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Thursday, November 19, 2009

So smokin!

Hey Smokers! Do you all know what today is?

Uh-huh. Time once again for the Great American Smokeout. Yeah, I know you don’t want to hear about it because it only reminds you how much you really don’t want to be a smoker. And how annoying it is to have your nasty little habit held up to the light by all those self-righteous nonsmokers. And especially how, darnitall, you will not be told when to quit. If you DO choose to quit, it will be on your own schedule. If ever. Am I right?

Wait, wait! Don’t hit that back button!!! Really, I am NOT here to preach.

Seriously. I was one of you. For a long time. And I tried to quit manymanymany times so I know how nearly impossible it is. But, since I have only slightly more self control than a golden retriever puppy, I’m thinking if I can do it, so too can you! You just need the proper motivation, am I right?

Okay, you probably need more than that but since I’m often asked how I quit – did I mention that it’s been nearly 10 years? – and I have no idea how I did it, I’m going to make up some stuff.

Just kidding. Partly. While I don’t specifically remember, if I ever did know, HOW I quit, I do remember some of the WHY I quit.

First of all there's the money. Sorry, but my profession requires me to put that at the head of the list. And, this is the coolest part anyway, because if you quit smoking right now you will be one of the few people in this struggling economy to actually INCREASE your income. If you inhale anywhere near a pack a day, that amounts to nearly two thousand dollars a year of after-tax money. I know, you could buy some pretty sweet stuff with that.

Plus, there are the smoking fees that you hide from yourself: the higher car, health and life insurance premiums, the cost of everything you damage by playing with fire, all that gum and tic tacs you have to buy to hide your smoker breath, and what about all those extra trips you have to make to the Kwickymart?

Then there’s your health to consider. That should actually be first but I think you know it’s bad for you. I will say that one thing that inspired me was focusing on the benefits of quitting. I found a list that tells you what happens 20 minutes after you quit and 12 hours and 2 weeks and on and on. It's nice to know what you're gaining for all your misery.

And time. OMG, have you ever stopped to think about how much time it takes to smoke? I mean, it’s not just the few minutes of actual smoking. There’s the time spent looking for your pack, and finding a light and then getting yourself to a place where you are actually allowed to smoke. Here in You-tah, that’s basically a 2 acre plot of land out by the Nevada border. I think it’s also part of a missile range so be careful with those matches. Butanyway, you then have to get yourself back and try to remember where you were and what you were doing before you were hit with the insatiable urge indulge your addiction.

You know how else quitting has saved me time? When I quit, I had to give up talking on the phone because it was just too hard if I couldn’t smoke and I’ve never really gone back to it. I’m sure my mother thinks I have the weakest bladder in the world because I would usually end phone conversations after about two minutes with a ‘gotta go pee bye’. Not very original, I know, but polite people don't challenge you on it.

By far the biggest reward for becoming a nonsmoker is freedom. You can't believe how liberating it is to no longer have to think about the how and where and when of your next nicotine fix. I did miss it for a long time. I still dream that I start smoking again and I can't tell you how disappointed I get in my dream-self.

Quitting is also a free pass to be absolutely ornery for a while. Don't even try to hold back because you will be all the more likely to go running back to your crutch, Mr. Ciggy.

So that's my sermon for today. Okay, turns out I AM here to preach. But becoming a nonsmoker is a change that is SO worth it in SO many ways that I don't feel bad for tricking you. I promise you will never regret it.

Okay, gotta run so you'll have to run spellcheck and grammer nazi your ownself.


Jeankfl said...

I totally agree!! I quit about 4 years ago (wow, that long???), after declaring many times that I just couldn't.. Finally I got MAD at the cigarettes controlling me!! If you think about it, they control a great deal of your life, you don't... So, when the anger hit, so did the grace to quit.. I used the patches for a while, but then I discovered, one day, that I hadn't changed patches in about 4 days!!LOL So, I just took it off and that was it. I feel so much better, and SMELL so much better!! I hope a few people will quit this year..

Laoch of Chicago said...

Worthy post.

Sherrie said...

I so want to try, I haven't had the nerve yet.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

My wife and I have been smoke free for a year and a half. It wasn't very hard at all once we both stopped. My incentive was having my wife quit with me. We are Sooo much more happier without all the cost and the odor and everything you mentioned. It feels good.

Gaston Studio said...

Congrats to you for having been successful! When a smoker is ready to give it up, they'll do it. It's getting to the point of really being ready that's the hardest.

life insurance Canada said...

I wish to all smokers a lot of patience when giving up smoking. Everybody has different motivation but if you have nothing then just try to count all the money you spend on cigarettes and as a person working in the insurance business I suggest to consider also the insurance premiums for non-smokers.

Good luck,

Gina (Mannyed) said...

Loved this post! My Mom quit, gosh, almost a year ago and I am so proud of her achievement, especially after the year she had. If she can do it, I know anyone can do. I sent her the list you link so she can see all the good she is doing for herself.

Anonymous said...

My mother didn't quit until she was so ill with cancer that she couldn't roll herself downstairs from the hospital room to grab a smoke in the parking lot. My dad didn't quit until he was too ill to light his own pipe. My brother and I have asthma from second-hand smoke (I hope that's all we have)-and neither of us smokes. My idiot sister smokes.

Sheri and George said...

I agree with you 100%. Hubbs and I quit 9 years ago after he had open heart surgery. We are both so much healthier today that I wonder ehy we waited until we had a health scare to do it? And have you seen the cost of a carton? OMG! I can't believe people will actually pay that much and then let it go up in smoke!

The Lady in Pearls said...

10 years ago I quit! Took my Mom getting lung cancer to finally clue me in that smoking wasn't worth it!

Also....the food! The food tastes way better when you quit smoking. It's like you get your sense of taste back! Oh and wine....wine tastes better too! ; )

Cathy Winsby said...

Three and a half years and counting! So glad I did. I tried many times as well but it wasn't until I decided that I really wanted to quit that I made any progress.

Cindy said...

The drunken idiot told me I couldn't do it. I showed him ... nyah nyah ... almost nine years now.