“The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


That’s it, I quit! Let me rephrase that; let this be my letter of resignation, or cessation, as need be throughout this address to you, my self-imposed torment.

Let me define those two words for you, as shown in my beloved Merriam-Webster(M-W):

res·ig·na·tion noun \ˌre-zig-ˈnā-shən\
Definition of RESIGNATION
1  a : an act or instance of resigning something : surrender
b : a formal notification of resigning

2: the quality or state of being resigned : submissiveness

ces·sa·tion noun\, seˈsāSHən/
Definition of CESSATION
the stopping of a process or activity <the cessation of the snowstorm was a relief>

I particularly like the example used for cessation by M-W, in this case “The cessation of the snowstorm was a relief.” for its use of the word relief. My resignation brings to me a sense of relief. My cessation brings me a renewed life.

I used to enjoy your company, now it feels like a sheer boredom, slow torture, and it makes me feel disgusted with myself, each and every day.

Other options for living, if I resign, have been shown to me, over and over. Other examples of what happens – including “dying at my desk”, if I stay, also have been shown to me. I have tried leaving you behind before: leaving behind the impact on my finances, my quality of living, my joy of facing the day…of enjoying my whole day. You take my energy and my breath away (and that is not meant as a compliment). Day-to-day life is spoiled by your constant interruption into my productivity, yet I crave your insistence at stopping by and wasting my time. Like listening to a broken record, which I choose to leave in the ruined groove, I sit and take it. Well, not any longer.

You stink. Your whole purpose and effect upon how others treat me is toxic. “She is such a smart lady, why doesn’t she just QUIT?”  Your toxicity has rubbed off on me and made ME stink. You have helped me put others lives in jeopardy, with the second-hand effects of letting myself stay with you.

Why I stay with you in this place has always baffled me, until now. Somehow,I have been given the keys to the front door, the dungeon door, and I am letting myself out of your jail; well, really, I did join the club, so I would have to say my self-imposed jail. I chose this sentence of twenty-seven years and have managed to make it out on occasion, but for some reason I would return, always for the worst reason. This has happened at least three times and I believe the third time is the charm, but this time the charm is for ME, not you. You don’t have a “company person” that stays until the day she dies. I am not sorry if that disappoints you. In fact I couldn’t give a damn now.

I USED to return to you. You, with your false offers of relaxation, illusionary status with the “cool kids” and an old familiarity, so I would do something to break my freedom – my probation, by another name – and I return. Well, not this time. I have found a better way out. There is a way to get to a better place that offers me a higher income, sanity, a less stinky environment, and relief from the danger and pain, which daily I put myself through with being here with you. Your company is no longer needed and again I say, YOU STINK, SMELL, ARE ACRID, FETORED, DISTASTEFUL and put plainly, just unpleasant with which to be involved.

So, as of the twenty-third of November, 2010 – after I ease out of my position, my participation in your dirty little club, finish my work, so to speak – I QUIT! I have a strong team backing me up this time. Even health professionals to assist me get my body and head straight again, regarding the damage, which my interaction of being in your company has managed to put into me. People who I can call upon to remind me that you are (that will be a “were”) doing nothing but: raising my blood pressure; aging me faster than I should; literally, taking my air away; putting me at risk for self-harm over and over (some, which can kill me and I hope doesn’t linger when I depart your company); helping me influence my young nephews, and others, to follow in my erroneous choice to join your company; lumping me into a club that I don’t want to belong to ever again; and driving me insane with frustration at my own stupidity and dallying in quitting you.

There are so many reasons for my resignation: happiness, freedom, chances at trying new things in my new position in life, living a long life filled with hope and, I reiterate, a bigger bank balance and better benefits. Plus I won’t stink. You know they say that when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Well, in this case it is true.

I know you think I will be back and fall into your trap of control and seeming ownership of my very life and soul, but, you know what? It won’t happen this time. There is too much life out there to live and too many opportunities. I even have offers already, which are filled with better opportunities for growth and feeling good in what I do every day; New chances! It is like the illusion, the cloud of smoke you produce in your false promise of comfort and ease, is dissipating as I type these words.

I hereby give my notice to you Phillip Morris and Altria Company.  May you disappear in a puff of smoke. And no, thank you, I won’t need a letter of recommendation, as I choose not to approach any of your cronies to get re-involved or participate in your industry any longer.

Stubbing you out. Bye!

Sincerely,

Carol Bourns-Roberts

p.s. If you see me around, don’t worry about saying “Hello”, as I won’t acknowledge you.

M.C. Escher

If you choose to submit your “resignation” letter also – I used 1-800-QUIT NOW, a Washington State service – here are some great tools:

Your Quit Smoking Toolbox

5 Minute Craving Busters

Way2Quit

American Heart Association

The Office of the Surgeon General

Women’s Health. Gov

American Cancer Society

SmokeFree NHS Choices (for UK readers)

SmokeFree.gov

QuitSmokingCounter

Best Way to Quit Smoking (Blog)

Cigarettes Flavours (Blog)

QUIT NOW – this is the one I used. There are some touching letters that people have written to themselves that inspired me to write this letter of resignation. They are even sending me four-weeks worth of free patches, and unlimited phone counseling, as my economic situation isn’t at its best at the moment. Bless them.

There are many options to quit. Please try now. If you go back to the old, dirty habit, just keep coming back to this journal entry and remind yourself why it is good to quit. Write yourself a letter as to why you want to quit and read it EVERY DAY. I promise you that it will help. Get supporters to help you stay away from the “bad company”. Believe me, you will thank yourself every day your breathing gets better and you can do things that you were limited in before, such as play with your children, exercise, walk with friends without getting out of breath, having to spend all that money on something that is killing you, etc. Not to mention having to step outside to smoke in the rain.

Once Upon a Time …


Everybody was young, once upon a time; playing, hoping, dreaming. They figured for themselves a future that became their reality (if they were lucky and determined), maybe something to keep on their perpetual “to-do” list, or a weight to wear daily as their mantle of self-disappointment.

This is just something that I have been thinking about ….

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently
Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900.)

How beautiful is youth! how bright it gleams with its illusions, aspirations, dreams! Book of Beginnings, Story without End, Each maid a heroine, and each man a friend!” –  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (18071882)

…and I will leave you with this: “If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon.” James Russell Lowell

Emerging Slowly


©Peter Gowland

Where have I been? Well, as with all the notebooks that I have filled in my lifetime, I take breaks due to self-censoring or seasons of change. These past three months have been a bit of a chrysalis time; a time of self evolution and a revolution, breaking free of a few old habits. Similar to the current world events of insurgence, emergence, earthquakes and tsunamis, my spirit and creativity have surprising, tempering shake-ups on occasion.

I will leave you with a quote from Mr. H. Miller to tide you over while I take a time to decorate some paper with thoughts and gather, like flowers, what my eyes see. May he spark your creative fires. “See” you shortly.

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.” — Henry Miller

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Aww, heck, here is a bonus quote which hints at my current mindset:

“Smile, breathe and go slowly”— Thich Nhat Hanh

“As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.” – Victor Hugo


13 days and counting down…
Help-Portrait Date for ♥’Hamsters Helping Bellingham ♥ is December 11, 2010.

 

“No person was ever honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
– Calvin Coolidge

In this case, the honor given would be that you have helped someone receive a gift that will honor them and make them feel special. Your donation will help many hearts feel warmth this holiday season by supporting a one-day environment that will inspire both photographer and portrait subject. The gift recipients, for many years to come will have a picture or two that will remind them of that special day when someone did something for them, “Just because….” Nothing is asked of them in return but that they enjoy the day and be treated by the volunteers – and all involved – with the respect they deserve . Everyone involved in the project, Help-Portrait / ‘Hamsters Helping Bellingham, will still receive the gift of happiness from them. To me that seems a reciprocal honor. What could be better?

Give a little, feel great about helping a worthy cause!

All purchases made for the event are accounted for by receipt and detailed expense report, then sent to the non-profit group Help-Portrait (H-P), who will then receive/gather, review and approve all receipts and reimburse the original purchasers with monies from the donation fund for each H-P group. Again, I will mention that ours is Hamsters Helping Bellingham!

SO, as you can see, this will literally come out of the local event coordinator(s)’s pocket, namely ME, and anyone who kindly fronts  money or products – believing in this event – for necessary items, if donations are not made. Donations “in kind” are still being debated amongst H-P and their legal team, so hopefully there will be civic-minded, huge-hearted, caring individuals that will donate in-kind type items and services on a wing and a prayer, “Just because…”

p.s. If you live in the Bellingham/Whatcom co. area and would like to volunteer just let me know. I can be contacted at help.portrait.cbr@gmail.com. There are many positions open: greeters, photographers, print/editing station operators, runners/liaisons between print/editing stations and photographer, hospitality hosts, etc. Any and all help is appreciated!

Donations of all sorts of photographic and computer items are needed too. Just write to the email address listed above, if you want to help out and become one of the ‘Hamsters Helping Bellingham!

p.p.s It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy to help out. I promise!

The ‘Ham is a great place to live!


Sustainable Connections

“Goals that are not written down are just wishes.”


“All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rétrofuturs (Hulk4598) / Stéphane Massa-Bidal

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs… one step at a time.” Joe Girard

Photographer Unknown

…and for my husband, as he is known to NEVER pass up a good Star Wars reference:

“Luke Skywalker:  “I don’t believe it.”
Yoda:  “That is why you will fail.” ” – Star Wars

I have many irons in the fire right now, some for personal need and some for community need, but I choose to “DO”, as Yoda would say- I am sure my husband is grinning right now, upon reading that bit! – and not falter or fail.

May you all find that strength that sits within you to keep going forward toward your health, strong relationships, community, and last but not least, your dreams; for dreams are there for a reason. Just remember that and take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary, when it comes to that first step or accepting the opportunity that the Universe is putting before you. Go ahead take the challenge, which is being given to teach you your own strength and fortitude. You might just surprise yourself! ♥

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” – Chinese Proverb

Blink and You’ll Miss It


One weekend, this past Summer, my husband and I decided to just get out and head along the Mt. Baker Highway. Since we both are looking for work, we end up spending too much time online; we needed to see some scenery and get fresh air.

It is amazing the things you see, in the most unassuming of places, such as Glacier, Washington. I managed to catch a few snaps before we had to head back toward home and our online work searches (well, and blogs, too). All in all, a refreshing day for us.

My apologies for no pictures of trees and woodland animals, but I wanted to post these. I was like a little kid when I saw the creativity that sat at the opening of such a small town – if you blink, you miss Glacier on your way to Mt. Baker.

Hidden treasures, inspiring ones for your own freedom of self-expression and creativity, can be around any corner when you go out adventuring – or even just taking a break from boredom and unemployment.

Keep your eyes open and be willing to say, “Stop the car,” – to yourself or others – if you wish to take in life and really absorb it…enjoy it. It is your right; even if it is just to admire a fence made out of old snow skis and a hair salon set-up in a vintage Airstream trailer in a tiny blip of a town.

“I guess when you turn off the main road, you have to be prepared to see some funny houses.” – Stephen King, author (1947 – )

All Photographs ©Carol A. Bourns

Dollars to Donuts


Rocket Donuts! Oh.My.Goodness. The donut of the month is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup! I would bet even the staunchest dieter “dollars to donuts” that they couldn’t resist just one of these lovely, gooey, miracles with a good, strong cup of coffee.

Who can blame me? I had to give in to its siren song. But give me credit, please, I took my time and thoroughly enjoyed it while doing some necessary reading. Just one of those small moments of pleasure in life that can lift a person’s spirits. We all need them!

(My apologies for not presenting a full donut but I dove right in before I thought of the picture. Oopsy. *wink*)

PLUS, they have this beauty outside their establishment!
Copyright Carol Bourns-Roberts, 2010
“…The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!” – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

All Photographs ©Carol A. Bourns 2010
(except the “Donut of the Month” picture)

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