Tag Archives: wisdom

Backsliding Away

Today is the last day of March in the year of our Lord 2016. That means it has been five years since I had my pulmonary edema/heart attack/kidney failure. I had one foot through the veil. Nothing like a close encounter with the Grim Reaper! It makes you appreciate all the things you have, even if think only have a little. I think my last post explains how much I really had to lose.


One of the results of my near-death experience was that I quit smoking altogether. Cold turkey! No messing around! Although it has been five years since I spent two weeks in the hospital, it has not been five years since I gave up smoking altogether. In the last month or so, I have gone back to smoking my pipe occasionally. That is the backsliding I am referring to in the title to this post.


I know I will get a fair amount of criticism for my apparent weakness of character, at least from some of the fundamentalists on the Internet. So be it! I am almost 69 years old and I am fully aware of the consequences that I face for going back to smoking. I believe the consequences of smoking my pipe occasionally will be minimal. Certainly nothing like the consequences of going back to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, which I did for about 50 years. I know my doctor will give me all kinds of crap, if he finds out, as will my cardiologist. But, it is my decision and no one else’s. I accept the consequences. That is what a real adult does. Make a decision and live with your decision and its consequences. Don’t go blaming God, Satan, the tobacco company, the Marlboro man or anyone else. If you choose to smoke, like I did to some extent still do, it is no one fault but your own.

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Confronting the Past Part Eight

As I have said before, I grew up in a very strict, old-fashioned, European household. My father believed in “spare the rod, spoil the child.” I don’t feel my father was all that abusive, although there are people who would disagree with me. To me, one of the problems we have now is that our children and grand-children, are not really taught much self-discipline. I’m not sure the rod is the right way to teach self-discipline but it seems to have worked better than the modern permissiveness. Because of this strict upbringing, I was very much the introvert growing up. It was not until I went off to college in 1966 that I started to come out of my shell. And boy did I come out!

I won’t bore you with all the salacious details; let’s just say there isn’t much that I wasn’t more than willing to do, and did do. I drank, I smoked pot, I did acid, occasionally I did coke. I chased women and caught them regularly. From 1968 to 1990, I was married and divorced three times. That does not include relationships that did not result in marriage. Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places.
Continue reading Confronting the Past Part Eight