My Mom and Scottie reflected in the window of a Chinatown shop featuring duck and squid.
My Mom and Scottie reflected in the window of a Chinatown shop featuring duck and squid.
I usually don’t go for these holiday inspired blog posts… oh, it’s thanksgiving, what am I thankful for, but this morning, I guess I’m in a reflective mood. I don’t often stop and think about what I am truly thankful for in my life and that’s probably not a good thing. It’s so easy to take the blessings in one’s life for granted, and today, I’m going to take a step back and acknowledge the things I am most thankful for.
When you’re healthy, it’s so easy to take your health for granted. I have been fortunate enough to be pretty healthy my entire life. Sure, as a fortysomething-year-old man I should lose a few pounds, eat better, be more active, etc. But I did quit smoking this year (last January) and I feel really thankful about that!
Friends and Family are such a blessing. My family is happy and healthy. Everyone is doing well. I am especially thankful that my parents, both in their mid-eighties, are doing so well. And as a gay man, friends are so important, and I’ve got great friends from so many different areas of my life.
Six months ago, my friends and family would be shocked to hear me give thanks to my job… but it’s true. Of course, in this economic climate I’m thankful to have a job at all, but never in my wildest dreams since becoming a librarian did I think I would ever have this big a job. And for the first time since I started this job, things are really looking up. A new leader has really rejuventated by interest in my career, and although things are still pretty difficult in many ways, I’m so hopeful for the future.
Having been a homeowner for a couple of years now, I have to say I am grateful that we’ve got such a comfortable home and great condo-mates. As Scot often reminds me, we could definitely spend a little more time focused on our home, and that’s something I think I’d like to try and do in the coming year.
In that home I have to give thanks to our kitties, Gertrudis and Parker. The joy these cats bring me is sometimes astounding. Gertrudis has been with me for over 14 years, and she is truly part of my family. And I’m so thankful that we were able to provide a home for Parker and that he seems to have alleviated some of Gertrudis’ anxiety about being the only cat in the house (when she remembers to stop fighting with him.)
Finally, and most importantly, I am so thankful for my husband, Scot. First that here in Massachusetts I can actually have a husband, and secondly, but more importantly, that he’s someone as kind, understanding, complex, and beautiful as Scot. I don’t tell him this nearly enough, but it comes from my heart… I love you, Scottie, and I am so grateful that you are a part of my life.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I was born Scot Alan Tannreuther.
For reasons I shouldn’t have to explain, I was eager to dump the last name in 199…6? and dropped my middle name in the process. And in 2004 I changed my last name to Colford cause I married THE RIGHT GUY. But I still didn’t fill in the weird middle name gap.
Guess what. I just chose one.
I am now Scot Hussein Colford.
How about you?
I think this is why. But maybe he doesn’t know that we don’t do this in the U.S.
Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything for a while, but what the heck. Michael and I were both sick as dogs with the flu a few weeks ago and he did the sensible thing and stopped smoking. That’s much harder for me to do. But after we were more mobile, he still didn’t start again. After much hounding on my part, I got him to admit that he was trying to quit. Knowing how much of a bad influence we are on each other, I figured it was time for me to try again myself.
Now, Michael can just up and quit. I don’t know how he does it. But I’m pretty physically attached to my nicotine so I knew I’d have to use some little aid. I’d had good success with the patch before. (Quit for four years. The four years before I met Michael!) But this time, I thought I should try one of the oral nicotine substitutions. I started off on the lozenge things called “Commit”. Yeah, they taste nasty and sort of burn your mouth a bit. And you’re not supposed to chew them or even swallow much of your spit or you’ll get stomach and throat ulcers. But that’s okay. The hard part was just getting the damn things to dissolve. They are supposed to dissolve in 20-30 minutes, but mine were taking upwards of 90 minutes to turn into a chalky mush that was hard not to swallow. You can’t eat or drink while it’s in your mouth or for 15 minutes before you start sucking. And you’re supposed to have at least nine a day for the first six weeks! That’s, what? Like 13.5 hours of sucking where you can’t even drink a glass of water. Add in over two hours of that 15-minute buffer time and I’m likely to dehydrate and starve to death in a couple days.
So, I switched to the patch and I’m doing pretty well. I still have a stash of the lozenges for the really strong cravings. I don’t think you’re supposed to use them and the patch together, but I’ve not had any palpitations yet.
When I started, though, I signed up for the GlaxoSmithKline Commited Quitters program that goes along with the little not-candy-they’re-medicine things. The idea is that this friendly drug company writes up a personalized quitting program for you based on this lengthy questionnaire you fill out. But really it just means I get emails like this every week.
It has been two weeks since your last cigarette. Have you noticed any changes in your breathing? You may be coughing up more phlegm now that your lungs are beginning to work better. This is normal. Your body is clearing itself out with every smokeless breath you take. How is your sense of taste? Is it improving?
You may also be feeling more comfortable as a nonsmoker. Are you finding new ways of socializing or dealing with stressful situations? Your withdrawal symptoms may be subsiding, but you still need to be aware of your triggers to smoke and use the strategies you have learned to manage them. Don’t forget to review your personalized program on the Committed Quitters® Web site for extra support.
Oh, it’s so encouraging. I love that phlegm bit. And my sense of taste. Yeah, the phlegm tastes great.
Wish me luck. And don’t ask me how it’s going or I’ll bite your head off. (Ha.)
Merry Christmas everyone! Scot and I are visiting Scot’s family in Dayton, OH, where it’s a green Christmas. We left the snow back home in Boston. We did our Christmas gift exchange last night and have been enjoying a lazy Christmas morning sipping mimosas and watching the cats get a little crazy on catnip.
I am mystified by the Dayton-area; so incredibly built up commercially with huge malls and endless chain restaurants. Who is doing the shopping and eating out here? I can’t imagine the economy of Dayton can support all this commercialism, yet every two years when we come out here for Christmas there are more new malls… and they’re enormous! Check out The Greene, where we had dinner on Sunday night. It’s set up like a little downtown area, where various musical events and other outdoor activities go on during the nicer weather. Scot actually found it to be a bit more like Disney World than a downtown area. We had dinner at Dayton’s first Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant Scot’s mother quite enjoyed when she visited Boston. It was pretty busy, and again, all I could think of was how many people does it take to support all these restaurants? Could the Hooters down the street actually be busy too?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and the other blogs I read, and how various blogs will occasionally irritate me, while others make me pause and think I should be writing more personal stuff in my own blog. All that is just a preface to the discovery that my nephews and niece are growing up.
I went to my MySpace profile (to delete it, actually) when I naturally started to take a look at my friends profiles before leaving. During this perusal, I discovered that my nephew has a blog. I think I’d noticed that in the past, but I took a look at his last couple of posts and was mildly surprised to find out that he’s a really funny guy! I thoroughly enjoyed his dry, matter-of-fact humor; something I’d never really had the chance to notice before never having any access to his writing style, and basically spending most of my time with him at family gatherings where there isn’t a huge amount of time to converse meaningfully.
Now, my nephew was born the summer between my high school graduation and my first year of college. A time when you’re just starting to feel like an adult. The fact that my nephew is now 27 years old, and he didn’t even exist until after I was already an adult (well, at age 18, I could vote at least) is a curious sensation. He was a child for such a long time in my adult life, it’s an interesting experience to now keep reminding myself that he’s an adult. In fact, I have friends who are younger than him! I need to hang out with my nephew more. By the way, his myspace profile with that amusing blog are over here.
Then there’s my niece, and she really shook things up in the child/adult continuum earlier this year by getting married. The first of that generation to do so. Huh? I was just babysitting for her the other day! And coaching her middle-school basketball team! Now she’s married? And teaching developmentally disable kids? Okay, I knew she was going to turn out pretty special one day… she was a pretty special little kid… but to have that day here, a beautiful young woman getting married to a beautiful young man… well, it’s a little surreal. Next thing you know, there’s going to be another generation of Colfords showing up, and that will be a real adjustment.
There are a couple more nephews in the family… and thank god, they’re still in school. Of course the older of the two is now in high school, and he’s my godson, so that’s a little odd. And he’s one of those interesting and cool high schoolers, pulling out of that sullen, leave-me-alone middle school phases. The younger… the youngest in our extended family, just entered middle school, and thank god he still acts like a kid. At least the whole world hasn’t shifted yet.
So what does this all mean? I’m getting older? Well sure, I know that, and I’m even okay with it for the most part. It is a little unusual that I’m experiencing, albeit to a much lesser degree, what parents must feel as they watch their kids grow up. I just find it so interesting that as an an individual, I don’t really feel any different as I age compared to when I was a teenager. When I am relating to a friend who is 10 years younger than me… even 15 years younger than me, I often forget we are different ages. (Granted, when I am talking to a friend who is nearly 20 years younger than me, I do notice the difference.) So, here’s to getting older! In so many ways, people really do get more interesting the more time they spend on this planet.
Anyway, I didn’t end up deleting my MySpace profile. What do you think? I know MySpace is passe. If you’re not checking your profile anymore, should you delete it? Just ignore it? Stop by once a month or so just to see what’s going on? I’d love to hear what you think…