200 posts. Wow. Is there a protocol for your 200th post? (I’ll spare you 200 facts about me, since I can’t count and you’d end up with 327.)
Anyhoo, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about is the fact that, as of today, I have not had a cigarette in a year.
I have to be honest – I wanted to quit. I was ready to quit. I didn’t enjoy it any longer, and I was tired of the expense and the smell and the mess. I was tired of feeling controlled by it. I was tired of being a social pariah of sorts.
I was tired of being a smoker.
I was also tired of being afraid. You see, my mother was a life-long smoker and it was a contributing cause to her death at 51. Once I hit my 40s, I began to get more and more nervous about my fate as a smoker. Once 45 was staring me in the face, I guess I finally realized that I could no longer say “I’ll quit later, when I’m older” because “later” and “older” were here. Mom was never able to quit, even after her surgery and I was damned if I was going to let that nasty, dangerous habit rule me for the rest of my life – it already had for long enough.
So, when we got up on the morning of December 23 last year and boarded our plane for Hawaii, I just stopped. We were in airplanes or airports for 16 hours and I figured if I could go that long without a cigarette, I could go forever. It was surprisingly easy, and by the time we got home 12 days later I realized that yes, I was done.
I won’t lie – there are times when I still crave one, but I just wait for a few seconds and the desire passes (it’s usually when I have a glass of wine beside me and Beloved lights up). Most of the time, though, they just smell awful and having Beloved still smoking is a major nuisance, because when he’s not smoking around me I don’t think about it at all. I try not to nag him, though, because when it’s time for him to quit, he will, and there isn’t anything I can do to change that time table.
I also won’t lie and tell you I haven’t gained any weight, because I have. Quite a bit, as a matter of fact, but I’ll take that as an acceptable compromise, because I know for a fact I can lose it – I have before.
Perhaps that will be my “I did this for my health” anniversary post for next year.