A big gob of goop is changing my life. | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A big gob of goop is changing my life.

I started smoking more than 10 years ago and have tried unsuccessfully several times to quit. I’ve never tried the patch, the gum, hypnotherapy or any of that stuff. Cold turkey, which by the way doesn’t taste very good when you’re quitting, is the way. OK, warm turkey.

I used to pride myself that I was never a pack-a-day smoker, unless of course, the party went into the wee hours of the morning.

A few weeks ago I started to catch a cold with my nose clogging up and a nagging cough. I fought off getting really sick, but the nasal drip was hanging around. It wasn’t so long after that, what was a little cough, turned into a cacophony that I left most of on the ground. Sorry if it’s a little graphic. The drainage and coughing went on for a few days as I cleared out the cold and runoff.

During that time a cigarette was the last thing I wanted. To be honest the last year of smoking has been unpleasant anyway. It’s amazing that something so bad can, at times, make you feel so good.

Both my parents are, were, smokers and my sister and I grew up in a smoke-filled house.

Not having any grandparents nearby, except for a grandmother in Minnesota, our family “adopted” the older couple who lived behind us. He was a retired colonel from the Army and she was a housewife who raised several children who were away at college. They both smoked. He would even have a cigarette while smoking a cigar. I remember many evenings at their house while my folks played pinochle. Literally, there was a cloud, a thick cloud, of smoke in the house as they played for several hours. There they were in those 70’s burnt orange skinny person moo-moos. All the ladies looking the same in those horrendous outfits and if it weren’t for their heads sticking out the top, you wouldn’t know there was a person in there.

The men were in polyester, wide-lapelled suits or the too-small T-shirts with “Keep on Truckin” emblazoned across it.

These are the memories that, while I was growing through my teens, kept me from smoking.

In fact I did pretty well. I didn’t start smoking until I was 26; pretty stupid. I met a woman who smoked and slowly picked up the habit over a two-year period.

That was 10 years ago.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been going warm turkey in the hopes of going cold turkey by the time this is published.

I’d thought about trying the gum, but having a sensitive tummy I decided nicotine spit in my stomach would upset it. My plan instead, and it seems to be working, is to take a couple of puffs when I feel I really need it. I’m hoping to lower my desire as the big turkey day approaches. It seems to be working. I’m already feeling a little better physically, although the staff at the Tribune is taking the brunt of my short temper while I go through withdrawals. The longer I keep this up the better I feel and the more inspired I become.

So, if you’re just starting, stop because you will want to at some point anyway. If you’re already a smoker, stop! Any time I need some motivation I think about that big gob of goop I left on the ground.

– Dan Thrift is a staff photographer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune

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