Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Always Is


There, I said it.  I said the word that can make grownups shudder.  I wonder why?  Is it because making a resolution to change something in our lives is relatively painless, but implementing the resolution is a whole other story?

I imagine so, but we are all different and we all have our reasons for wanting to make a change, but may not have the right reasons, or determination to succeed.

First of all, if there is something you want to change, then say it to yourself.  Say, "I will stop smoking on the 31st of December".  Then plan how you will do it.  Nicotine patches?  Lozenges?  Spray?  Sheer will power?  You need a plan.  You can't just stop.  Chances of you succeeding aren't good without a plan.

Once you have a plan in place, then implement it on the date, and time you have chosen, start your plan, and stick to your plan knowing there will be some bumpy times along the way.  There has to be a bit of flack to go through in order to get to the other side.

Then go through each day knowing you are one more day removed from where you were when you decided to change.  Don't look any more forward than the the next day.

If you succeed, then the time was right.  If you don't succeed, don't beat yourself up.  The time just wasn't right, nothing more.  Some additional preparation is needed to get your head in the right spot to succeed.

First thing you need is the desire to change.  If you have the definite desire to change, then you are more than half way there.  If you aren't sure, or think that it might be nice not to have a two pack of Twinkies a day habit, then it ain't going to work.

You have to want it.  I know, sounds trite, and so used, but it is true.  You have to want to change, otherwise you won't.

Again, simple.

If you decide you want it, and have a plan in place, with a date to start, then when that time comes, just begin.  No big goodbyes to something you no longer want in your life, no trips down memory lane, just begin.  And the next day, wake up, and continue.

This system works with everything.  A couple of years ago I successfully stopped smoking.  Never tried before, except for a few hours one time.  I never really wanted to. It was too familiar.  Too comforting.  Too much a part of me, and my behavior, that I didn't know how I would react without it in my life, so I continued to smoke.  I continued to smoke until one day in mid autumn I said to myself that it was now time to quit.  Nothing precipitated the statement; it was just something I no longer needed.

That revelation came out of the blue, as did the impetus to set a date.  I naturally chose December 31st, and when that time came, I began.

I haven't smoked since.

Of course, I have suffered "resolution fail" as well.  Far too many times, but that one success makes up for the many failures.

I used the 2 mg nicotine lozenges, and broke them into 1/8's, and took a piece when I felt a craving.  The amount I would take fell after a day or two, and then fell again a few days later, and after a week or so was down to only a very few of those tiny pieces a day.  I had one moment when I spoke loudly, and that was the only side effect I had to beating the addiction.

Do I miss it?  No.  Not really.  I like the money in pocket, the breath in my body.  I could not have done it at any other time.  The time had to be right.  The time had to be excuse free.  I no longer needed a crutch to function in everyday life when I quit, and that made it easier to decide to go for it.

That is how I did it, and I am passing on my experience to you.  It could work for you as well.  The nicotine lozenges were a personal choice.  You choose what you need to do it, or go without.  Only you know what you will need.

Whatever you decide to change as you begin 2012, I wish you the best.  One thing is for sure, and you already know this, whatever you decide to change in your life for the better  will definitely be worth it.

Always is.


  1. Have some chocolate with your cold turkeySaturday, December 31, 2011

    Happy New Year, Wally!
    Here's my little suggestion for someone trying to quit smoking: When you feel the time is right, look at that pack of cigarettes, and silently say, "I'm stronger than a pack of cigarettes." When the desire to smoke is coming on strong, repeat the phrase to yourself. "I'm stronger than a pack of cigarettes."
    I smoked for many years, and quit several years ago. Would I like to take a puff right now? Oh, yeah! Will I? Nope. I'm stronger than a pack of cigarettes, and the price is too damned high.
    Chocolate is getting pricy, too, but the time's just not right to give that up yet. If someone out there is trying to drop a few pounds, my suggestion is to treat yourself to a little something fabulous, like chocolate, once in awhile. Just make the amount small and savor the flavor as long as you can.
    Besides, people can tell if you've been smoking, but if you have a small piece of chocolate, just every now and then, folks will never have to know your "sweet" little secret.

  2. I like the way you think. Ask me in May if this years resolution succeeded, in the meantime, Happy New year to you!


Anonymous comments not accepted, and will be rejected. Please use your full name. Choose "Name / URL" and enter your name, and your name ONLY. Leave "URL" blank.