5 Months, 8 Days, 14 Hours……….

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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?

What Are You Waiting For?

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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! 

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

In a previous post, I confessed I am a secret judge. The other night, I took a stroll down the videos of talent and those with dreams. I came across a group called, The Zimmers. I was instantly curious and couldn’t wait to watch the video!

What an absolute delightful group!

I knew in that instant, they are the type of people, commonly called——————>elderly, I want to be when I’m their ages. My body may age over the years but my mind and spirit will remain alert and young!

Are they not absolutely delightful????!!!! Gone are the stereotypes that as we get older we lose our ability to have fun, to do crazy, zany things. Where is it written we’re to be tucked away in a retirement home, living only through memories.

How do you picture yourself in your Golden Years?

30 Day Challenge Catch Up- Part 1

Day 11: Bible Verse

I have seen this verse a lot lately over the last few months. It’s caught my attention and I think it’s a great reminder to those of us who tend to have our doctorates in worrying. 

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest. (Luke 12:25-26)



Day 12: Dream House

I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought about a dream house, per say. I like looking at the fancy houses in our area or watching how the fabulously wealthy live. I think one of the most unique homes I saw was one shaped like a giant toilet bowl. Although, I can’t fathom why you’d want your house to look like that but if you have the money…..
to each his own.
For me, one of the important factors for my dream home would be the landscape. I love planting flowers and bushes. I get the biggest kick out of seeing everything bloom in the spring and summer. I’d do my own landscaping, of course, because it would have my touch. I’ve noticed in this area, the landscaping is mainly just green bushes. I love the colors in my landscape.
The whole house would have to have tons of windows for the tons of house plants I’d like to have. 
Since I do have my moments of cooking and baking, I’d like to have the double ovens; especially for cooking the holiday meals. How many times have you had to juggle the different side dishes to finish in time with the turkey? 
And I’d want my house to be warm and welcoming of course. 
Other than that,  I just don’t have a design in mind.


Day 13: Something I’m Looking Forward To

Lately, I have been noticing great photo opportunities as I’m walking to and from work. I can see the changes in nature as the weather is taking a stroll into fall. My BB takes decent pictures but I’d like to take things a step further.
I saw a photo contest in the paper a few days ago and thought this would be a great opportunity for me to get some feedback.
So, I’m looking forward to seeing what my untrained eye ends up.


Day 14: Favorite Place to Eat

I might be a little partial to my favorite place to eat since it is a part of my heritage. We have a German restaurant which serves the best German food. I love to eat there for special occasions.  I usually get the same meal. (Who’s a creature of habit??) I get the trio-platter. It has Jager schnitzel, St. Moritz schnitzel and cordon bleu. (smaller than the individual servings but enough to where I always take leftovers with me.) I usually get french fries with it. For desert I like the hazelnut torte. It is soooo yummy!
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