The good and the bad of it

Published 4:01 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For every thing there is an opposite and that is the balance of the universe. Good has to have evil so we know the difference between the two. Life is filled with extreme opposites and so does daily living from the joys of motherhood to the frustration of driving in traffic. Daily, we are swinging from one mood to the other because life can be black and white, with moments of gray.

I understand much about the mental condition bipolar disorder. Another day I will breach that particular path, but the person who suffers with it will have moods that swing from great highs to great lows. If left in the up position, the disorder wouldn’t be so bad, but too much of a good thing is never a good ideal. The rest of the story is that for every high you experience a deeper low which makes the extreme opposites a most difficult way to live.

Yet, we experience mood shifts in our life anyway. For example, many of those who attend church have families to get off to Sunday School. You wake up thankful for the beautiful morning and by the time you jump into the family vehicle, you are heaving from all the drama, conflict and exasperation. Yet, you make it in one piece, grumpy and sullen but by the time you leave church you are smiling and happy with the world. It’s a swinging moment.

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Of course, the best swing of good I have had lately is the fact that my New Orleans Saints have become the darling of the NFL with a undefeated record and wowing us fans with their precision, talent, and ability to make plays. If you are a Saints fan— I have been since the beginning through all of the bad because my bandwagon began from the first snap — then you are floating on air. You are smiling more, your mood is chirpier, and if you are cut, you bleed black and gold. We are on the upside of Saintdom.

The world of opposites comes when the Saints play. We have so much hope, so much expectation, that when they are behind, your insecurities of ‘Saints past’ sneak up and your anxiety grows. Will the old Saints rear their head? You go from euphoria to a nervous sweat and despair. We can’t get it into our heads that when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city, she washed away the old way of life, the old Saints.

Hallelujah! The city of New Orleans is experiencing a football-induced high and it’s well deserved. We will enjoy the ride.

With the good, there is the bad. If you attend an uplifting event like a Saints game or a concert, one thing brings me to the dark side. At any public event, the bad comes when you go to the bathroom.

Technology has given us wonderful tools and toys, such as TiVo that records live television, my Ipod that allows me to carry a zillion of my favorite songs for my listening pleasure, medical devices that assist in living less challenge lives but unfortunately it has brought to the bathroom some disturbing devices that either scare the daylights out of me or make me look stupid.

You know what I mean unless you have not been to a public bathroom in the last couple of years. You visit your little stall, quietly do your business and as you rise the toilet flushes automatically, usually in a gust of power that might take your backside with it if near enough. I have nearly fallen back in the shock and awe of it.

If you do manage to survive the toilet monster then you must master washing your hands. Now, the bathroom gods have decided to test your ability to think. The first task is to find the soap and try to retrieve the liquid. Once accomplished, you are now up to the higher skills game. Do you push, wave, or dance to make the water come out?

There is an arena that I visit which has a circular contraption with several water spouts ready for your hand washing pleasure, that is if you figure out how to get it out. I feel like and look like an idiot standing there waving, touching the spout and parts around it, almost begging the water to come out. Finally, someone witnessed my struggle and told me, step on the pad on the floor. On the floor? Like an old fashion water fountain, I had to press with my foot and the water flowed.

That is the bad side of life — waving at water faucets. Now, good luck getting the paper to dry your hands.

We should all look for the good of life and try to endure the bad. It happens, no matter how good things may go, something bad is around the corner. That may sound like I am a pessimist, but not really. I am preparing for the hardships while enjoying every grain of good.

This is the season that fills my heart with much good — Fall. The fall foliage is so brilliant and breathtaking that I feel my soul surge with joy and with each gorgeously colored tree. I thank my creator because He could have made autumn happen without such fanfare. Can you imagine a green tree of summer, its leaves just fall off and that is it? Nope, just as the cool air hits, the tree bursts with vivid reds, golds, yellows that once caught in the sunlight seem as if they are on fire. Pure brilliant fireworks that remind me that God put things on earth for our pleasure too.

What could be bad about Fall? Raking the trillion leaves, of course. But, even in that opposite end of the deal, I don’t mind so much. Fresh air, exercise, surrounded by perfectly formed trees, and the fact I am in good enough health to be able to exert myself.

As we go through life, try to find the good in all things. Too many good people look at what they consider ‘bad’ people and never look pass their perception and exterior of bad life choices. Within us all is the ability to be good, but also to be bad. We make the call.

Try to make today more about the good than the bad.

Just like I will accept that the Saints are going to the Super Bowl.

Tracy Williams is a guest columnist and can be reached at her website: