5 Months, 8 Days, 14 Hours……….

20110807_43

since I lit up and smoked my last¬†cigarette, according to my handy-dandy¬†QuitIt app.¬†If you’re a former smoker, you understand what the last few months of my life have been like.

It’s hard to believe as a 12-year-old, I thought smoking was oh-so-cool. Now, as a woman turning 45 this year, I regret lighting up that first cigarette. Let me clarify: I DID NOT smoke from 12 until 44. I didn’t ¬†join in as a ‘real smoker’ until I was around 15 or 16. My friends did it. My parents were chain smokers. It was a part of my world for as long as I can remember.

Another thing I remember is getting car sick on long road trips with my parents as they smoked. Looking back, I don’t know why they didn’t crack or roll down the windows during those endless miles. My complaints weren’t met with the obvious reaction. Instead, we’d pull into the nearest rest area so I could get somewhat of a break, as they continued to smoke.

I also remember learning in school, ¬†cigarettes would kill my parents. I rectified that situation by throwing away newly purchased cartons of cigarettes. Problem solved, right? Uh no! More like I ended up in trouble. I was worried about my parents but it was still a time where the Marlboro man was cool and smoking was just the thing to do. My parents weren’t concerned with the years worth of damage ¬†smoking was doing to their health. In fact, my mom ended up on an oxygen machine during the last few years of her life. Ironically, the first time I went over to see her and the new oxygen machine, she was sitting in bed smoking!

I will admit, I was the adult smoker, puffing away, warning the younger generation of the perils of the nicotine addiction. One of my most ironic and sad memories relating to smoking is: A good friend of mine, who use to babysit my daughter, was outside, you guessed it, smoking, when I arrived. I did what any good smoker does and lit up a cigarette to join her. Tears streamed down her face as she delivered the bad news: her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. My heart sank and clenched with pain for my friend and her family, even as we both puffed and puffed away. Despite the news, neither one of us thought, it’s time to quit smoking.

Fast forward a few years. My daughter is in elementary school and has asked me to accompany her class on a field trip to one of our state parks. Sure, why not, I think. It’s Spring, the weather is perfect and I’d never been to this particular park. Yeah, lemme tell you. Little did I know her teacher and the teacher she partnered up with were evidently in training for an¬†Olympic¬†type of marathon! Initially, I did give it a good-hearted attempt to keep up with the teachers-determined-to-whip-me-into-shape. I even made sure to keep the stragglers caught up with us. That’s right, I was the BEAST! For the first five minutes.

Then my smoker’s lungs started kicking in. Sweat glands I didn’t know existed made their presence known. Luckily, I’d established with the teachers from hell ¬†I was in charge of the stragglers, so it became easy to slow it on down and walk their pace. No longer was I encouraging them to keep up, I was begging THEM to s-l-o-w down! I can remember at one point where they gave up on me trying to catch up with them. Not only did we finish the walk in 2.5 miliseconds, we also had to wait another 20 something hours for the other classes to arrive at the meeting point. Okay, okay, so I’m exaggerating just a little.

It was at that point I knew I had to quit smoking. There was no reason for me to be in my 30’s and ready to keel over from what should have been an invigorating walk. My mind was made up and I quit. For over 2 years. At least, in the sense that I didn’t buy cigarettes. I didn’t smoke cigarettes. But I never stopped feigning for cigarettes. It was oh-so easy to start back up. I’ll just smoke when: fill-in-the-blank. And then as I became more comfortable with the different allowances to smoke, I was a full-time smoker again.

Now, I am back into the world of not smoking. Again. After another attempt back in August of last year. I went three weeks before I just had to smoke again. I have been wanting to post about ¬†my non-smoking journey that began a few months ago but honestly, I was afraid that I would have given in again. I am trying, no not trying, I am succeeding at being a non-smoker. The first month really didn’t bother me. It’s been the second month going into the third that had me going absolutely bonkers! It was through a newsletter for people who have quit smoking that I read once you get to the third month and haven’t smoked, your chances for remaining a non-smoker increase tremendously. That is what I held onto for dear life as the days from 2 months into 3 months slowed down drastically.

I’m still struggling with the addiction part at times but not so much that I am willing to taint my non-smoking lips and lungs! The app does tell me how much money I’ve saved as well as how my body is healing. Like most smokers who quit, ¬†I have packed on the pounds. ¬†I can’t even say it’s because food tastes so much better. It’s because I want to SMOKE! The next phase of kicking the habit is to turn my eating habits around. I knew I would gain weight and gave myself a time period to substitute one oral fixation for another. Temporarily, that is! ¬†And so the determination continues into another day I can add to my time of kicking the habit. I’m off into the next journey of kicking the jiggly off my belly!

Any addictions you quit? How many times did it take you? What are some words of advice and encouragement you can give the rest of us?

Advertisements

What Are You Waiting For?

my-dream

Do you remember in one of the ‘Scary Movie’ scenes, Cindy is outside ¬†yelling, “What are you waiting for?” (If not, go watch ALL the Scary Movie’s. Well worth the chuckle or two, or¬†hundreds¬†you’ll get.) And the principal is on top of the building, thinking she’s talking to him. So he jumps. That scene popped into my head as I was on a FREE call for motivational speaker, Les Brown.¬†Actually, Les was traveling so he had a guest speaker, Wade Randolph. Man, was he on FIRE! He must have been if that scene jumped into my mind, eh? Lemme explain, before it sounds too weird.

The basic topic was: Fearful or Fearless! How does that relate to the scene? In the principal’s case, he was fearful for his wrong doing and chose to deal with his situation in a rather grisly manner. Cindy, on the other hand, was tired of being afraid and bravely bellowed out to the unseen killer stalking her and her friends. Fearful and Fearless. I know, I know, an odd way to look at it but hey, there you have it.

Listening to Wade Randolph was a first for me but I’m glad ¬†I had the opportunity to hear his powerful words. One of the things he said, which hit a chord with me, is: ‘You’re never too young to learn. You’re never too old to learn.”

BAM! That’s what I say! I’ve heard, so often, people share their dreams or goals with me and then sadly dismiss the¬†pursuit¬†of their dreams because of age.¬†¬†I don’t know how many times I’ve said to people, ‘Age ain’t but a number.’ I get there are certain things we can do depending on our ages but let me tell you this, dreams aren’t included in those types of conditions, limitations, laws, or whatever you want to call it.

How many times have you read about a young child who believes strongly in a cause and sets out to prove a point to the world? A point that is not only accomplished but recognized. Or, one of my favorites, when you see a ninety-year old person getting their diploma, whether for high school or college.

What are your dreams? If you had the complete go ahead, everything set in place, what would you be doing? Why aren’t you doing it? What’s really stopping you?

That being said, I wanted to encourage each and every one of you to go for it! 

Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop Prompt

One of the prompts for this week from Mama’s Losin’ It! is right up my alley. I chose:  Do you love YouTube? Share five of your all time favorite YouTube videos. Choosing which prompt I wanted to do was the easy part. Having to narrow down my favorite videos to a mere 5 was the hard part.

5. I can remember being a little girl and just singing my heart out when this song came on the radio. Of course, it didn’t really matter to me what The Manhattan’s song was about. I just liked the lyrics. However, I did think the song was about a man having to let his maid go. Don’t ask me how I came up with this but it did give me a good chuckle when, as an adult, I heard the song again and understood what it was really about.

4. If you read my blog, you know I like me some Tequila! No feet discrimination, I say!

3. Remember when you were just starting out with make-up? Did anyone else start off with the light blue and pink eye shadow?? Man, that was so popular when I was in Junior High. I think what makes me chuckle about men and make-up, is how much they don’t pay attention to the process we go through. Even when their wife does make-up videos.

2. One motivational speaker I NEVER get tired of listening to is Les Brown. I follow him on Twitter and have liked his Facebook page. Recently, he started a group on Facebook and I was excited to get an invite to the group.

1. I came across Katie Piper’s story as I was browsing through YouTube one day. Katie had the misfortune of meeting a man who changed her life in a way you wouldn’t imagine. Although Katie had a tough time at some points, she managed to turn things around and share her struggles with the world. I admire people like Katie because sometimes, just sometimes, it’s the not just the power of thought but having the strength to have that power.

In The Saddle Again

Jeannie and I went to visit a couple who share her love of horses. They have an impressive stable of champion horses they train. I’m a big fan of the Rocking Horse cantor Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) do in competitions. I become giddy and clap like a child when I watch this particular cantor. When “M” offered to ride one of the horses, guess what I requested?

I was impressed with Fabio, the horse “M” rode. He is beautiful and vain. He has an amazing mane he likes to toss around, hence the name. He is also padded. (I call them high heels for horses.) When “M” finished riding, she asked me if I wanted to ride Fabio.

Ummm, lemme see……….

No!

I haven’t been on a horse in 30 years, let alone to get on a padded TWH. Not this kid. I’m not falling and breaking bones. Then that little voice inside me said, “Why not? You want to. You gonna let a little bit of fear stop you from doing something you really want to do?”¬†

And I saddled up!

Talk about scared. TWH’s tend to be high energy and sensitive to the mood of their rider. Jeannie teased me because I was “led” but I didn’t mind. I sat on Fabio cheesing from my left ear to my right ear! As “M” led me around the stable, I tried to relax and ease my anxiety. I could tell Fabio was picking up on how nervous I was by the way he was walking. I took a deep breath, told myself to relax and Fabio picked up on the change in my anxiety. We finished the ride like champs.

Turns out Fabio is a champ! A 2 time world-champion horse! I didn’t know this until after we left. I was so excited to have ridden a horse. Then to find out he is world champion horse.¬†

For me, it was a nice reminder about how amazing things can happen when you face your fears. If I had given into my fear, I wouldn’t have the amazing memory of riding a world champion horse. Instead, I would have the thoughts of, what if I had ridden the horse, why didn’t I ride? And all the other things that come along with regrets.¬†

After we left, we went to Jeannie’s house and while I was nervous about riding again, I was all too happy to ride Miss Kitty, a Missouri Foxtrotter. I fell in love with Miss Kitty from the first day I saw her. This time I wasn’t led! I took the reins and impressed Jeannie a time or two. It truly was an awesome day for me. I’m looking forward to this summer where I’ll be doing more riding.

Watch out fear!

I’m in the saddle again!!!!!!!!!!!

We face fears constantly. Sometimes we’re bound by them. Other times we directly challenge them. Some we pretend aren’t there. All kinds of ways to deal or not deal with our fears. One of my favorite quotes is: “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” by FDR. When you really think about that quote, it’s true. We learn fears as we’re taught the dangers of things as a child. The things we are taught to keep us safe can at times roll over into other areas of our lives blurring the lines.¬†

What are some fears you’ve faced? What are some things you would do if you faced your fear?


Looking Back on the Early Days of Blogging

It’s hard to believe just a few short months ago,
 I started blogging. 
*Sigh*      How the time has flown. 

Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic. I did just look at my archives and read the very first blog I posted. I can’t say I know a whole lot more today but I have made some strides. I am finding the world of blogging to be very fascinating. 

My mind can start off kinda simple. I learned about blogger when someone on Facebook I know would share her posts. In my mind, that’s the place you went to blog. Because you see, there are no other sites to blog on. Yep, that was my little train of thought. I debated on and off about blogging. On the one hand, I’m a pretty private person. I work in a field where I have to keep my privacy so I don’t endanger my family or friends. On the other hand, I love to write. I love the feel of the social community of bloggers. 

When I finally took the step, I started expanding my little train. I came across Bloggy Moms. I became interested in a blog  and when I wanted to read more, I was faced with signing up. I debated. How many times have I signed up for something just to go there one time and never again. Getting those e-mail reminders clogs things up. Oh, what the heck. Now I faced the dilemma of having 2 blogs to maintain. *woe is me, how ever will I manage*  I really liked the set up of Bloggy Moms and thought, I’ll just blog here. Look at me, I’m a-blogging on my new blog. Uh-huh, uh-huh. I start reading more of the blogs on Bloggy Moms  and have a shut-the-door moment! Look, you can link to your main blog! Yep, the train is getting a little bigger ladies and gentleman. 

All aboard!


Then I start learning about things like wordpress, numbers, getting followers, things like that. Hmmm, sounds too complicated for this kid. Size of my train is just right. No need to stir things up with followers and stats. Sheesh, who’s worried about that? Not me!

UNTIL!

I’m looking around Bloggy Moms and I see that I’m on a list! What? Really?? I don’t blog that much. But hey, looky here!!!! I’m in the top 20! That’s me! Wow. I’m just getting started in the blogging world and already I am ranking. *time to start working on that award speech*  (insert line from Michael Jackson’s song: Who’s Bad?) Well, nothing like a stroke to the blogging ego. That’s right. That’s right. I blogged again today. Don’t be hatin’. It’s all good. And during this process, I also learned how to figure out my stats on blogger. Oh look, I had 1 page view. That’s a good sign. Yeah, yeah. I’m the beast, I tell ya!

Through it all, this has been fun learning about the various things associated with blogging. I know I have just begun to enter into the blog world. But I’m excited to see what’s out there. I am excited to see how my personality and writing style emerge as I become more comfortable with blogging. I go on so many blogs and love the flow of the words or how the blog is designed. At first, I pressured myself about what my style should be but now, I remind myself, it’s all a learning process. I’ll come across things I want to incorporate and some things won’t be my style or taste. It’s all good. 

What was it like for you when you first started blogging?


%d bloggers like this: