And loving someone in a way that makes you a better person.
How odd that this gritty, raw cowboy movie makes me think of my favorite As Good As It Gets in ways...Nicholson's line "You make me want to be a better man".
I think I like love stories that are broken and messy and gritty, that may not always seem like love stories.
I believe it is good to take time for myself. I am overloaded in each and every move I make. I am trying to breathe through my frustration and I feel like if I am not careful, I will end up hyperventilating because there is so much of it so many places, so many times a day. Today, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball somewhere and hide. I can't do that. That just isn't an option. Not sure it would be a good one to partake of, even if it were an option. But it is what I wanted, all day today. My heart is beating so hard in moments right now, I can see my dress move, feel my chest squeezing.
I seem to be getting better at managing my anxiety in small ways. I feel it coming, and try to side step it, slide along the edge before it closes in on me like Indiana Jones rolling under the closing boulder just in time...
and my secret is that I know deep in my heart that this life I have to live right now is too damn hard for me. So every single tiny triumph, I want to pump my fist in the air and jump for joy: woo hoo!! I did two loads of laundry and put them away! Someone gimme 5!! I actually cooked breakfast! Oh yeah, baby! We went outside to play!! But I have these moments where Neil won't do what I say and I am stuck between four different things that have urgent and immediate needs facing off with a toddler and no one to take him. So I have to figure out not just how to refuse to engage in the tantrum, but how to make him do what I say so that I can take care of the other things and know he is going to be safe. And he won't do it. But I can't just put down the other things that HAVE to get done NOW. And I just want to hurt him....but he is a baby and doesn't get it. So I want to hurt me, but John's ghost won't let me hit myself like I used to...so I wrap the dogs' leashes around my wrist as tight as I possibly can and just keep my hands off Neil and somehow get the kids to do what I need so I can walk the dogs and figure out supper and put the trash out and help Cilly with homework, all the while I get reactions of tears and screams because I ask that while I am actually GOING to the bathroom, can I please not be asked to open applesauce and pour juice? Can't we just wait till I'm done actually going????
And then the evening is done, the kids are in bed, the movie ends...and I am so tired my core rings with a hollow clanging, but I can feel it...sleep is going to evade me. Perhaps I will try a bubble bath. And music. Music almost always helps.