My choices carry a weight and importance that I once ignored. At home, my children learn to interact with their own environment through me. In the workplace, my words may help my patients discover a better understanding of themselves. In both instances, my instinctive phrases, actions and emotions are filtered not by others, but by myself, to achieve an end that I do not always fully comprehend.
Despite a lack of full conception, it is an end that I embrace, nonetheless. Thus, I learn to speak slowly, with eloquence and caution. I remain conscious of my affectation and posture, projecting myself as a vehicle of compassion, reason and reliability. Attention to detail can be the difference between success and failure, and this is something that I remain aware of with exhausting detail in nearly all of my waking hours.
But, when I need to wake at 5:00 am the next morning, she brings the children home past their bed time, talks on the phone after putting them to bed (delaying our own dinner), the baby begins to scream (at 10:30 pm) for thirty minutes without pause, the cat vomits on the bedroom floor (twice), and my trifling wife offers to “help” clean up the mess (knowing that she has never been able to run the carpet cleaner adequately before, so why would now be any different?), inhibitions are lost. Instinctive phrases and emotions become unfiltered; regrettable words are spoken.
Apparently, voluntary restraint is more difficult at 11:22 in the evening.