The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

One of Those Days

It was one of those days.... it seems that often Saturdays ARE often like this.  My lack of structure, my lackadaisical attitude, my limited focus.... all lead me to want to sit around, idly smoking my pipe.... bowl, after bowl, after bowl.... just to while away the hours. 

What I should do is figure out some detailed organizational plan that I would want to accomplish... something that would give me a goal and an endpoint for the day in something I would WANT to do.  But, to be frank, by the time Saturday rolls around the last few months, all I want do is get the hell away from the U and do nothing.... it has seriously been that damn busy, each-and-every single day. 

Sh*t, I know that half of you think I am a lazy *ss, but I wish there were a way to show you that the notion of most professors being lazy is truly bullsh*t.  I do work awfully damn hard, and sometimes I think I am working TOO DAMN HARD..... and for what?  A bunch of grief usually. 

So, my slovenly, unfocused Saturday is going to be a challenge for me, for what had been a part of my cultural "heritage" was to smoke, and smoke, and smoke, and smoke my pipe, again, and again, and again, if I was bored, or unfocused, or just feeling tired and lazy.  My "new norm" does not permit that (except on Fridays).  So, since it is Saturday, I am just sh*t outta luck, I guess. 

Technically Lent ended today at noon, so I could be smoking my pipe right now without having to worry about my Lenten vow... I DID DO AS I SAID I WOULD DO.  But, now, I am trying to keep this seven week habit I established, going far longer.  I think it is a good, real, choice, and I have proven to myself I can do it if I put my mind to it.  I like smoking more than before, and I like the feeling of refraining for 6 days out of seven as well.   It is just that once in a while a day is pretty damn hard, like today.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Well, I am comfortably cleansing my innards with a bit of ethanol ( it is a great disinfectant, of course ).  My pipe is wholly enjoyable as a Friday deviation like it has been through Lent.  I think I am comfortable with keeping up this 97.5% refraining from pipe tobacco as my new normal.  Next week will be the real test though as Sunday morning concludes Lent.  Wish me luck! 

Here is a special wish hoping that BBC is doing well in recovery from his surgery.


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Desire vs Yearning

Right now I desire to smoke my pipe.  I am proctoring an exam at the moment.  Desire is in my manner of thinking, different from a yearning.  There have been times in the past where I have truly YEARNED for the comfort of my pipe and pipe tobaccos.  That was fairly frequent during my previous attempt to quit several months ago.  During my 97.5% pipe tobacco free Lenten Fast, I have not really experienced true yearnings for my pipe or tobaccos... just an occasional  desire.  

In my undergraduate days and in my graduate school days, it was common for many professors to smoke when proctoring exams.  I even did smoke my pipe while proctoring a few exams I was administering to undergrads when I was in graduate school.  For better or worse, that sort of thing is no longer allowed.  

Interestingly, I also note now how consistently brief the desire to smoke my pipe lasts on those occasions when I have the desire.  Typically, the true desire  seems to last about 7-8 minutes before it dissipates.  That is pretty short.  

I do not yet have a firm plan on how to keep up my 97.5% pipe tobacco free success once Lent has concluded.  My primary thought a this time is to keep a running tally of how many successful WEEKS I have in a row.  At the end of Lent I will have had (hopefully)  6 successful weeks with #7 occurring the Wednesday after Easter.  Hopefully, that number will be inspiring enough for me to continue.  I am still looking at other potential "incentivizers" as well.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Still Seems Odd

In many ways it still seems odd to not carry around a pipe every day, and to not have it as a nearly constant companion.  It had been such an integral part of my day-to-day activity.  In some ways I miss it, and in others I do not. 

I do seem to have more time in a day without taking out the time to indulge in my briar and pipe tobaccos.  I also do tend to enjoy Friday, and the small amount of pipe time I allow myself each week more than I did just smoking my pipes whenever I wanted. 

I have roughly a little over 2 1/2 weeks left of Lent.  The "Lent" aspect of my 97.5% pipe tobacco free existance is, I know, a significant aspect of my success.  I do want to continue in this 97.5% pipe tobacco free endeavor, and I really do need to firm up how I will view the actions in as faithful a fashion as I have during Lent, and as I have done with walking every day.  I do not know how I will do that yet, but I must figure it out. 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Just Plugging Along

I am just plugging along with my 97.5% pipe tobacco free existence.  I enjoyed the pipes I smoked last Friday (as well as the boilermakers).  But, I was actually fine with being again ready to refrain when I awoke on Saturday. 

During the next two weeks I need to formalize my next step.... Basically to stay at 97.5% pipe tobacco free... Even without the constraints (actually, support) of Lent.  If I can find something as effective to stay at the 97.5% free mark, it should not be all that bad.  


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Strong Pipe Craving

The above image is of an author I met.  The photograph is not one I took, but is one I found of him on the Internet this evening after I had thought again about his talk and the book I read of his called Spartina.  I met him when he visited our U a number of years ago.  He is John Casey, author of Spartina as well as other books.  The book I read of his is quite wonderful, and he is a nice fellow as well.  I enjoyed a pipe with him while he was waiting to give his talk.

*     *     *     *     *

It is interesting to note that this morning upon awakening, I experienced a much deeper yearning for a pipe than I have experienced in quite some time.  It sort of caught me a bit off guard.  I was not anticipating it. 

The idea of variation to the intensity of cravings being non-linear (and being either stable or gently sloping downward to lower and lower intensities is surprising to me.  I am wondering what is the root cause? 

I am wondering if a higher stress level this week at work and at home is partially to blame?  Possibly, but it does not seem to fully explain why when my feet hit the floor this morning, I REALLY wanted a pipe.  I was probably at my most relaxed at that moment than I have been the last few days. 

Well, what this really has me thinking about is what about the future.  It was easy enough to resist even this moderate craving due to the impact of my not wanting to break my Lenten vow.  But, if the cravings can still come back in a moderate fashion after Lent, what sort of mechanism do I need to keep in my mind to help me continue to resist at that point?  Should it be the ever climbing number of days of success like with walking?  Is that enough incentive? 

I want to figure out something that will help me to succeed after Lent is over with my 97.5% pipe tobacco free existence.  I have been enjoying doing what I say I will do.  I have been feeling more enjoyment when I do indulge, and I have been feeling good about not indulging at those times I have selected not to.  But... this more moderate craving DID surprise me.  I have to think about it more. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

All the Cravings Today

I now recognize my four true craving times.  They are predictable like clockwork.  1) Shortly after waking in the morning, 2)  Shortly after "Quitting Time", 3)  when sitting down to relax after dinner, and 4) right before bed.  

Today I felt each of those, but they were mild and generally ok to get through...  even though in each case I would rather have smoked my pipe rather than refrain.