The Earth and Other Minor Things

So my weeklong experiment turned into a 20 week experiment, but I think my hypothesis has been tested to it’s fullest extent and results were inconclusive. It is important to remember (both in science and in life) that experiments do not fail when your hypothesis turns out to be incorrect. The grand experiment is, well, life. You try this, you try that. Problem is there isn’t really a control group, so it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t.

To be honest, these twenty weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. March went out like a lion. April sighed and stepped aside. Along came pretty little May. June busted out all over. And here we are in July – older and wiser than we were yesterday, but still young and naïve. And you know what, it’s okay. What’s the big rush? Why am I hurrying? Who’s timeline am I following here? I want to make the most of the time I am given. I’m intimidated by my own mortality. So it’s hard for me to not worry – I’m full of anxieties and neurosis. And you know what? So is everyone else. Some just handle theirs better than others.

My own anxieties manifested in ways I didn’t expect. Anecdotal proof that mental health is linked to physical health. I enlisted some help to get well. (Thanks, Obama!) I realized that I couldn’t achieve my goals in that state. My current focus is to be kind to myself – stop my own self abuse. It’s going to be a long road to recovery but I have faith in my doctors and finally myself. Mistakes are a wonderful way to learn a lesson. The experiment only fails if you give up.

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

I Won’t Send Roses

I Won’t Send Roses

Today I did my part to support the United States Postal Service. I went into Asheville and rented out a PO Box. I also purchased a roll of stamps. These two things were not cheap, but I feel good about my descision. I can use all the money I’m saving by not smoking cigarettes to treat myself to a PO box.

What? Did I just say I’m not smoking cigarettes!? Did I quit smoking?

As a matter of fact, I did. It’s been a week since my last cigarette, so I feel confidant that I can say I am not a smoker. In fact, It doesn’t even take very long for your body to get rid of the addiction – Nicotine leaves your body after a very short 48 hours.

Instead of replacing my addiction to nicotine with another oral fixation (gum or lollipops is the usual) I have replaced my smoking addiction with sending postcards.

It’s an pretty sweet trade-off when you think of the cost. US postage stamps are at 45¢ domestically, $1.05 to ship to Scotland for my good friends Tony and Allison. I send 7-10 postcards a week . So I’m spending about 4.00/week on postage. A pack of cigs is at least that much (sometimes much more) and I would estimate that I smoked 3 packs a week on average. On particularly stressful weeks I would smoke a pack a day. I’m saving at least $10 a week.

I always told myself when I decided to have children I would quit. I’m a long way from that decision (didn’t mean to scare you!) but the satisfaction of a cigarette has started to wane. I would build up anticipation to the next time I could smoke, but then be let down after a few drags. The justification of waiting until I was expecting became an excuse – besides, pregnancy looks scary enough without the added stress of nicotine withdrawl.

Plus, Minneapolis was freaking cold. Standing outside and smoking a cigarette lost all of its appeal. has put together this inforgraphic using information from the American Cancer Society. Makes it seem almost easy, doesn't it? It's not easy - but if I can do it so can you.

So many people don’t understand the appeal of it at all. I was one when I was younger. I thought that there was no way that I would ever smoke a cigarette. I saw my mother smoke cigarette after cigarette and I thought it was disgusting. But when I went to college, all the cool kids were doing it. I started smoking at parties. Then I started smoking at night. Then I started smoking between classes. Suddenly it became my stress relief. The day I bought my own pack (for a week I only bummed smokes here and there) I was so ashamed. It didn’t stop me though. And then I bought a pack after that. And another. And another still.

Smoking a cigarette feels good. But the cost (both financial and physical) is just too great.

So thank you Camel for all the good times we had. I’ll probably miss you for the rest of my life – but it’s time for me to move on. I’ll send you a postcard.