I’ve been smoking for more than twelve years. I don’t even want to think about how many cigarettes that would be. I’ve constantly gave excuses for quitting or made halfhearted attempts for more or less the last three years. I always said, ‘After I graduate from college…’ or ‘After I graduate from grad school…’ or ‘After I get a real job…’ Well, I’ve had the ‘real job’ for just over five years and I’m still smoking.
Now, some of you may know that I’ve involved with the Katie Memorial Foundation, which was started in memory of my stepsister. I have been on the Board for the last year or so and have been working on coming up with ways to raise a little money to fund the excellent work that we do. While a nice event like a cocktail hour or date auction would be great, I wanted to leverage the fact that I have friends all over the country [and world] as potential supporters of KMF. I was thinking of ways in which I could do SOMETHING that would appeal to the many caring people in my life. I could raise money to kiss a cow or to cut my hair [some of you would be very happy about that], but that seemed a little lame. It would have also been very temporary. No, I want to do something that could actually have an impact. What could I do? The answer: quit smoking.
This will be no easy task. The fact that I’ve failed miserably in the past is evidence that it’s not easy. That’s why I’m asking you to donate a few dollars to my cause. I want to do something good for an organization that I care about, as well as get something out it for me. It’s a win-win, you see.
Alright, here’s the deal. I’m going to quit smoking. How? With your help.
Begin cutting back on smoking on 1 September: This is the beginning of the fall semester at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and it tends to be a busy time for me. I see this as a good time to start because of the fact that I will be busily working away and not twiddling my thumbs, anxious for the next cigarette. I realize that it will be a stressful time, but don’t worry – I plan to inform my colleagues that I may be a little on the not-so-nice side for a while.
The Quit Date
I’ve chosen 1 November as the quit date. That gives me two months not only cut back enough, but also mentally prepare to close a very long chapter of my life. I’m getting there, but I will be taking steps to seriously evaluate everything going on in my life and how cigarettes no longer need to be included.
Why Ask for Money?
I’m looking for support, for people to hold me accountable. Not only are you saying, ‘I care,’ with your donation, you’re also saying, ‘Don’t let me down.’ The fear of letting people down is a powerful motivator for me, and I hope that the response to this will be even more of a wake-up call than any urging from a doctor.
Holding Up My End of the Deal
This will not be an annual fundraiser. There will be financial consequences for failure to hold up my end of the deal. I pledge to donate $7.50 for each pack of cigarettes that I buy after 1 November. That basically doubles the cost for each time that I go back on my word. I can barely afford to smoke now, let alone if I’m paying twice as much.