Old habits die hard. Habits that have been ingrained in daily ritual for years, for over forty years to be exact. How do you go about changing forty years of reinforcement?
My father succumb to the habitual addiction of smoking, over forty years ago. I will have to inquire as to the when it all started, I am almost positive he started smoking when he was in the Airforce. Smoking unfiltered Pall Malls to top it off. The label is imprinted in my mind, red with white lettering, some bizarre crest in the middle of the pack. Occasionally in the last decade, he'd go cold turkey and quit, but I don't think it ever lasted longer than a few months.
As with any addiction, the choice to stop ultimately has to be of one's own volition. Even if we know that addiction can kill you, age you beyond belief, stress out your organs, and permeate the smell of your hands, breath, clothing, and home. Aah, it's just a smoke, right?
Two weeks ago, my father quit smoking. He recently fell ill, so sick that he knew it was time. In a moment of weakness his mind convinced his ailing body, there's got to be a better way. His words spoke of seeing his granddaughter's growing up.
After spending a couple of weeks distracted by my father's health, we now know he's going to be okay. The beauty of this health scare is an opportunity to heal and live a fuller life. A life in a body not being polluted by chemicals and nicotine time and time again, through out the day. A life with out Pall Malls. Good bye little red pack. Good bye waste of money.
All my positive thoughts are being directed at keeping him on track. A box of special treats decorated by the girls, with some of his favorite quotes from them, adorn the labels of hard candy packages. A reminder that seeing his granddaughter's grow up is a wonderful thing.
I had to share these two ads from 1951 & 1954, mind boggling really: ---