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I adore smoking

I haven’t written lately how much I adore smoking. I’ll say upfront, I only smoke on average 1-2/day. I did give it up completely for the 12 days of the retreat, along with all my other vices, except coffee, but I digress.

The luxury of sitting outside, with some music on and a beverage. It is astounding. The simple pleasure of taking a deep breath of smoke and holding it momentarily in your lungs. The same breath, by the way, we are reminded to breath in order to calm ourselves down.

This is followed immediately by the body rush. A tingling all over the surface of the skin that mellows into a full body relaxation. Smoking has been enjoyed for centuries. Let’s not get started on how many times science has been wrong. All you have to do is look to Spain and France. Two cultures that smoke more than we do and have longer life expectancies.

Coming together to relax is an age old pleasure. We’ve created a culture where you can no longer go out and have a drink and a smoke.

Most of the adults alive today grew up with that as a thing to do to relax. The social aspects of smoking may outweigh the medical considerations. Death is inevitable anyway, so at best we’re talking a marginal gain by denying ourselves something pleasurable. 

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The Organic Thing? Which way is that?

It is surprisingly confusing if you pay attention. Some people are trying to increase how natural or organic our lives are and some people are trying to make things less natural.

Hiroshima survivors who returned home, because invariably, they were happier with friends and family than they were when they were “safe,” have lifespans longer than those who stayed in the government created, “safe” places for them to live. It turns out that even when it comes to longevity, the simplest measure of life, the people were better off with the exposure to the radiation than their counterparts who gave up their homes and communities on the advice of the scientific community.

I think that why we chose to or chose not to do something should be highly individually determined. Currently we know the causes of death and how to lower the chances of any given disease, but we are missing the larger picture. We all die from something. It can’t be eliminated. So what they are selling is the fear from dying of each individual cause. Since death is still inevitable, what are we gaining from living in fear of it?

The richness and complexity, exactly what the anti-genetically modified group is arguing for, is being eliminated in other areas of our lives. The increase in vaping is an example of this. For those of you

unfamiliar with the term, vaping is our scientific community’s answer to the love of nicotine. Remove the cigarette and its negative connotation and give the people nicotine in a gas form that can be inhaled from a manufactured device. The opposite of going organic.

Unfortunately, what is not taken into consideration here is that some of the benefits, yes, I said benefits, of smoking have to do with the fact that you are physically smoking. In office buildings, smokers must get up from their desks and walk outside to have a smoke. Usually, there are other people there who also get up from their desks to go outside.

Vaping may simply miss the point and who knows how dangerous it is, yet?

Vaping may simply miss the point and who knows how dangerous it is, yet?

This requirement to get up and go outside provides an actual break to the worker, a small bit of exercise, some sunshine, fresh air and the most important, social interaction. Vaping has eliminated these benefits and kept the addiction. We are going “less organic” in this area.

After almost 40 years of paying attention to contradictory and sensationalized “scientific” evidence, I’m getting increasingly frustrated that we are allowing it to dictate laws and policy. The only two things that have survived during that time and seem to be consistently tied to longevity are exercise and social connection. The people who returned to live in Hiroshima have shown this in the face of radiation.

How did we improve the life of our nicotine addicted friends? I would suggest we did not. Don’t even get me started on how many ex-smokers are now on antidepressants. We know antidepressants aren’t risk free either.

 

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Blog Length

Some thoughts on size, that is blog size, just to be clear :-). So, far my aim is 300 words. Now I will likely release larger chunks and then cut them up. I find I can express most thoughts and ideas in about that or less, I’ve been staggering ideas a bit to make it work.IMG_6891

I’ve now defined two levels of under eating, turns out that what I tried last week (stopping eating as soon as my thoughts strayed) was just another form of under eating. Not as bad as calorie counting and just toughing it out, by any means. I could always eat when I was hungry. Unfortunately, I had a gassy, growling, stomach for almost 9 solid hours. That is too hungry, I need to find the next level above it.

Right now, I am trying to only eat when my stomach is gurgling or growling. That is beginning a shift. (I’ve already released a post saying this is wrong.) I do not consider whether or not I’m hungry. If my stomach is quiet, I’m not hungry. So, I need something as indisputable about when to stop eating. I’m still working on that. I have a scale of four levels, two above my goal and two below. I need to find the sweet spot in the middle.

See, that was under three hundred words. Now, I’m going out on the deck to have a smoke.

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Chipmunks

Enough already! I already said that I wanted to stop writing about bugs and now there have been three encounters with chipmunks! I had to wait before parking at work for one to leave the spot I wanted to park in. Then, after work, one ran across the driveway, forcing me to slow down. Now, just now, likely actually a minute or two ago I saw one run off of the deck of the pool.

I just had a burst of ideas and then the reminder that not writing about bugs anymore was heard and the response was, how about this?CHIPMUNK Linsdomain


“Work and Play

When Chipmunk appears in our lives,
it is important to keep new projects protected and out of sight during the first 6-week period.
A Chipmunk has a very complex burrow that offers protection for their young (new projects) with several exits and storage chambers. Chipmunk also shows you how to store for a rainy day, protecting you for any future problems.
This totem can teach you how to read the voices of others. To know truth and lies in their voices. Trust what you hear in their voice rather than their actual words.”

That one resonates. I have not told anyone that I know that I have started this blog. I began this blog April 21, the day Prince died. Six weeks is right about now.

Now, Gotta go have my espresso and a smoke. I just decided that I might go Netflix style and let people binge read by posting everything all at once. I’ve been struggling for a when and how to time the posts. Truth is, I write on days off, which usually includes Friday night as well, but not always. Then I calculate when I’m next writing and time the posting appropriately.

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Small Synchronicity

Spoiler alert. If you plan to watch Sherlock, this gives away some plot and some humour.

In Sherlock, one of the minor plot lines is that he has recently quit smoking, but he still needs the nicotine to focus. The Chinese government recognized this aspect and encouraged smoking to its work force. Sherlock has three large round nicotine patches on his arm and he’s applying pressure to them, likely try to maximize the absorption of the nicotine.IMG_6684

He has asked all of the vendors within a two mile walking radius, to no longer sell him cigarettes. So the option of buying them has been eliminated. In one scene he becomes so desperate he lets a client smoke and then gets close enough to inhale his exhale. It looks quite absurd, but his personality is consistently over the top.

Small synchronicity. I was cleaning up my email and I tried to save an email regarding the ISBN of my new book. The computer was slow. I chose the email and clicked on “save as” and nothing happened. I decided to try to exercise some patience after about the third attempt and decided to re-read the email that was essentially a receipt for my ISBN number, except that they are free in Canada.

Anyway, while reading the email in detail, I found out that I have a legal obligation to submit copies of my work to the national archives. This practice dates back to the 1500s in France where they recognized the importance of having all of the books in one place. This has now been expanded into other mediums, but the synchronicity is not lost.

If my computer had been co-operating, I would’ve filed the email, deleted it and never read it. I am recognizing that if things don’t go swimmingly, I should stop and pay attention, I am supposed to realize something or I’m on the wrong path.

 

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Train of Thought

Somehow, my self-esteem is tied to remaining fat as if I have to prove to the world that I don’t have to conform or that I can do it my way, something like that. The rest is all tied up in what I’ve done so far, that cannot be changed, was done while fat. Is it some how diminished? I’m trying to get this thought down and Sophie is barking constantly. Now I’ve lost my train of thought. I’m glad she is gone day after tomorrow.

Ironically, I mentioned in an earlier post how much I like the SSs in this font and now I dread typing them. I don’t like to feel this much negativity. In many ways I’ve removed as much as possible from my life. But its back! I’m so glad she is going home.

My weight was surprisingly low this morning. I think it is a hormone shift. For those of you just joining us, I started this blog because in a flood of hormones I almost adopted a puppy. Those same hormones seem to be puffing me out. There is other evidence that they have subsided for now, and likely for good. I’m coming up on a year.100-0208

The end of another era. It is astonishing to me how quickly life passes. How out of reach it suddenly becomes. Like getting on the plane in Cuba knowing that you are closer to the resort and yet you will not get there. The past is just as elusive.

I think I’ll need another smoke. Smoking is over represented in my blogs because they are both things I do only at home when relaxing. So I’m always writing at the same time I’m smoking.

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Fear of Death

Everything is part of the same thing. However you want to define it. We are in connection with each other, the planets and the sun. It is the vastness that makes it so difficult to conceptualize. We are here to witness a brief moment in an infinite amount of time and space. When I think of the greater meaning of all of this, I don’t think it is to avoid my own death at all costs. The literal cost is to waste my time here worrying about an inevitability that which I cannot even understand. I believe we are here to experience this life fully.IMG_0276

Part of the experience I want to include is smoking. Some of my fondest memories are having cigarettes with my daughters, wrapped in comforters so that it would be warm enough to stand outback on the deck long enough. That smooth feeling when everyone is focused on lighting their smoke. We have all come together to relax, reflect on life and just enjoy being together. The common habit of smoking creating these moments.

Our focus on health and safety has become a religion. The religion of death avoidance. We will all live forever, if we just increase safety more. This belief system has created oxymorons, or contradictions, like “preventable death” and “Do you want to die?” as if there is a choice.

We know the pendulum has swung too far because we are so busy protecting our children they are no longer allowed to freely explore their worlds alone outside like we all did. For fear of death, we are taking away some of the best experiences. Wow! I guess I’m on a rant. I should stop that.

I think I’ll go watch some more Netflix. I feel like becoming one with the couch.

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