by Jim

When I was a teenager I had a bad habit of biting my mails. I would bite them so bad that sometimes my fingers would bleed. My parents put some bad tasting stuff on them. No help. Didn’t taste good, but I was still biting them. Then all of a sudden, around the age of 17, I stopped. No reason. Just stopped.

Around 20 years old I started smoking. First a few cigarettes a day. It didn’t take long before it was a pack a day. Mom and Dad didn’t care because they smoked. This went on for years and years. Everything smelled of smoke. Ash trays all over. Burn holes in shirts and rugs. One by one we tried to quit. Mom quit after a while. My wife quit and went back to it and quit again. My dad never did quit. I tried. No way. I took classes, I chewed gum. I saw movies about what smoking could do to you. Prices of cigarettes went up and up. So what? Cut back on food.

When I was in my late 60s, I passed out in a parking lot, in my car, and in my house. When I woke up, I was on a stretcher in an emergency ward.

A short man with a long white coat walked up to me and said, “Do you smoke?”

“Yes,” I said.

He asked when I had a cigarette. I told him about 8 o’clock. He said, very loud, “That was your LAST cigarette!”

It wasn’t easy, but he was right No smokes for years. Sometimes I still want one, but I’m not going through that again.

Most of this time I was driving, but I had an old car that kept breaking down. But I drove it around for years and years. My friend and I went to coffee every day at the same time, same place. I would drive my car and he would drive his truck.

One day, BANK! My car broke for good. He said, “Not to worry.” He would pick me up. Thins went on as normal. We went to coffee, grocery shopping, to get a haircut, to the bank. We were doing good. Our health was getting bad for both of us. My car was gone and my license was too.

He went to the doctor and they said he was “legally blind” – no more driving.

That’s three big habits in my life. I wonder what’s next?!

March, 2012

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