I am currently in the midst of a reformation, or perhaps a recalibration. I let a lot of things go to pot over the last year – the yard, my weight, my language. During the course of Cyndi’s illness I became something of a short fuse, and could spew forth curse words at the slightest provocation, not at Cyndi mind you, nor the girls, but certainly within their hearing. I was circumspect enough to hold my tongue in public, but it was an effort.
Dropping a knife on the floor while loading the dishwasher would garner a few muttered choice words. Breaking the pull ties on a trash bag would generate a brief, though quite vocal, soliloquy. More serious matters would likely result in a regular diatribe of profanity.
I always apologized to those around me after one of these outbursts, and I felt bad for losing my temper, still the cursing went on.
After Cyndi died the cursing did not stop, nor noticeably decline all that much, despite the lower stress levels. Until one day, after apologizing to Em for going off on some insignificant matter within her hearing she said to me, “It’s like you don’t have a filter anymore.”
That really gave me pause.
That is not the person I want to be.
So, I have been making a concerted effort to cut down on my cussing. It had turned into a bad habit, and one I need to break.
Breaking bad habits is not easy, but I am making steady improvement. As silly as it sounds I try to give myself positive reinforcement simply by saying, out loud to myself, “I didn’t cuss.” It seems to be working.
Know what? I actually feel better about myself now. I only wish I had seen the light sooner, so my wife did not have to listen to my foul language in her final months. But regrets get one nowhere. All I can do now is continue to try to improve.
I am making steady improvements on those other fronts as well. I am slowly losing weight, and the yard looks much better.
I think Cyndi would be pleased.