A randomized collection of items: Important, Irrelevant, Useful, Useless... it's all right here in one *tidy* drawer... but only because it's hard to make a mess in cyberspace.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I'm reading the new Harry Potter, and I'm pretty sure I've set a record for days I have had a Harry Potter book without finishing yet. But I've been rather busy. So I've been stalled since lunchtime yesterday, and in that time I've had lots of time to think about the scene in the spot where I am in the book.
Harry is in his second lesson with Dumbledore, and Albus has pondered on why Merope did not use her magic in her last days. He suggests the reason was heartache, a broken spirit, a lack of desire to be and a disliking of magic. All this sounds as if it could reasonably be so. I, however, have another theory.
Obviously daddy could not have been too happy with his daughter having run off with a Muggle. I believe (and why not it's fiction anyway, right?) that Marvolo cursed her daughter in a way that prevented her from using magic. He made sure the Muggle was disenchanted and deserted her, and rendered Merope as helpless as he could get her. Consciously he may have been seeking revenge, but under the surface Marvolo must have wanted his daughter back, and therefore tried to drive her to return.
I wonder how he felt when he found his daughter preferred death. theoretically, of course.
First off, I bet you all would like to know how I am doing with my smoking cessation program. I'm doing quite well, thank you. I've cheated a little, here and there while I was gone, but for the most part I've been pretty good.
I'm sure a lot of people have a hard time around others smoking when they are quitting. I don't mind it so much. Sure, when I see someone light up right in front of me, I have the urge to do it, too, but I don't get all upset or resentful about it as I'm sure some people do. So when my man told me that he would try not to smoke around me, I said I really didn't mind. But when he pulled up, puffing away, and wanted a big kiss, well I could see there might be a problem.
We've always quit together before, and in fact, this whole thing started with HIM wanting to quit, and harrassing me about quitting. So just with that there's a teeny bit of resentment I'm feeling for dogging me into this and then proceeding to puff with abandon, unlike the past few months in which he has been making large efforts to cut down. And then there's the taste. When I kiss him, try as I might, I can't shake my mind off the stale smoke I am tasting and smelling. This kindof makes it difficult to relax and enjoy the kiss, BTW. I'm sure it's no picnic for non-smokers, but for a quitter like me it makes me want to smoke some so I won't have to taste it in this awful way. So I did here and there, and it wasn't the best for my quitting state of mind, but it wasn't the total disaster that it can be.
I'm really surprised at how easy the patch has made things for me. Relatively easy, I mean, compared to the emotional fits I've had when I've quit cold turkey in the past. Having the urge to light up is not accompanied by anger and frustration and wildly careening emotion. It's instead followed by the reminder that I have this patch on. If the urge stays with me, I'll break out a piece of gum. I might do this 1-3 times a day. I try to keep it down, though. I want to, as much as possible, try to break the habit of needing nicotine when something upsets me or pisses me off.
oh, it's time to go now. I'll fill you all in on the books I got to read last week and other sundries at a later time.
Today I embark upon a journey which I have been putting off for a long time. Even the preparations for this journey have been dragged out far longer than necessary. I have started the trip a few times before but always fell short of my destination... and I haven't even tried in years.
I'm quitting smoking.
Eight or nine years ago, my grandmother, Ra, was lecturing me one day about how I needed to quit. She wanted to prove a point, so she asked my aunt, who had quit ten years prior, the following question: If you knew you had only one month to live, and nothing you did would change that, would you smoke any cigarrettes? Ra did not get the answer she expected. "Absolutely," said my aunt, "It's probably the first thing I would do. I would start smoking again right then and there. I love smoking."
That's not the answer Ra wanted, but it was the honest answer, and the far more meaningful and helpful answer when one considers quitting. Ten years removed from quitting, my aunt still loves it. The fact that I love smoking is quite irrelevant, and I should never expect to stop loving it. People love crack, too, or so I've heard. That doesn't mean they should give into the urge to do it.
The thing about smoking which is most insiduous is its constant presence in daily life. It's calming, but at the same time does very little. This makes it ok to do whenever one can break free for a few minutes. It can give you an excuse for a break, in fact, and it can be a social "activity". It's become increasingly less convenient in public, which should make things easier for me. The hardest, for me, is in the car. I just have the constant urge to light up there.
Unfortunately there are so many BAD things about smoking... but none of them make much of a difference when you want a cigarrette. People who have never been addicted to nicotine don't seem to understand this. Anyone who has ever been a regular smoker can tell you they've gotten at least a hundred lectures from well-intentioned individuals who just have no clue that they're wasting their breath. No one quits smoking without REALLY wanting to. Sure, there are those lucky people who just decide one day, and that's that... never the worse for wear. I don't fully trust those tales, to be honest. But I guess willpower has never been my strong suit.
Still, it's time for me to quit. I'm ready, and I'm willing, and I'm able. Stay tuned.