Just looking forward this time

 “Rows of lights in a circle of steel
Where you place your bets on a great big wheel
High windows flickerin’ down through the snow
A time you know
Sights and sounds of the people goin’ ’round
Everybody’s in step with the season”

So, yesterday was my birthday. I am now 40 years old. Allow me just a moment to say DAaammm…. I truly never expected to get to be this old. I’m not freaked out by it, or depressed, or anything like that, but I am surprised. Very surprised.
I did spend some time thinking about, and writing about how different my 30th birthday was different from my 4oth. Of course, this got me to thinking about what I’d like to be different at my 50th. That particular mental exercise was actually kind of challenging, because for the most part I like my life and I like myself. There are some things that will change; there always are. Life is change. The question, the truly important question is will the change be one that a person seeks, a self directed change? Or will it be something that just happens? Without direction? Without a goal?
Before I ramble on even further, I should take a moment and state, for the purpose of clarity, that change that just happens is not necessarily bad. Nor is change that comes about as result of a following a path toward a directed goal is not always good. With that said, I tend to think that some things will never change unless one makes a conscious effort to change them. Some behaviors, for example, will never change unless one makes a conscious effort to change them.
After a bit of thought, I decided the thing I wanted most to be different at my fiftieth birthday was that I wanted to be more healthy. Part of that decision was made by the rather shocking and sudden realization that my Dad had died a mere four months after his 49th birthday. Of course I’d always known how hold he was when he died, but when your 26 the age span of time between 40 and 49 is a hell of a lot longer than it is when your 40. Like me, my Dad was overweight, and a smoker. He also had a problem with booze (he liked it, a lot). So far that’s the only thing I’ve managed to change is that I stopped drinking a whole lot earlier than he did (sober 16 years now, thank you very much). Of course he smoked four packs a day, and I’m averaging about 1.5 packs, so I don’t smoke as much as he did, but I make up for it by being a lot larger than he was. Neither condition is really very healthy. Time to make some changes.
First up will be quitting smoking. And judging by my success today, it’s going to be a full blown pain in the posterior. I’ve tried quitting before, but I’ve never had much success. Today I’ve smoked less than a pack, which is less than I normally smoke, but I had intended to quit smoking cold turkey. Let’s just say that was a spectacularly bad idea. In other words, it didn’t work. I did make it five hours from wake up to first cigarette, and that is four hours and fifty minutes longer than the day before. However, by the time I finally broke down and went and got a pack of cigarettes on lunch break I was in the midst of a niccotine fit of truly cosmic proportions. I swear, I think I smoked that cigarette in less than twenty seconds…and it was so goooooddd. Obviously, I’m going to need some help. I don’t chew gum, so the nicotine gum is not an option. I’m seriously considering the patch. So, any of my loyal readers have any tips? Suggestions? Success stories?
At this point I plan to spend the time between now and New Years focussing on kicking the niccotine habbit. It is a cliche to start a diet on New Years day, but that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t really know what plan I’m going to follow yet, but that’s what I’m going to spend part of the next few days figuring out. I just know I’ve got to make changes. I won’t write about these projects much, but they will pop up here in the Corner occasionally.
Goal for tomorrow? Two less than I smoked today.