I am what you call a professional procrastinator. Unfortunately, it has been that way since I was just little diaper clad diva of four who would much rather have smeared my finger paint on the wall than sit down with those boring old letter and number books my parents were always trying to foist off on me. It was always “Carpe Diem” for me. The very wise words nearly every child who is born into this world adopts as their motto.
Fast forward about ten years and said procrastinator is sitting on the front porch of her house with her cool older sister and older sister’s even cooler friends. One of them, an extremely cute older boy I might add, thinks it’s funny to light a cigarette for little diva. Of course she isn’t going to turn it down. Carpe Diem right? After all, that’s what the cool kids were all doing. After coughing and sputtering through the first few puffs, much to the amusement of the older kids, little diva is now a bonafide nicotine addict in training.
I bet most of you have stories similar to this. It all starts out so innocently right? Maybe you have puff off your older sibling’s cigarette or sneak one from the pack your parent has carelessly left lying on the table. Sometimes it’s blatant curiosity, other times you just want to feel older, sophisticated, and look cool in front of your friends. Before you know it, you’re twenty-nine and cursing the day you ever picked up the damned things. What is it with us smokers (especially women) and putting off the quit? There are many different reasons I have come across in my own travels and I can only speak from my own personal experience. I have been married for ten years to a brilliant man. He is also a smoker. Actually, his whole family are a bunch of smokers. You might be asking yourself “What does this have to do with anything?” Well, my lovelies, I happen to live pretty much in their front yard. Anyone who smokes can tell you just how ridiculously difficult it is to quit smoking when you are constantly surrounded by those who light up. After you haven’t smoked in a couple of days, just a whiff of cigarette smoke in your proximity smells better than filet mignon with a side of devil’s food chocolate cake! Amplify that times twenty when you live in a house with someone who smokes. It makes it feel like almost an impossible task.
I am an idiot for smoking for many reasons. The least of which is that heart disease is nearly a given for me later on in life if I continue. There hasn’t been a woman on my mother’s side of the family who hasn’t died from it. I used to be a talented dancer. Now if I even attempt a pirouette in my living room, I am wheezing and out of breath in about five minutes. (Trust me; the sight of a former ballerina attempting her old tricks after years of smoking is both sad and also somewhat amusing if you happen to catch her falling on her ass after a particularly ambitious attempt.) I also used to have a pretty decent singing voice which is now beginning to be replaced with that smoker’s growl. Not sexy ladies, not sexy at all.
With all of these reasons in my pile of motivation to quit, you would think it would be something I was working overtime to do… Nope, not this procrastinating diva. Instead I say things such as “Oh, I’ll quit next month.” I am also guilty of going to bed and saying “NO MORE CIGARETTES AT ALL TOMORROW!” “I AM DONE!” only to light up as soon as I wake up the next morning. It’s such a vicious, miserable, cycle. Why does anyone do this to themself? I know I’m stronger than this. I know the will power is there. I just have to form a solid plan of attack and stick to it. I know that my body isn’t going to keep forgiving me for abusing it. So I will soldier on and keep trying…Next week sounds good. I will quit next week for sure.