Now inhale deeply … and relax

Except for the tar and nicotine, pretty much everything about cigarette smoking is good for you.

That’s what I maintain anyhow.

Cigarette smoking requires one to inhale.

Breathing is good.

The addiction and society’s repulsion of it forces most people out of doors to feed their habit, which imposes regular breaks on the work day, television watching and even a good row with the spouse.

Regular breaks are good. Being outside is generally good.

Smokers tend to congregate, and congregants usually strike up conversations.

Social niceties like making conversation are good. Problem solving, if that’s what one discusses (or ponders) on break, is good.

OK, so the habit has been proven to kill people. And that’s not good. But I’ve discovered a healthful alternative: Dog-friendly work places. Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, says as much in an interview today “On Being” with Krista Tippett:

Once again, it’s a way to create that pause that we spoke about, that punctuation in our day. And suddenly an adorable animal is the one that’s interrupting this sense of “I have all these really important things to do and I don’t have time for that.”

Well, yeah, you do. You do have time to take your dog out and in fact I hope you will take your dog out and, in that process, you’ll get some fresh air and take a short walk and have many of the benefits of the cigarette break without a cigarette.

Even thinking of pauses in one’s day — the period taking a breath before the next sentence — as punctuation is quite lovely, I think.

Here’s to periodic pauses in the week ahead.


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