2011, or: Those Damned Resolutions
You know you want to keep them. Or, do you, really? Sometimes, you have to know when it's time, even if it is a cliche.
As I type this, I am taking the occasional break to pull from the "NJOY" electronic cigarette Amanda got for me for Christmas. Check out the neato light at the tip when you inhale from the cartridge "filter," and a little charge sparks a bit of nicotine. If you pull enough, you may even see "smoke," or vapor as it actually is.
I have been trying to quit smoking again for about a month, with minimal success. And, by minimal, I mean almost none at all. While the electronic cigarette is marketed not as a way to stop smoking, like the Patch (Morristown Patch?), it is a step away in that the only thing I get from it is the nicotine, instead of all the nasty-smelling smoke Amanda's sister constantly commented on whenever I went back inside the house when we were all stuck for four days because of "The Great Blizzard of 2010."
I quit in early September, just weeks after the official launch of Morristown Patch, and actually was able to stay off it for about three months. Throughout December, it was a couple days off here, a few days on there, and so on.
And, now, I am "off" cigarettes again. How did I do it?
The New Year's Resolution, of course.
Yes, the New Year's Resolution, the cliche among all cliches when it comes to personal improvement. A little round around the middle? Don't fret over seconds (and thirds) enjoyed at Christmas, you can resolve to lose weight in the new year.
Haven't spent enough time with family or friends? No need to sweat it, workaholic, next year you will be the most available, sociable fool the world has ever known.
Hate the cost of cigarettes, the cost in your health, the smell, the need? Come the stroke of midnight, your girlfriend won't be kissing that dirty ashtray, she'll be kissing the sweet, minty fresh mouth of a new non-smoker.
And, if you break your resolution? Hey, there's always next year.
See, the breaking of the resolution is part of the cliche. Because the resolution, and its ultimate demise, are so intertwined, no one gives the guilty party a stern finger or a "that's such a shame" look. We all knew it was coming.
And, yet, here I am, taking the occasional "puff" off my electronic smoke, eyeballing the nicotine-free cartridges on the NJOY website and submitting that this, finally, despite it being the latest of about 393 attempts, will be the one that sticks.
Oh, Amanda and I also bought a bunch of healthy, whole food at the supermarket last night. We are running our first half-marathon in May, after all.
So, yes, I bought into the whole thing. The whole cliche. As Amanda and I stood among others on the Green on New Year's Eve, listening to the countdown to midnight, gazing up at the fireworks, I felt like I was stepping into a new world, a new year, a new you (or, me, rather). I drank the Kool-Aid, sue me.
And, so what if I did? Haven't researchers discovered placebos often work as well, sometimes better, than actual medications in certain tests? Am I making that up to validate my case? Who cares if I am?
It's day three and I am still a non-smoker. There's a refrigerator full of high-quality, healthy foods and I am excited by the possibility that the biggest cliche of them all, the one on every lame men's magazine's December or January issues every year, may actually do the trick.
And, if I break my resolution? Hey, there's always next year.