HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Do you make New Year Resolutions? I suppose it’s a good idea to some extent, a definite date to begin (or stop) something, but I confess I cannot remember making any, and if I did, I probably didn’t keep them.
Saying that, we both gave up smoking in 1991, and have never wished to start again.
Our resolution wasn’t at New Year though. We built up to it by making it extremely awkward, inconvenient or uncomfortable to smoke. This was before the smoking bans in restaurants, pubs, offices and other public places came into effect.
Our first No-Go area was our flat. No ciggies allowed, and if we wanted to light up ‘after nookie’, it was outside, in the cold, wrapped in the duvet, freezing our assets off.We then progressed to banning smoking in the car. No cheating either with the window down. Both of us could still smoke at work, though for me it was only at lunch time as there was no smoking or eating allowed at your desk, but you could have cups of tea or coffee. (The eating bit was relaxed on birthdays)
A lot of my family smoked, so whenever we visited, so did we. It was unlikely anyone would visit us, but if they did, we upheld our No Smoking policy in the flat. This was carried over when we bought our first house, a tiny one bedroom property occupying one corner of a block of four.
It was from there that we got married. We kept it all pretty quiet as it was the second time for both of us. We booked the registry office and honeymoon, then told the Mums and Dads, got 3 witnesses and turned up on the due day. I didn’t even tell my work colleagues, taking an official day off and left a note for my supervisor as I was entitled to a Matrimonial Day’s holiday. I explained that we didn’t want any fuss, just a private personal ceremony and thankfully everyone understood. (Getting back into the office a week later was a laugh as I was told that they had no record of anyone working there under my new name and called ‘security’) .
Getting married was our catalyst for giving up completely. Hubby gave up the week before, and I had my last cigarette the night before. We were both determined to enter our married life as non-smokers.
Yes, we put on weight, but then our food tasted so different, we ate more of it!
Yes, we got a few more sniffles than previously, but this was short lived and we are rarely ill now.
Yes, after a while we felt better overall, no longer having to cough to start the day or out of breath after exercise (pushing the hoover).
No, we were not suddenly rolling in money, so we couldn’t believe how we could have afforded to smoke in the first place!
But the thing we noticed more than anything else? The smell.
As smokers, we had never noticed it. As non-smokers, it was overpowering. We would still visit the family, but when we came away, it clung to our clothes, our bodies, our hair, to such an extent that we’d strip off in our lobby, put everything in the washing machine and have showers. We had visitors once and although they didn’t smoke in our house, they brought the smell in with them and it took over a week to get rid of it. It made us realise that we would have done the same to our non-smoker friends in the past.Even now, our reactions and actions are the same, though luckily, most of our acquaintances are non smokers. I was in the bank yesterday and the person next to me reeked of cigarette smoke. People pass us in the street or supermarket and the smell lingers long after they’ve gone by.
Smoker, or non-smoker, and not wishing to upset anyone, let me say this:
I have no objection to people smoking, just so long as they don’t smoke around me. It is their choice to smoke, same as it is mine not to. For my part, I will avoid where smokers are, and just hope that they will not come to where I am (forgive me for moving away if they do).
I find it amazing that there are so many government incentives to give up smoking, yet the revenue they get from the selling of tobacco is phenomenal. When we gave up all those years ago, a pack of 20 of my preferred brand was just under £1.50. Today, those are no longer available, but other cigarettes I used to smoke are over £8 a pack.
If nothing else, an incentive to give up must be the cost. Afterall, as with anything else these days, if fewer people want them, the more they go up!
So, if you have made any resolutions, whatever they are,