Monthly Archives: March 2014

Quitting Smoking

I’ve been puffing away at cigarettes since the age of 18. I started to impress a girl who was much cooler than me. It was a stupid thing to do and I wish I’d never started.

The longest I’ve quit for was a 2 month period last year when I replaced the cigs for electric ones. So, I know I can go without the real deal for a while. Still, the electric cigs are satisfying your body’s craving for nicotine so it’s not really quitting.

But it’s increasingly been on my mind that I need to quit for good and I’m going to go for it, starting today. I want to be fit again and to not have to break up every activity for a cigarette at some point. One good thing is that last week the doctor’s surgery rang up out of the blue and asked if I was still smoking – and would I like help quitting. It came at just the right time. So, my plan is to replace the cigs with electric ones until my appointment on Thursday – at which point I’ll try to switch to patches. Or whatever else they recommend.

I don’t mind admitting I’m going to need help with this. I admire people who can quit cold turkey but I’m not one of them. I’m hoping the smoking cessation clinic will be a real advantage. I work in health care and in my opinion the NHS is one of the greatest institutions our country has created. People grumble about it a lot but the level of dedication and commitment of NHS staff far outstrips that of private health care companies. We live in a country where there is an organisation like the NHS that actually cares whether you’re killing yourself with cigarettes.

That’s something to be proud of.

No Good

The past few days have reminded me that I’m no good at the practical things in life. First there were a few money issues we tried to solve via credit that reminded me just how far from a solid investment I am. And then problems next door with appliances that needed fixing and the fence that is falling to bits.

It’s not that I can’t do practical things when I put my mind to it. We’ll fix the fence and put the new gate on the garage and sort the money worries eventually – but it’s the fact that, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have to deal with these things. It’s not that I’m lazy. I want to help my partner with her various RL issues but for some reason my brain sees it as a hassle. I wish I could recondition myself to see these things as interesting challenges to overcome…when we’re doing things it does help that I have someone to do them for. If I ever do anything practical what makes it worthwhile is pleasing Sue. But there’s this part of my brain that is always nagging at me. It says things like – what will fixing the fence actually achieve apart from getting people off your back? What will having money do to make life more meaningful?

I’ve never wanted those things you’re supposed to want – a house, a car, holidays somewhere hot, things to put on shelves. Material things you can point to and say, “There. There’s what I’ve achieved.” And I suppose that’s why, in the eyes of the world, I’ve achieved nothing.

I got it into my head many years ago that the point of being here was to somehow reflect on the experience of living. To say something. Or to simply put your viewpoint out there for other people to consider – so they can then compare it to their own experiences. And that’s still my focus. I suppose that’s what makes me so disinterested in so much stuff. If I can’t see how it relates to this agenda then it feels like a chore.

I’m always aware I’m probably wrong though…