Had To Share This

Monday was one of those days where I needed some inspiration and motivation to deal with the multitude of things being thrown at me. I came across a YouTube video with Joel Olsteen and decided to take a listen to it. I wasn’t sure if the title applied to my current frustrations but I thought, ‘Why not?’ Turns out, it did apply directly and indirectly to my situation. I thought it was worth sharing with you guys.

Who gives you inspiration and motivation during those frustrating times???

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?

Missing: Looking for My Laughter

I know the world doesn’t revolve around me. I know my trials and tribulations aren’t greater than the person next to me. I know I have it worse than others in some aspects and I also know I have it better than others in different aspects. But because I am the one going through my life, I have days where it’s just damn hard to look at the glass as half-full versus half-empty. That was kinda the flavor of my week starting out.


I admit, I threw a little bit of a pity party on the first day. The whole woe is me routine was going with the balloons and streamers. The last year has been a series of events kinda knocking me on my rear. The first incident, which started the chain effect, was definitely something out of my control. I ended up on the losing end of someone else’s negligence during rush hour traffic. And then things just kinda went downhill from there.


I think it’s been the last few months of this year I stopped laughing. I mean really laughing from the heart and soul. The kind of laughter that has you doubled over and tears running down your face. And if you know anything about me, you know I truly believe laughter is the best medicine. My humor has helped me through some tough and painful times. I love to laugh. I love to make others laugh. It’s a source of happiness and a way to spread happiness.


It dawned on me a few weeks ago my laughter had all but disappeared. My daughter and I were talking about feet. I don’t know why or how the subject even came about. It was one of those moments when you’re children tell you something from their childhood you’ve forgotten about. (Mine for my parents, to this day, is when they went to Spain without ME when I was a child. I still remind them of this.) Anyway, my daughter was talking about putting lotion on my feet for me and she thought that was why she hated other people’s feet even now. She had me in stitches as she told the story of how she only did it because she usually wanted to do something and I would prolong the horrible experience for her. I had no clue this is how she felt. I laughed so hard as we were talking and then it hit me: I haven’t been laughing much.


Yesterday, I felt the urge to clean my office. I set about cleaning, dusting, watering and rearranging my plants, and vacuuming. During cleaning time, my daughter called me. I told her what I was doing and she just simply said: “It’s about time you cleaned it. It was dirty.” I paused for a moment, thinking back to the last time she’d been in my office. Surely it wasn’t that bad? And then I burst into laughter for her honesty. We talked  about it later and she said it was so good to hear me laugh like that again.






And I felt a little sadness that I had allowed the challenges of life to stress me to such extremes.


I’d become so stressed and worried about things, I’d lost one of the things I truly love about myself. My laughter. I realized there is nothing in this world worth losing laughter. Sure, times are tough and challenging but if I don’t keep laughing I’m losing so much more than it’s worth. Yesterday was a real a-ha moment for me. So onward and upward I will go with my zany sense of humor and laughter.

Does laughter play 
an important part 
in your life?
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