Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Resolutions

Can it really have been that long since I have posted anything on this blog? Is it because I have too many options (twitter, FB) to express any pithy comments that may cross my mind? Who knows. I won't belabor it.

Coincidentally, however, my last blog post occurred right around my last cigarette. I have been smoke-free since December 4. I am now marking my eighth month anniversary. I have tried not to be a braggart about this fact, especially since the magic pills that helped me stop were all too easy. I didn't even miss it physically. How can one really conquer an addiction without any physical pangs? I had the mental ones. I still do. I look at longing with people standing around outside with a purpose. Never did I want to smoke so badly than I did on Boxing Day in Dublin, Ireland. I spent the cold, wet day jetlagged and walking around with my suitcase. The hotel was closed and not due to open until 5. Miss Kate was still in Scotland, finding her own way. After a few hours of being angry, I got over it and realized a few things. Homeless Irish people do not look like homeless American people. Plus, Irish people like to smash bottles apparently. There was broken glass everywhere! More than I've ever seen in a major, international city. But most important to the theme of this post, I wished I still smoked. It would have given me some reason to be sitting on that wet doorstep. People could look at me and say "oh, it's a smoker" and move on. Not that hordes of after x-mas shoppers spent a lot of time peering at me; I just felt I should have some kind of occupation.

The video I've uploaded is the one and only dawn and probably the only sunshine I saw while in Ireland. It was taken on that cold Boxing Day 2011.

So, onto my resolution. Now that I have kicked the big monster of nicotine, I've decided to self-improve. It's been a sneaky process because I hadn't really planned on it. I am, fundamentally, a grossly lazy person. Why else have I not posted anything on my blog for seven months and I am passing it off as "I quit smoking so I had no words." I am not even sure why I am writing about this. I guess the moment I put down the smokes, I immediately fb'ed it to all my friends. They say (those bastards who are almost always right) that announcing something in the public square is the first step to making it a reality. However, I am too embarrassed by this next statement to put it on FB. So, I state here where only a couple of you will read it (and the random Google hit from "Irish dawn" and "smoking").

I have joined a gym.

No, really, I am going to work out. In fact, I have worked out all but two days for the past two weeks and that's only because I was out of town.

Why did this happen? Well, it is related to the smoking. I have decided that I can't just eat everything in sight as a reward for not smoking. Second, I think my lungs can keep up. Third, I think I can do it since I quit smoking. In fact, I keep telling myself how much I LOVE working out and that it's the BEST thing ever. I can't WAIT to get all sweaty in front of my students in the gym (the students, they are everywhere in Oxford).  When I was quitting smoking, and I'd get the urge, I would just tell myself the same lie "what do you mean you want to smoke? You aren't a smoker?' as if that was the stupidest thing I've ever thought.

Anyhoo, it's been years since I've been to a gym. (They have TVs in front of the equipment! Can you believe that?) I met with a trainer yesterday to go over the facilities even though I had been working out there for a week. it's a 24 hr gym with lots of video cameras. I consoled my mother with the comment that it was safe in that "they would probably know who killed me." The trainer was very nice and suggested circuit training for me. I was enthusiastic. Yes, I told her! I LOVE to exercise. PLEASE tell me ALL the things I can do. What's that machine? Can I contort my body onto it in front of that giant mirror under this unforgiving light?

That evening I put into action the circuit training, and this is going to be a challenge. I thought I was going to pass out and had to slow myself down. Plus, if I had any illusions that I was going to be admired by the young, thin people for my desire to get healthy, the mania of the circuit training will put that quickly to rest.

Well, friends, I probably won't belabor this new resolution because we all know how much we love to hear the blow by blow calls of a person's road to self-improvement (kinda like listening to an 18 year old explain that she is really in love -- in a way that the world has never felt before). But, I just needed to get this out of my system in a public way. I won't bother you with more unless it's hilarious.

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