Since we appear to be having that kind of week

13 October , 2011

This is one of Nicola’s favourite play areas at school. In fact usually when i arrive she always drops whatever she’s busy with and comes running to greet me. On the odd occasion when she doesn’t, she’s usually inside the tube and can’t see me coming. ๐Ÿ˜‰

201109073098So… I’m still harping on ad infinitum about the quitting process. If it doesn’t interest you, hang in there normal programming will resume at some point I’m sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For today’s ramble I will spend a bit more time on the reasons why I decided it was time to quit and some of the ripples I anticipate because of it. Firstly, I don’t think there is one specific reason why I decided to quit. When I looked at all the bits and pieces of reasons, on a balance of probabilities,ย I realised it was time.

Health: I did not consider smoking a great threat to my health. It’s because, as the book says, you only think of the one cigarette that you have in your hand, not all it’s little friends that have come before or who are still on the way. I am aware of the fact that many things can happen to you from smoking long term, none of those things have happened to me yet (thank God). However, my teeth are stained a slight yellow (if I carried on I don’t suppose that would get better), my skin doesn’t heal the way it used to (on day 4 of being a quitter I can already FEEL the difference!). And the one thing that stood out for me from the book was when he said something along the lines of “What if the next one you light is the one to give you cancer?” I really would like to miss that. I know everyone has to die eventually, but I’d like my death to be a bit of a surprise to me…something sudden, and hopefully more or less painless. I’m a wuss when it comes to long term pain.

Money: I don’t have much, but I didn’t quit to save money either – and smoking is f-ing expensive! I made you this little graph to illustrate how much the price of smoking has gone up from when I started (1994) to now. I don’t have the exact prices mind you,ย  but I believe these are pretty good guestimates. Also, optimistically I predicted what a pack of smokes might cost by the time I reach my 80’s (should I manage to get there and still be smoking). Pretty impressive hey? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Someone who is mathematically more inclined than I am might be able to work out for you how much I’ve spent versus how much I might still spend at the exact rates per packet and what not. I’m not that person. So let’s just look at what a packet of smokes will cost you today and use that for the basis going back and for the future. At round about 20 a day that would mean that I have already spent more than R100 000 on smokes, and that if I kept smoking till 80-something I could potentially end up spending another R500 000 on it (unlikely that I would survive that long) (also, this is at TODAY’s price…check out the graph above! Imagine paying R140.00 per packet! Now think back to 1994 and imagine paying R30.00…).

The sniff and comfort factor: The fact that everything smells of old ashtrays to some extent or another, didn’t convince me to stop smoking. The fact that I forever have to go find a spot outside to smoke, didn’t convince me (even in winter when it was bloody freezing). The fact that most of my pants don’t have pockets and I more or less lost the use of one of my hands dragging a pack of smokes and a lighter around, didn’t convince me. The fact that except for one or two of the smokes I had daily (out of 20!) I didn’t really even enjoy it, didn’t convince me to stop smoking. The fact that I realised I NEEDED the nicotine or I would become one cranky cow, didn’t convince me. The fact that I started waking up in the middle of the night to go have a smoke while Nicola was still sleeping, didn’t convince me.

None of these on their own was enough to sway me completely (imagine that!). I’ve stopped before, and for long periods too – it didn’t bug me all that much. I think that will make this time permanent for me is thinking about what it means for Nicola. Yes, of course I want to be around to see her grow up. Yes. of course I want to always be there for the special moments while that happens and not off outside or behind a tree having a quick smoke and trying to keep my distance from her for her own health. But what really gets me is that I am her role model…what if she starts smoking when she’s older because she sees me do it and thinks that’s the way it should be. I do not want my daughter to start smoking, ever.

So if it’s not good enough for her…why would I think it’s good enough for me? And that’s whyย I decided to quit.

So how have I been coping with my cravings? Well, I’ve been doing things that I don’t normally do. Running up and down stairs at work. At home when I get a craving I do 20 situps or pushups, Nicola thinks it’s histerical and tries to mimic me! It’s not been half bad (except for Monday) and I might actually lose a bit of weight with all this added activity? There’s another goal on my list that I could check off if that is the case. And the money I’m saving will be going traight to that “make a dent in my debt” item on the list too. Funny how these things all fit together somehow? ๐Ÿ˜‰ And the time I’ll be saving? I get to spend it with a very special young lady. She loves every minute of it, and so do I. (I better capitalise on that before we get to her teens!).

I don’t need it, and I deserve better.



  1. Full marks to you! The right reason.

  2. Good for you! Not to sound patronising, but I’m super proud of you. Rock on, Louisa.

  3. cat, thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tamara, thank you… ๐Ÿ™‚ Remind me to tell you a story about this when I next see you (and let’s make that soon if we can?).

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