Monday, March 12, 2007

Everybody's Quitting Smoking -- The Phenomenon

There's a phenomenon I've always found interesting, maybe one of my loyal readers has a name for it. I'll try to explain.

What happens is that something becomes noticed, discussed or otherwise brought to one's immediate attention, and then that same something will continuously pop up again and again for awhile. For myself, I usually notice that once it starts, it usually happens pretty frequently for a few months to a year, and eventually it either dwindles down to nothing, or becomes such a normal, integrated something, that it becomes the remarkability of the phenomenon itself that does the fading away.

(Note to self: remarkability shows as an incorrect word in blogger's spell check, another reason to dislike the platform. "remarkability." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 12 Mar. 2007.)

Example: Early in our marriage, we added a Ford Escort station wagon to the driveway. Funny looking little thing, and underpowered. Anyway, I never used to notice these ugly things on the road before. Next thing you know, we can't go anywhere without seeing them all over the place. There must even have been a Burger King (or a real unhealthy eater) employee who owned one the same color as ours, it was frequently in the parking lot there.

Another example: A couple of years ago, I learned that my wife was born an hour after Mt. St. Helens erupted. Yeah, I know. No comments on that, she might read this someday. Hi, Babe! Oh yeah, the point. After learning this, I started seeing stuff about Mt. St. Helens all over the place. Articles about other disasters would mention it, then the 25th anniversary of the event, one of the kids brought home a volcano book from the library and it was in the back cover. Just a lot of little things.

It has taken us a little while to get here, but here we are. Since I have quit smoking, I just keep running into people who have also quit. It turns out a couple of guys I work with are quitters, and I somehow managed to completely forget that my own mother quit her 2+ pack habit sometime within the last couple of years.

So yesterday, I was just minding my own business, playing a game of Monopoly with the kids, enjoying the fact that we didn't have to interrupt the game so I could go have a smoke. Awesome. Next thing I know, some friends and family stop over, completely out of the blue. Just one of those weird coincidences. I didn't even realize until the wife and brother-in-law left the room for a smoke, but the three of us left were all quitters! It gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling, and just served as another reminder that I'm doing the right thing.

When I started smoking so many years ago, it seemed like everybody was doing it. Now I stop smoking, and it seems like everybody's doing that. At least I'm running with the right crowd this time.

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Anonymous drseuss said...

You're such a follower! :-)

I'm with you though-- sometimes we keep our blinders on to convince ourselves of one thing. Once the blindfold is removed, we suddenly start seeing all kinds of things.

I remember Mt. St Helens 5/18/81. I was in 7th grade...

March 12, 2007 at 2:01:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you really look up remarkability?

March 12, 2007 at 7:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Sheila said...

I must say I enjoyed reading your whole page, you are making the quit smoking thing sound like so much fun. Keep on blogging, and keep on're doing a great thing for your family and you..

March 12, 2007 at 11:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your quiting!!
I quit 3-10-07 12am on the morn of the sat. the 10th was my very last smoke! I am curious fellow quitter(s) If you last smoke say 12am does that make your starting point? So if yes 12 am (my quit time) til now makes it 81.5 hours smoke free ri? does sleep time count? cuz I smoked 12 am went to bed, slept woke up stll no smoking.
My husband says it doesn't count... oh well anyway jest wanted to share! GL and keep on keepin on !!
Fellow quiter!!

March 13, 2007 at 9:34:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Chris said...

Keep that anonymous quit you have going, and I'm going with sleep time definitely counts as quit time. You'd have to be a pretty special person (not special in a good way) to smoke in your sleep.

Remember: you're reading this on the internet, therefore it MUST be true!

March 13, 2007 at 10:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger ronnie said...

o how u tickle my funny bone!! i can definately c u looking up remarkability. and u are also smart enough to know that if you read it on the internet it must b true. day 10 with no smelly expensive ciggy butts. ah lets talk trick or treating... first im going after ur kids candy, dont get any retaliation ideas cuz im going after my kids candy next. if there is a problem i will throw u off the fire engine. oooh, i think i may be sounding a bit aggressive, ill have to work on that.

October 31, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM EDT  

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