Monday, September 15, 2014


When I saw Ronnie Dunn (half of Brooks and Dunn) perform this song on of all shows, The Doctors, I was at first quite appalled. What an awful message, especially on a medical show!

 Didn't realize it but I guess more than one song is tagged.  

Being a former smoker, a serious 3 pack a day sort who has been free for almost 40 years --I thought there is no way this song could in anyway resonate with me. I am delighted I quit and only wish I had never started. I was addicted badly in my youth and it took 21 days  in a hospital on Demerol  to quit the habit. That Demerol is good stuff.

I feel so badly for smokers today.  They are treated like lepers by the never smoked, the arrogantly clean or newly clean.  I know what a ridiculously tough habit it is to break. Regardless of my compassion for them, I choke up today, unable to breathe if I pass a smoker in the street. It is a deal breaker for a relationship.

Yet, partly out of train wreck curiosity,  I listened to his song and his message surprisingly did resonate.

He didn't really want to smoke again.  It was just feeling that glorious invulnerability of youth he missed, not the cigarettes. That time in your life when you didn't know or care what was bad for you.

Those days when nothing bad happened to you no matter how you temped the fates. Invulnerability is bred from lack of knowledge which is a polite term for ignorance. Regardless, the  ignorance of youth was rather blissful, fun and freeing.

I stayed out late, partied hearty, drank too much, smoked too much, sampled a drug or two, ate atrocious heart seizing foods, took stupid dares and chances yet still awoke intact and ready for more each day. No one could convince us that any of those choices had long term effects or that there might be a bill to pay at a later time. No one really considered life past---eeeww--30.

We didn't think about a "later time." There was only now.  That is what he misses and writes about in that song.  Sometimes I miss it too. Those days when the body laughed off abuse or at least appeared to.

Ah yes, today's youth are not as lucky as we were. They "know" but still feel invulnerable thinking surely there will be a cure for any side effects from self inflicted abuse before it is even necessary.  Good luck kids.

Would I want to go back and live recklessly on the edge again?  Absolutely not especially knowing what I know now. Still it would be nice feeling once again that not EVERYTHING has a consequence.

I recently nodded my head vigorously when reading Margaret and Helen's latest delightful post. Helen had a lead off quote that hit home and reminded me of my thoughts today.  "At least one meal a week should taste good enough to be bad for you."  Sadly, we are reduced to that wish thanks to knowledge. Knowledge can be a bit of a bummer.

Cigarettes, beer, wine, french fries, bacon, rare steaks, fried chicken and ice cream were just really good, and not life threatening. Hum, I just realized that I had the palate of a truck driver in my younger days.

Weight was never a problem, breathing came easy, clogged arteries unheard of and energy was on tap.

No, I don't wish I still smoked cigarettes-- but I wouldn't mind having  that feeling of freedom from consequence that came with those days.

Do you miss that feeling of being invulnerable?


  1. I quit smoking November, 2003 after four days on morphine after my heart attack. There are lots of stop-smoking aids today and not one fits all. Like you and me, the Demerol and morphine worked great. My sister used Nicorette gum. My son is doing great on the vapor inhaler (e-cigarette) but government is working hard to take that away. I don't see how people can complain about it. The odor is fantastic and leaves a room and the person smelling terrific plus after the nicotine habit is broken, the most difficult part, the smoking issue can remain. I cannot imagine how this water vapor can hurt a person more than tobacco. I know this really doesn't answer you post but I happened to have this on my mind as my newest cause. I could not open the song.

  2. I quit smoking a little over 7 years ago and it was the best decision I've ever made in my life. Never felt better!

  3. I listened to the song and understood what he was talking about. Your post feels like I could have written it, too. As a former two-pack-a-day smoker, I also feel bad for those who are smokers today. But it's such a nasty addiction, almost impossible for some people to break, I'm glad society has made it uncool to smoke. And I sure do like going into public buildings without smoke lingering everywhere! Love this post, Patti. You are definitely a kindred soul. :-)

  4. I also was struck by the synchronicity of yesterday's Doonesbury. Hope you can see it here:

  5. That feeling was great. 30 seemed so, so far away.... Unfortunately, that was quite awhile ago. :)

  6. I have a mild case of TOurette's and smoking calmed the twitching. Also at a party, the people outside smoking are the most fun. I miss certain aspects of smoking, but I won't go back. Your take on the ignorance of consequenses in youth and yearning for that is interesting. Great post!

  7. So interesting that you post this today. I went to a party of the "old gang" yesterday and was marveling at everyone enjoying the get together, laughing, joking around--and no one was drinking or smoking or smoking.

  8. Never. My mom almost died many times when I was a child from asthma. Smoking was forbidden because of her and I was never tempted. Of course risk taking was a given but it was always prudently calculated into the wilderness, or grizzley country or wild women.....:)

  9. My god, Patti, 3 packs a day. You must have had a cig. in your hands constantly. I can see why it must have been difficult for you to quit.
    I hardly smoked at all. I tried it for a year and only smoked when I was out and with other smokers....not wanting to be "square".... the silliness of youth. I actually hated every time I inhaled. I finally just gave up and gave into being "square."

  10. Dad was a heavy smoker, I couldn't stand the smell and the smoke made my eyes tear, so I never smoked. My vice was - and is - overeating, fighting the pounds for decades. Too little willpower to forego forever the good stuff. And where did all my energy and stamina go?

  11. Such an interesting post, patti. There are things about being young that create opportunities for making interesting decisions and choices. I would not choose to be young again. I prefer what little wisdom I have gleaned with age than even the myriad passions and stamina that comes with youth.

  12. Oh yes! I sure do miss those days of not having to worry about my blood tests... of triglycerides, cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis. I didn't smoke, but I have other vices. Sugar?

    My sister-in-law smokes and I feel really bad for her because she's not able to quit despite what her sons and my brother have tried to help her do.

    I actually like the song very much. It's very poignant... melancholy...

    Still, Patti... You've sure lived a fun, exciting young life!

  13. Luckily, I have never smoked. My Dad smoked for 50 years --and he got Emphysema and then died... Seeing him gave me many reasons not to smoke.

    However, I damaged my body by over-eating ---so that's about as bad.... Guess we ALL have our demons!!!!! ha


  14. After my mother died of a smoking-related cancer, we found more than a dozen stop-smoking methods in her house. She was more addicted that anyone I ever knew and tried everything she knew to quit. And could not.

  15. The days of my youth were not exciting and fun. I didn't have my first cigarette or drink until I was in my 20's. Don't do either now and haven't for over 30 years. I did enjoy smoking but it was not hard for me to stop. My hubby smoked a lot longer and a lot more than I did and he had a very hard time stopping. I enjoyed this post sweet Patti. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Callie and Minnie

  16. Patti - you think of the BEST titles! Nah - I don't really want to go back to feeling invulnerable (though it was fun while it lasted). I do think that once in awhile a little splurge can't hurt. (Though for me, that wouldn't involve smoking.)

  17. I haven't smoked in over 44 years....And I too, was a BIG smoker--by the time I stopped, I was a 4 pack a day smoker. CRAZY!!!
    I always had weight issues so I was always dieting and trying to eat healthy---taking Natural Vitamins before it became the thing to do, etc....And I didn't drink and I never did drugs. So there were not too many bad habits I had to give up except Smoking....
    And now.....I really eat just about anything I want because my life is so restricted---Food can be very soothing. Ice Cream, YES!
    Still do not eat any red meat---not in years and years....Mostly because of Teeth Chalanges....But, I do not muss it, at all.
    Old habits die hard, so I still have never eaten at a McDonald's or any other Fast Food place.....It just doesn't interest me. And I do NOT miss smoking, at all.....I wish I had never started.....
    So.....maybe I never actually felt invulnerable as so many young people did and still do....I was always very aware of what I ate---and was on my first Doctors diet at 15!!! That was Crazy, too.

    It is interesting what our formative years set in motion.....I cannot imagine being young now. I think it must be very hard. A lot of pressure. I'm glad I don't have to go through that!

    I really liked that song and understood what he was saying and what he longed for.....Country Music---So right on the money!

  18. Grannie Annie,
    You and I were both lucky to have had such great drug helpers. I think part of the problem with the e cigarettes is right now, no one knows for sure what the vapor holds. Hopefully they will find out soon so that those that need them will not have a problem.

    Proud of you and you won't regret it. It will add years to your life and life to your years.

    I know. The other day I walked into a beauty shop that reeked of smoke. I had to leave. So glad most of those days are over.
    Thanks for the link. Mr.Butts knows how to get the point across sideways.

    I can remember people thinking they would never live to be 30. It was so far off. Now, like you said it still is-- in the other direction.

    Thanks and yes I agree about the outside group. I just have to wait till the come inside to enjoy them. You might qualify for medical marijuana.

    I know. I did that too a few years back and it was amazing that no one drank or smoked anymore out of the old group. I guess those of us that survived, learned.

    My mom had severe asthma also but unlike your mom, mine continued to smoke till her early death. My last memory of her was removing a cigarette out of her hand she no longer knew was there. That should have taught me.

    I was dedicated. First thing in the morning and last thing at night. My sister was like you. She smoked a pack a month and quitting was easy. You both were lucky.

    Lucky you on the cigs but I can totally relate on the food. As long as I smoked, I ate very little. Once I quit and discovered taste, it has been a battle.

    Me too. Wouldn't mind a tad more energy though but not willing to trade my mind for it.

    Glad you liked the song. That is how it affected me. I do hope your sister-in-law can make it. It took me 4 years of trying to quit.

    That is hard. That killed my brother and it was not pretty. You have done such an amazing job with your diet and exercise. You are my example.

    I feel for her. It is a vicious addiction. I belong to a cancer support group and 80% of us are former smokers.

    Lucky you. Some people just don't get addicted and that is a blessing. So glad both of you have quit. It leads no where good.

    Thanks, maybe like Helen said about one meal a week as a splurge?

    Ok you topped me. 4 packs a day? Mercy, when did you sleep?
    You really jumped on the health bandwagon before it was fashionable which was really smart.
    Glad you liked the song.

  19. I've not been a smoker...which is good, because I know that with my lack of willpower, I'd have a terrible time quitting.
    Recently I had a thought that I really don't want to be 20 again, but I'd love to remember what it felt like to be 20. You nailed it.

  20. I'm glad I never felt the urge to smoke cigarettes. I've never felt invulnerable, probably because I almost dies when I was 16 when my appendix burst.

  21. I quit smoking on September 29, 1982. The price of cigarettes had gone up to $2.50 a pack, which was an hour's pay for me (before taxes). Since I smoked 7-10 packs a week, I decided it was taking far too much of my disposable income so I quit cold turkey.

    Like you, I took chances when I was younger. I don't regret those times, but to go thanks.

    And like you, I hate the smell of cigarettes and pipe smoke now and avoid both if I can.

  22. I have never smoked, but I do enjoy the aroma of pipe tobacco. I rarely see people smoking pipes now, and I miss that! I know tobacco is a really nasty substance, but pipe smoke... ahhhhh!:) The invulnerability of youth! That lovely era in life when days are long and interesting, summer goes on forever, and, when laughter comes, it possesses every fibre!

  23. alwaysinthebackrow,
    Lucky you and smart you. Yes, just for a little while it would be nice.

    We both had that ruptured appendix thingy only mine was when I was only ten so the near death aspects of it didn't sink in. It was a long time before I felt mortal.

    Funny how it really offends us today. I do know former smokers who love the smell of second hand smoke. I think it was up to a dollar a pack when I quit. Don't know how folks afford smoking today.

    My brother was a pipe smoker and I do remember it smelling good. Not sure if it be as enjoyable today or not. Haven't seen a pipe smoker in ages. They seem to be a thing of the past today.
    Yes, even the laughter was all consuming.

  24. I quit in Nov of 09 - best decision I ever made. I understand what you are saying about giving up that wild "I'm young and I'm gonna live forever" feeling. I'm still 18 on the I suspect we all are to certain degree. Rock on, I say.

  25. Dear Arkansas Patti, I do. Peace.

  26. Luckily I quit smoking after a really bad flu bug back in 1957!!
    So I didn't have to fight that when I joined AA in 1989...but I was, and am, amazed at how many people find quitting smoking more difficult that stopping drinking.

  27. I don't know that I ever really had that feeling when I was young. My parents were pretty good at scaring the crap out of us about drugs, alcohol and dangerous behavior as well as smoking. My Dad quit when I was a little girl and he was a fanatic about none of us ever even trying it...

    I did have a little bit of a fling with life in my 40's, widowed with teenage children and showing horses and getting into a little mischief.

  28. I smoke, probably 4 a day. I don't smoke inside, I don't smoke in the car, or anywhere it will bother others. It was/is my crutch. I know it is not good for me, I make that choice, I own that.
    Those looking for a cause should look elsewhere...

  29. Terri,
    Me too on the inside child only mine is about 30. Those blasted mirrors keep showing me the grey haired version.

    I so understand.

    I had someone at AA tell me the same thing. Smoking is harder for some. I quit both and drinking was much easier for me.

    Proof positive that one can have a great time without smoking or drinking. Glad you got your taste.

    If I had only smoked 4 cigarettes a day, I'd probably still smoke. My sister was like that. It reminds me of someone who can only eat one potato chip. Lucky you.

  30. I've never smoked or taken drugs. I just didn't get into it. My 20 year old daughter is already feeling the effects of living her life in the fast lane, if she carries on the way she is, she won't make it to 30.