Quittin' Time

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My mom has smoked as long as I can remember. My dad smoked too, but not like her. It's constant; anything stressful, she smokes. I don't want anyone to feel judged, but whenever I'm around a smoker I just feel gross, like I have a layer of grit on me (much like a city near a lot of factories.) the smell stays on you forever, yellows your teeth, gives you wrinkles around the mouth, and most important to me, it endangers you and your family. Every time I inhale second hand smoke (far more toxic than the filtered that the smoker enjoys) my lungs are clogged and blackened with toxins and I increase my risk of lung cancer. Multiply that by 24 years of exposure, and you can see why I might be concerned. Add to that a family history of cancers of all kinds, even in people who take care of themselves (including the current smoker) and perhaps you'll understand why I just freaking hate it with all my being. This is not a habit that hurts only you, it hurts everyone around you, whether you can see it or not. If you have kids (who don't already smoke, another downside to being a smoking parent) you should know that my relationship with my mom has never been as good as it could be. Why? I really resent that cigarettes are more important to her than her and her family's health. I think it's insulting, and for a long time I wouldn't go around them. My feelings were so strong - "Why would you risk your future with us for something so stupid? Do you not care about us at all? How are you going to feel if I become sick later; will you always wonder if it was your fault?" It sounds melodramatic now, but kids and teenagers feel every emotion intensely, and over time it builds up. So don't think that your kids don't care, even if they say they don't. They are hurt; they worry; they're angry. It will affect your connection in subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways.

I've never pushed my mother to quit (as an adult, anyway) because I know it has to come from her own heart for it to stick. That's why I am SO, SO, SO PROUD OF HER! Today is her quit day, May 8 (the day before my birthday =) and she has been doing it all right. Seeing a smoking cessation counselor, taking a class, getting gum, mints, carrot sticks, etc., (starting a new knitting project to occupy her fingers...) I hope you all will keep her in your thoughts, and us as well because smoking is a very hard habit to drop. Ultimately, though, she will gain something in return that can't be bought at a gas station - the respect of her friends and family, the joy of those who love her, and the feeling that she is finally doing something to care for herself, because she matters.

I should be clear and say that I dearly love my mom, and always have. I also respect her as a business woman and scientist, mom, and wife. It has been very hard to watch a woman that I nearly lost to cancer continue to hurt her own body, as if we didn't need her here! I hope no one misunderstands, but I wanted to be honest about what a child (even a grown one) feels about their parent smoking (or really, doing anything else detrimental to their health!) Just in case there are any parents thinking of quitting... DO IT! =D

Whistle while you work...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And don't ever knit, sadly. I think I got in maybe 10 rows all week. I did try Carole's suggestion of a glass of wine at night, but I ended up falling asleep at 8pm so perhaps that's out. ;) Thankfully this week I have the day off on Thursday, which means if I can get my tired butt out of bed I will be at Thursday morning knitting group at The Knaughty Knitter! I won't be able to stay a whole long time, so if you wanna see me, roll up at 10 or 10:30 as opposed to noon. *grin*

So, I get my first paycheck May 20. To celebrate, I'm having a blog contest! I love to knit socks, and with no time to do it these days, I figgered I might as well share the wealth with some readers. Leave a comment (any emailed entries will be deleted, sorry) before May 20th, and two random, lucky winners will win a new ball of sock yarn from my stash! It's my choice, but you can suggest colors if you win. And yes, it will be "the good stuff." (To keep from being overwhelmed, once I have 100 entries I will close the comments. Just FYI.) You don't have to be new to knitting socks, but I admit it would make my little heart flutter to see it cast on rather than squirreled away for the next 20 years.

That's it. I'm going to lay down for a few minutes before going out to teach lessons. I hope you're all well, and while I don't know when I'll have something to show, rest assured y'all will be the first to see pictures when I do!