This post is about lightening up a little bit and getting to know yourself better. It’s about me and two good friends. We all used to smoke. Not like a chimney or a vaper, but smokers nonetheless. Truth is that few things in my life were as gloriously satisfying as a Marlboro Light. I looked forward to hopping in the truck just so I could light one up and enjoy a deep and long drag.
I smoked maybe once a day and knew that no smoking was best. Of course, I tried quitting. I had successes but never for more than a month or so. Finally I decided that I would never quit. Instead, I decided that I would take a year off. After a year, I could go and buy a carton if I wanted to. Well, I spent my year never even thinking about smoking. Somehow, for me, this little mind trick just removed the question from my brain. A year later, I actually bought a cigarette. (You could buy singles for seventy-five cents were I lived). It didn’t kill me but it had certainly lost its appeal. It stunk and tasted lousy and I didn’t want to spend the money on it. I’ve never smoked since.
My buddy PE quit in a single day. He was a navy man and bought smokes at the commissary. One day he walked in and the price of a carton had jumped from about twenty to thirty bucks and he refused to pay that much. He claims to have never smoked since and I’ve never seen him light up. His tightwad habits saved him from his nicotine habit.
AG tried quitting all kinds of ways. What worked for him was buying a book. It was about how tobacco companies use all kinds of fillers and chemicals to make their products cheaper and more addictive. I still don’t know how true it is – nicotine delivered in small, regular doses is fantastically addictive – but it worked for him. He was incensed for a year and vowed to never pay those asses a dime again.
There are two morals to the story. One is to know yourself. Try to figure out what drives you. I know that I want cookies and pie when I’m feeling lousy and that when I fight with my wife, I retreat. Knowing that I gravitate toward these behaviors helps me to change them. The other message is to keep trying. What worked for Raoul might not work for Julie. What does not work for Julie worked wonders for Ilsa. It’s hard to know why, but we are all different with different experiences. So be kind to yourself and give some latitude and you will finally stumble on what you didn’t know you were looking for.
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