Out on a Limb

At the low end of the learning curve.

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Location: Asburypark, New Jersey, United States

I am an unwilling nomadic soul looking for a place to put down permanent roots. I have lived in all but 9 states (soon to be 10) as well as 4 Canadian provinces. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know by these means. All things considered, this should be an interesting space, put together by a person known for staying quiet while others take center stage. I think my turn has come to toss out gems that have been residing within for more years than I care to admit to. So who am I? I've been asking this same question for most of my life, so having a ready answer for you does not seem likely. Maybe in this journal, we can discover this together. About my habitation on the planet; for now I will say I am a female, a mother, a wife, a nomad, an artisan, an idealist, a keeper of secrets, a caring soul of the state of all things natural & most of my life, supportive & non-judgemental. And a very loyal friend to all. I feel very strongly about people in my life knowing that if they ask my advice or my opinion, they will get it. I believe that if a person wants to hear answers that suit them every time, then they should record those answers for themselves and play them back.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Big Question:-

As I listen to my dear friend of many years explain why he's taken up smoking again, I endeavor to make any sense out of what he's telling me. He tells me that it's really a number of things that have brought him back to this habit; his financial worries, his tension at work, his always feeling ill and having to go to see his doctor for tests all the time. I sort these things in my head and wonder which part of all this is 'fixed' by taking up smoking again. Smoking certainly doesn't take away financial problems. As far as I know anyway, they haven't yet started paying us to smoke. And I don't know what a pack of cigarettes is in other countries like Canada or England, but I know here in the US it's approx. $2.50 and in California I think somewhere around $4.00. There's also a ballot measure in California calling for a 300% increase in the tobacco tax in an attempt to make it too expensive for people to light up. That'll sure alleviate financial woes for smokers.

And even though this strategy hasn't shown it works in other states toward slowing smokers or cigarette sales down, you can bet it's only a matter of time before they impliment it.
Then it's created a black market and smuggling problems; an incentive for criminal organizations (terrorist groups included) to have this avenue for crime. Which in turn becomes an even bigger burden on an already over-burdened law enforcement agency.
Just something else for smokers to stress over, huh? Even though they've created the problem with their addiction much the same as the drug user has.

My friend says he's always feeling awful. Well yes, I can see where lighting up a cigarette first thing upon waking is going to just make him feel so much better! Dragging in that wonderful carcinogen-packed smoke is going to add years to his life I'm sure. And if by some stroke it didn't remove years, the quality of those years would be extraordinary, wouldn't it? Just think what he has to look forward to. Aside from the spat of different cancers and lung diseases, and those other peachy problems we have drummed into our heads daily (if we're listening) there is also hair loss, cataracts, depletion of vitamins A and C, wrinkling, tooth decay, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, psoriasis, deformed sperm (leading to questionable offspring) Buergers Disease, not to mention those lovely yellow-brown teeth and fingers. Only your best friend would tell you this baby, but you're no joy to be around and you really stink too!

What makes it even more of a mystery to me is that my friend already has been scared in the past by them finding an unexplained shadow in his throat. This scared him so much the day he got that phone call. All his friends gathered around and assured him that things would be fine; he had an advantage because he was smart enough not to smoke!

Well, he does now!
I look at my friend and he is no longer a boy...not even a teen. He is a man in his mid forties. A seemingly intelligent individual. I say seemingly because with all that we know now and with all that he's been scared with, he still dips into his meager funds and buys something that will reduce the quality of his life even further than it is.

When I was growing up, smoking was what you did. It was your passage to adulthood. You crossed that invisible childhood line...puberty came and went and you did 'grown up' things. That's not to say they were smart things; only that they were what we saw our parents and our parents friends doing. As well as all those very cool characters in our favorite films.

At 40, this shouldn't have any impact on our conciousness. Or at least one would hope. I only wish I could fathom the rationale behind this choice. Maybe once I was privy to the principle, I could reach some understanding of this inane practice.


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