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.