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  1. Liking Bad

    Sunday, May 23, 2021


    It’s been a challenging time.  (Is it ever not?)  I enrolled in a study that is seeking to learn how to best help people stop or cut down on cigarette smoking.  Oy.  I’m a tough case.


    I look back, and I think I went from thumb-sucking to cigarette smoking.  In my twenties, I stopped smoking with the help of a group.  I managed to not smoke for eight months.  Then after a very traumatic experience, I smoked again.  Right back to a pack (and then some) a day. 


    A few years later, I tried to stop on my own using whatever I learned in the group.  This time I stopped for ten months.  Then I started sinking in a number of ways.  Got involved in a relationship that was not good for me and started back smoking at the same time.  Double-fucked, and not in any kind of good way.


    Since then, any time I tried to stop smoking, I never got through the third day.  As time went on, I couldn’t get through one full day and night.

    So in my recent efforts, I had soooooo much anxiety before my goal date.  I told my best buddy that not smoking might turn out easier than the anxiety I’m going through anticipating it. 


    I was smoking anywhere from 20 to 30 cigarettes a day.  On my first day of trying to not smoke, I smoked five cigarettes.  I bought them loose.  I was not too pleased with myself because I was aiming for zero.  The next day, I woke up with easier breathing.  That felt encouraging.  Yet on day two, I smoked nine cigarettes.  I still enjoy smoking cigarettes.  I wish I didn’t, but I do.


    When I’m outside and smell someone else’s cigarette, it doesn’t repel me.  still like it.  I look forward to getting where it would gross me out.  Not there.


    Both of those days were hard to endure, and I was proud for not buying a pack and getting back to 20 - 30 cigarettes which I could do easily.  Too easily.


    By day three, I wanted a bottle of wine (something I was avoiding because of the cigarette smoking that accompanies drinking for me) and a pack of cigarettes.  I compromised.  I bought a small bottle and several loose cigarettes.  I am grateful to the stores that take the risk to do that.  It helps with cutting down.  If I had a whole pack in the house, I’d smoke the whole pack.  So I’m sorry they catch hell for breaking the rules, but I’m glad they do it.  On day three, I smoked twelve cigarettes.  I was not pleased with myself, but tried not to get on my case too much because that doesn’t help.  Each of the first three days was way better than what my normal has been.


    On day four, I did laundry which requires me to go back and forth to the laundromat three times (they took the seats away to discourage people from staying inside since the pandemic).  It’s about three blocks away, so back and forth three times is 18 blocks.  It helped that my breathing felt improved.  It is encouraging that I can feel the difference.


    My goal for day four was to improve on day three’s number.  I did, but not by much.  My cigarette total that day was eleven.


    My friend and former co-worker, Mindy Levokove, spoke of progress as opposed to perfection when speaking on teaching and students.  Recalling that helped me feel less disappointed with myself.


    If I could smoke only five cigarettes a day, I doubt I’d try to stop.  But as my buddy said to me, “You seem to be an all-or-nothing gal.”  It’s true.  He knows me well and for over 35 years.  He’s glad to see me trying more than he’s seen in a very long time.


    Another wonderful, long-time friend who I love, Judy, told me she prays each day for me to be able to stop smoking.  Just knowing that she does makes me feel her love. 

    By day five, I feel my mind changing a bit.  I don't feel as obsessed with cigarettes.  Well, at some moments I really do, but not the majority of the time.  I do feel somewhat proud of having had four days behind me of not smoking anywhere near what I had been smoking.  I hope I keep it up.  Please, people, do not think of this as a done deal.  It isn't.  I don't feel past the beginning nor guaranteed to make it past the beginning.

    It’s a struggle.  I can only say I’m still trying.  


    So much love to CGG-M ❤❤❤

    Mindy Matijasevic, May 2021




    Hi all.  Have I mentioned that I am a terrible procrastinator?  I allow things to become a heavy weight on me.  One recent example is my taxes.  Each year in recent times, I get a refund.  This is a good thing.  I need the refund badly.  Each year, I tell myself not to procrastinate next year since it means money for me.  And yet I do.  This year, I expected to do it in February, but I didn’t.  March went by.  Then April.  They extended the deadline until May 17th.  I did it on May 12th.  It could’ve been way worse.  After I did it, it felt like a weight was lifted off of me.  I thought about why I let it get to that point.  I think feeling weighed down is the norm for me.  Awful thing to continue.  Whenever I think about the taxes being done, I sigh with relief.  I can’t wait for the refund.  I have to admit that there is something else I am procrastinating about which may be what made doing the taxes seem approachable.  I’m a trip in many ways.


    After I get my refund, my next t-shirt is coming out!


    In my decluttering, I found some comedy notes I’d written and forgotten about.  They made me laugh.  I’m too often gloomy.  Knowing that in my misery, I am still funny, feels very good.


    My dreams lately have continued to be very dramatic – a man calling me telling me it’s a matter of life and death, another where a man who had a crush on me and me on him (in real life) had a hugging interaction (in the dream), but I was concerned about COVID and asked him if he’s been vaccinated.  I don’t remember him answering but we hugged and so did our bodies.  Lordy Lordy.  Dreams like that make me think maybe I haven’t totally closed up shop.  Not sure.


    In real life, I haven’t hugged my close friends or anyone since the pandemic.  I miss hugs.  Especially those with my son.


    I was part of a zoom poetry reading tonight hosted by Lucy Aponte.  I am glad for these moments that make me feel I’m still here doing things.  The pandemic, to some degree, solidified my hermit ways.  So interacting with others is a big deal.  The event went very well – mostly Bronx folks.  Everyone’s work was passionate.  My poems were not necessarily on happy topics, but many of them were funny.  Folks were laughing.  It felt so satisfying, like a delicious meal.






    Love always to CGG-M ❤💜❤

    Mindy Matijasevic, May 2021


  3. Vaccinated & Hopeful

    Thursday, May 6, 2021


    Well I got my second Pfizer shot on 4/28.  Thankfully, my best buddy took me there and back (in addition to other errands we needed to do).  Like with the first time, I was fine until that night.  Then chills, fever, and a major headache.  I slept a lot but when I awoke the next day, the headache was still major.  My buddy had called me a couple of times and left messages.  At some point, I called him back because I didn’t want him to think I died or anything.  I told him how bad I was feeling.  He suggested Tylenol.  I didn’t have any in the house.  He rode his bike over and brought me strong Ibuprofen he had left over from dental work.  He is an amazing brother (by choice).  Within 15 minutes, I was sweating out the fever and my head stopped hurting.  I was able to sleep some more.  I was grateful.  Very.


    Though I felt crappy for a day and a half, I’m glad I’m vaccinated. 



    I was surprised when I saw myself in the mirror today.  I had forgotten that I gave myself a haircut last night.  I think I did okay this time.  Last time I started to feel I was losing the hair-cutting skill I had achieved.  Thought I should return to a hair stylist next time.  But this time went okay, and I don’t need another expense.  So though it feels pampering to have someone else deal with my hair, I’m going to continue doing it myself for now.

    On a positive note, I was informed a poem of mine called “May 2020” is included in this May’s issue of the West Side Arts Coalition newsletter.


    Some of my friends in comedy have started doing in-person shows again.  I should get ready.  I’m nervous.



    Mother’s Day is coming up.  If your mom is divorced, glad, and has a sense of humor, this would be a unique gift.  Contact me for details.

    Love to CGG-M  ❤❤❤