Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 1

Yesterday, January 20th, was the first time in over 20 years that the earth made a complete rotation on its axis without me smoking a cigarette.

I’ve smoked for just over 30 years. There have been 2 occasions when I’ve gone a week or more without a cigarette – instances in the Navy when I found myself in situations where they were simply not accessible – but they both occurred back in the 1980’s, and both were involuntary.

When I started smoking at age 13, cigarettes were 55 cents a pack; today, they are $3 to $4 (or more) a pack. Over my lifetime, I figure I’ve given Phillip Morris & R.J. Reynolds somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000.

At 2 packs a day, I estimate I’ve smoked approximately 440,000 cigarettes. If laid end to end on the ground, that would stretch out over 20 miles.

Through the years I’ve heard countless pleas from my children to quit, and I’ve callously ignored the fear I saw in their little eyes just as many times. I’ve put unnecessary strain on my family’s finances to support my habit. I’ve made my wife endure the smell I wore daily on my clothes and on my breath.

And I’ve witnessed children die of cancer before age 10 through no fault of their own, while I arrogantly continued to pump toxins into a perfectly healthy body that they would never be able to have.

The earth has rotated 10,950 times since I started smoking. In light of that, 1 revolution doesn’t seem like very much, and it’s not. But the earth is still spinning.

Here’s going for 2.


-karen. said...

holy crap - what's next, coffee?

Tony Dye said...

"one in a row" is a very good start. Way to go!

Catherine said...

Congratulations! One day at a time. You can do it. Eventually you won't even miss it...occasionally I do, like when I have a glass of wine, or when I see someone "light up" in a movie.

I find, to this day, that munching on baby carrots helps...

Best, Catherine

Arthur2Sheds said...

Good for you!

Keep it up, I'm praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for a day 2, 3, and on into infinity! Try fresh apple slices instead, when a craving hits.


Kimberline said...

Hey, best wishes to you to be able to have victory in this area.

I am supposed to be eating wheat and gluten free and got a lot of advice about what foods to eat to handle my pasta cravings. I appreciate people giving you their hints as to what worked for them. You will have to find what works for you.

I was advised to eat steamed broccoli when a pasta craving strikes. Um...didn't work. I'd eat the broccoli and be miserable realizing it wasn't pasta. What does work is self discipline to just NOT do what I shouldn't do. Sometimes I fall off and fail. Sometimes I get that victory.

Just keep going forward and I do wish you success!

Amy B. said...

Congratulations! I do believe I felt the earth shudder a bit on that day (or was that a jump for joy?)! Keep it up and the great writing!

Blaine Staat said...

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement everyone. I'm on Day 7 now and still clean.