Thursday, January 4, 2007

2007 New Year's Resolution

I usually don't make any resolutions because my track record as far as keeping them, well, basically sucks. In fact, just the idea that there is some kind of moral mandate over my head for stopping or starting certain behaviors usually just results in me spinning out of control and throwing myself head first into committing the very acts I am supposed to be refraining from or creatively finding reasons for not doing what I am supposed to be doing. But this year I had a good resolution and it is one that I can keep.

I used to be a heavy smoker (talking over two packs a day and I was one of those pathetic smokers who often turned to my ashtray to tap the ashes off the cigarette I was holding only to discover I had another one already burning!) and finally quit for good (or I thought so at the time) in April of 2001. I went smoke free, completely (and that is the key for me, it's gotta be like a recovering alcoholic, not a gram of tobacco for me!) for five years. Then this past year, after a move and different stresses in life I found myself belligerently lighting up outside in our drive way one evening. I was caught in a moment of extreme childish selfishness. I was tired of being "the responsible adult." I am my girls' primary care giver, as in I am on duty 24/7 and my husband helps out a few hours on the weekends. My husband has some health issues, which since we discovered them have left me feeling like I have to somehow manage to be hale and hearty for four--him, me, and the girls! Actually, I have some health issues of my own--a weight problem for starters. Well, maybe for start and finish. I went and had a nigen dokku (complete physical) 2 years ago and the doctor himself, looking over all my test results mused that I was an incredibly healthy and fit fat woman. But that was 2 years ago and I think that being as heavy as I am has and is taking its toll on my health.

So the responsible adult standing out in the driveway said, "Look. You ought to start working out and really dieting! NOT lighting a cigarette!"
and the belligerent angry brat in me snapped back "Go rot." and proceeded to light up.

Now, that one cigarette (and it was supposed to be just one) ended up turning into a cigarette snuck in just before DD#2 (dear daughter #2) Miss 4's preschool bus pulled up every afternoon and then another one snuck in after dinner/before bed time. It was tricky going. More cigarrettes kept sneaking in daily and I didn't want the girls to discover their mother's dark little secret. So. It probably has entertained the neighbors quite a bit. "Look, there's the Gaijin (foreign) woman outside her house smoking in the driveway again." But not just the bizarre appearance of me in the driveway but also the constant banging open of the front door and Miss 8 or Miss 4 hollering, "Mommy? What're you doing?" and me panic stricken strategically stepping on lit cigarettes telling them to "get back inside! I'll be right in!"

Mother of the year hands down.

Now, when Christmas vacation came upon us my "deception" fell around my ears and my children, having learned my secret, started to thrill to opening windows and caroling, "Mommy's smoking!" to all and sundry. I am sure my neighbors who before may have been entertained are now thoroughly disgusted. They'll expect to see me chugging beers out back next.

So. Enter my New Year's resolution for 2007. No more smoking, ever again, absolutely, never.

Having not only made such a momentous decision but also having survived the first two days cold turkey I sat at our dinner table with the girls and said, "Mommy made a New Year's resolution. I have quit a bad habit. Do you know what it was?"

Both Miss 4 and Miss 8 got very quite and looked very thoughtful--which is rare in two children who generally fit the description of living whirling dervishes. "You're not going to scream at us anymore." Said Miss 4. "You're not going to be grouchy anymore." said Miss 8.

"Err, no, I quit a HABIT. Something I do that is BAD for me." I tried to say this very calmly while inside me all kinds of maternal panic buttons were going off. Screaming? Grouchy? What kind of a mother am I?

"You're not going to turn into a monster?" said Miss 4.

I tell ya, MOTHER OF THE YEAR. . .

So. I am smoke free in 2007 but I think my girls have given me another New Years Resolution or two to strive to achieve and it appears to be something along the lines of a "calmer parenting style." No more screaming please.


Vicky said...

Welcome to blogland! Another one sucked over to the darrrrk siiiiide!

I have bookmarked you and will read with great interest.

As for the photo thing you mentioned elsewhere, go for it, put pictures up! Basic security is to never mention your last name or the town you live in. And of course choose your photos carefully.

My blog is photo-darake and I don't think it matters much. It is also great fun for family and friends to drop in and see what you are up to.

Good luck with the no smoking. It's a good decision and I think you are doing the right thing. Ganbare....

coarse gold girl said...

Thanks Vicky! Blogland is fun so far.
I've got you bookmarked and have to say that your kids room looks fantastic! Plus, what artistically talented little guys you've got there!

Still debating over photos. . . your photos on your blog are so beautiful! If I could capture the beauty of Akita on film I'd definitely post some pictures. . . but I tend to be better at photographing my thumb, the lens cap, big and small blurry images. . .