A.S.A. Harrison

Acceptance is supposed to be a good thing – Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Also compromise, as every couples therapist will tell you. But the cost was high – the damping of expectation, the dwindling of spirit, the resignation that comes to replace enthusiasm, the cynicism that supplants hope. The mouldering that goes unnoticed and unchecked.

She didn’t know then that life has a way of backing you into a corner. You make your choices when you’re far too young to understand their implications, and with each choice you make the field of possibility narrows. You choose a career and other careers are lost to you. You choose a mate and commit to loving no other.

Basic personality traits develop early in life and over time become inviolable, hardwired. Most people learn little from experience, rarely thinking of adjusting their behavior, see problems as emanating from those around them, and keep on doing what they do in spite of everything, for better or worse.