So there was this:
I know – it ain’t a lot under – but it’s under and that’s the point.
Five years ago I quit smoking. I started smoking when I was… oh around 10. Yes, that’s right – 10. My dad worked at a tobacco distributor and it was all around us. Back in the day cigarettes were 23 cents a pack. But the machines would only take quarters. So it was kind of a family side business to put the two cents under the cellophane using a special machine (in those days I actually had two cents worth and never offered change). There were automatic ones that worked on a trigger that I was not allowed to use and smaller hand-driven ones that I was. You’d slip the machine’s blade under the cello, shoot the lever and two pennies would be slid under the wrap. Then you’d place a small piece of tape over the slit and go on. It was my first experience with assembly line process – and we made a family affair out of it. The boys would bring the boxes down to the basement, I’d open cartons and fill the machines with pennys, put the tape over the slits, Mom would operate the machines and Dad would run inventory.
Both my parents smoked, so I started by snitching cigarettes from them. In those days the store owners didn’t ask for ID. All you had to tell them was that you mom or dad sent you over to buy them a pack and that would be it. They were so easy to get that I started buying my own when I was about 12.
For some reason, after nearly 50 years I just decided one day to quit. My cat was wheezing. My niece remarked one time that her of smelled of smoke after I’d been sitting for him. I was wheezing… It was time.
So I just…. stopped. I finished my last pack and threw it away and that was it.
And I went a little nuts.
I couldn’t figure out what to do. I had a comforting routine. Cigarette in the morning with my coffee. Refill coffee at break time, light one up. One after lunch and with afternoon coffee. One after dinner, then again before bed. And, if I was wakeful a smoke would calm me and I could sleep.
Now all of that was gone. What to do???
Well, you turn to an even older and dearer friend – food. When I lived in Upstate NY I’d lost nearly 90 pounds and was weighing in at around 260. When I quit smoking I went back up to about 330.
So, to curb the eating I started knitting – I guess I’m an obsessive personality… But I couldn’t shift the weight. I dithered around with my diet – going to fast food drive-throughs and ordering pizza or Golden Chicken. And I fell on the ice – twice. For five years I’ve putzed and puttered, knowing what I should be doing… but not doing it. I was justifying the bad eating with ‘oh, it was a really bad day…’ or ‘I didn’t have breakfast, so I can have this…’ What a crock of BS, if I do say so myself!
Then, just like smoking it became time. Time to stop jerking around. Time to start testing my blood glucose levels again. Time to make a Dr. appt and have my A1C and all my levels checked. Time to do a 30-Day Challenge with someone who not only makes it fun but is a great example of turning your life on it’s head. Someone who inspires me every day. Time to dig myself out of the hole.
Time to live again.