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I simply love the stories here on EX about people helping each other out.  Being kind, being gentle, being so very supportive.  We also often go out of our way for a family member or friend who needs that extra attention, that hand-holding, or that special hug.

How lovely for them because….why?  They deserve it?  They need it?  They have always been there for you?

Probably a little bit of all of that, most likely.  But you know someone else who has always been there for you?  Someone who deserves your time, your attention, your extra special care? 

You do.  You who have decided to quit smoking in order to gain something more precious.  You who have cared for your family better than you may have cared yourself.  You, who finally realized how important it is to lose that habit that is so dangerous to your health and the health of those around you.

So cheer for yourself each and every day.  Be your own best friend because you know what it takes to keep going every day.  Don’t just “push on” but rather understand that YOU need additional care and comfort.

When was the last time you treated yourself gently?  Kindly?  When was the last time you decided to indulge yourself with that little bit of chocolate….that delightful bubble bath….those precious few moments of peace and quiet?

We are so very good at giving, at helping, at reaching out for others.  But sometimes we need a little nudge when it comes to taking care of ourselves.  So give yourself that extra special attention….love yourself for just a moment, and cherish yourself with all your heart.  You deserve it!

I've been sick these past four days and so I missed Bee Jay's 50 day anniversary.  She was probably relieved but some things are really worth cheering about.  This is one of them.

For those who don't know me or Bee doesn't matter.  Picture friendship undeterred by miles or face to face contact.  The strength of the friendship is priceless to me.  When it came to quitting smoking, however, I did it quietly and alone.  Not because Bee Jay wouldn't have cheered for me....she would have.  But I needed to be quiet, be focused, and set my course.  And so I did,

Bee Jay's quit is pure...well...Bee Jay.  I admire her, I recognize her strength, and I wish I had half her courage.  Her quit, even if I missed her 50 days, is well worth cheering about today.  She's just that kind of person.  Her quit didn't come easy, I don't think, but it's here and that's what matters.

Proud of you, my friend!  And so very honored to be considered a friend.  Stick it out another 50+ and see what happens.  Life is an exciting journey, isn't it?!!

Before I forget, something I wrote long ago that reminds me of Bee Jay.....she colors outside the lines =)

Just Color Outside the Lines

There's music and magic and promise around
the roses and thorns and the vines,
Dance boldly, sing loudly, breathe deeply and then
just color outside the lines.

Be courageous, take chances, laugh often out loud
Feel pretty and brave and feel proud.
See the rainbows and sunlight and the colors of life that are
courageous, artistic and loud.

Live hopeful, live faithful, and live with the truth that
each path will be colored with hues
Of loves lost and loves found and loves not yet touched
by anything other than blues.

I normally don't share my poetry anymore.  It's simply a hobby I love.  But sometimes when I read about quitters struggling or not knowing what to do, I pull out an old piece and share because it may make them feel stronger.  We all have the ability to quit as there is no "secret to success" that no one tells you about.  But it's a growth....a blossoming of spirit that you need to embrace rather than fight. 

So, instead of giving advice or sharing my is a poem I write during a time when I was feeling bad about who I was.  ps-I don't feel bad about who I am anymore =)


Spread Your Wings

When your spirit has been battered
And your soul is cold and lost,
And you fight to make it through your day
No matter what the cost.

When your days are filled with shadows
And your nights drag endlessly,
Until you beg for sunlight and you're
pushing to break free.

When you're going to hit rock bottom
And you're grasping at thin air,
When there's no one to hang on to
And none that seem to care.


It's time for you to gather courage
And time for you to take control,
It's time for you to stand up
While you define your role.

Be the hero of your story
And learn to care for you,
Be proud of who you really are
And be proud of all you do.

Make your mark and stand your ground,
And hold your head up high,
Don't look down and don't look back,
Just spread your wings and fly.


Simply Let Go

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 18, 2013

If you need to take some time to simply fall apart,

When you're tired of holding the whole world in your heart,

When you feel you can't go on with a smile upon your face

And you dream about some solitude and just a little space,

Simply let go.

Let go of all the worry and release the tension, too,

You need to take a little time to just take care of you.

There will be someone to carry you as you take the time to rest

To treat yourself with kindness and feel that you are blessed.

So by letting go you'll gain the wisdom to finally understand,

There are so many others who are there to lend a hand.

But if you feel you're the only one who knows just what to do,

You'll never see those helping hands reaching out to you.

Quitting can be a struggle sometimes as we learn to live life without cigarettes.  But sometimes the best way to get through those struggles is to help someone else.  Take the focus off of you and on to something you can be proud of and enjoy.  I found this list of acts of random kindness and then added to it.  Maybe you have some more to add or maybe you’ll find an idea here you love.  Either way, I hope you find some peace and happiness in your day.


50 Simple Acts of Kindness

1. Leave a bouquet at the hospital — the nurses will know who needs it the most.

2. Make a struggling family's summer by buying them a season pass to the municipal pool.

3. Help a friend see today in a wondrous new light: Hand him or her a kaleidoscope.

4. If you are in a long line, invite the person behind you to go first.

5. Shower the pediatric wing of a hospital with $1 coloring books and $2 boxes of new crayons.

6. Hang a sign on a bulletin board that says "Take What You Need" — with tear-off tabs at the bottom for Love, Hope, Faith, and Courage.

7. Bring courtesy back in an instant: Hold the door open with a flourish.

8. Drop off combs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste at a shelter or a soup kitchen.

9. Curb road rage: Let other cars merge onto the highway.

10. Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden.

11. Put sticky notes with positive messages (e.g., "You look gorgeous!") on a restroom mirror.

12. In low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in the same diaper, and Laundromats often don't allow cloth diapers to be washed in machines. Help out a mom and a baby by donating diapers (find a directory of diaper banks at

13. Send a thank-you note to the brave officers at your local police station. (Given how we carry on about parking tickets, it's important to acknowledge the daily risks taken by the men and women on the force.)

14. Share the wealth: Ask the grocery clerk to apply your unused coupons to another customer's items.

15. Arrange to pay anonymously for a soldier's breakfast when you see him or her dining alone.

16. Slip a $20 gas card or public-transportation pass into someone's shopping bag.

17. Rekindle your Girl Scout spirit: Pick up trash at a park or a playground.

18. Donate your old professional clothes to an organization, like Dress for Success (, that helps women jump-start their careers — and up their confidence.

19. Carry someone's groceries.

20. It's hot out! Offer your mail carrier a glass of iced tea or a $5 Starbucks gift card.

21. Bake bread or cookies and deliver the food to a nearby fire station or group home.

22. Be the bigger person: Cede the parking space.

23. Check "yes" when asked if you wish to become an organ donor — and tell your family.

24. Lay your neighbors' newspaper at their front door along with a plate of blueberry muffins

25. Donate old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (, which will use the proceeds for programs that protect families from abuse.

26. Sing an employee's praises to a manager or on a comment card — a little recognition goes a long way.

27. Share happy memories. Stick an old photo in the mail to a friend and write a note about the day it was taken on the back.

28. Send an ooey-gooey dessert over to another table at a restaurant.

29. Leave a copy of a book you love, with a note for the next reader, on the train or the bus.

30. Send valentines in August.

31. Load extra change into the vending machine to buy the next person a Coke.

32. Send somebody an e-card, just because. The funnier, the better.

33. Name a star after someone

34. Forgive someone. Repeat as necessary.

35. Resolve to refrain from negative self-talk (you deserve your kindness, too!).

36. On trash day, wheel your neighbor's can out to the curb.

37. Relay an overheard compliment.

38. You don't have to send every disadvantaged child to college, but you can buy one of them a life-changing book:

39. To melt away her blues, send a friend a funny video from YouTube.

40. Volunteer to read to kids at an after-school program.

41. Give your mom a shout-out on your birthday — after all, she deserves some credit for your life.

42. Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt. E-mail, especially, can cause unintentional feather-ruffling.

43. Bring your spouse coffee in bed.

44. Treat an elderly neighbor, with a gift certificate, to a $30 pedicure. Bonus points if you can do so anonymously.

45. Dedi-cate a song on the radio to someone you know is listening during his or her long commute.

46. Take kindness on the road: Pay thetoll for the car behind you.

47. Slow way down when you drive past a pedestrian — 35 mph can seem like the Indy 500 to a woman walking her dog.

48. Rescue a wallflower! Strike up a conversation with someone who's standing alone at a party.

49. Leave extra umbrellas in vestibules with notes that say "Use this to stay dry!"

50. Ask others — sincerely — what you can do to help.

~~ You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have left.~~


Smoking is not an option so be strong!


Your Friend (!),


~~Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out you own inner voice.  And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. ~~

Steve Jobs

One thing I found with quitting smoking, is I am not hiding behind a smoke screen anymore.  No more ignoring my own more concealing my inner most thoughts.  I have come out of hiding and guess what?  No house has dropped on me yet!!  Yes, I have negative emotions sometimes.  I also am wrong other times.  But, all and all, I am quite delighted by me!  I don't need that cigarette in order to have the time to go back into hiding......and it is sheer pleasure to find out who I am!

You can do the same thing, you know.  Have courage to find out who you follow your heart's be who you always wanted to be.  No more hiding.  No more stuffing those uncomfortable feelings and emotions.  No more needing a cigarette to get yourself back under control.

You are delightful!!  You are unique!!  And you are so very needed here on earth.  Treat yourself gently, treat yourself well.  And know that good emotions....bad's all ok.  We all have different sides to us.  Get to know yourself and you may find that you are also quite delighted by who you are!

~~Know in your heart that all things are possible.  We couldn't conceive of a miracle if none had ever happened.~~  Libbie Fudim

Quitting is often scary.  Quitting is often not knowing what tomorrow will bring.  When will it get easier?  Will it get easier?  When will I not crave a cigarette?

So many questions!!  But if you know in your heart that it is possible to quit and to be happy, those questions will mean less.  It will happen.  It does happen.  Would so many people be quit and stay quit if there wasn't gold at the end of the rainbow?  You simply need to believe in rainbows =)

Believe that your quit is everything you imagined it to be.  Yes, it might take a little time.  After all, your body has been trained for years to enjoy that nicotine.  But it will happen because you can come here on the EX site and read about the miracles.  You can talk to a quitter and hear about the miracles.  Miracles happen all the time.  Why do you think they can't happen to you?

God bless all today who try to find some peace with their quit...and God bless those who are well on their way, whether they understand that or not.  After all, all things are possible!


Keeping it in perspective is how I was able to quit and really know that I am done with cigarettes.  Quitting is not rocket science.  It isn't major surgery and it isn't a final exam.  It is not that difficult compared to other things you have gone through in your life...but it is so important for the rest of your life.

While your brain is going to fight you on this, YOU have control over your quit. You can remind yourself that smoking isn't an option for you anymore.  You can remind yourself that the urge to smoke is simply a thought....not a command.  You can remind yourself that you are more important than a cigarette...your health, your time, your self-esteem need to be cared for more than your addiction.

Keep it in perspective and don't panic.  Work through the reasons you are afraid of quitting.  Fear only works when you're in the dark.  Once you pinpoint what you are afraid of, you will understand there is nothing to be afraid of.  Quitting means health, smelling good, feeling good, being happy, having more time.....there is nothing negative about quitting!!

I quit, Bee Jay quit, Tommy quit, Shawn quit, Sootie quit, Teresa quit.....I could go on and on.  You are just as good, as smart, as brave,  as the rest of us and you CAN do this!!  Don't be afraid, be excited!!  And keep it in perspective.

Your quit is precious so please don't treat it like a weight around your neck. Embrace it, cherish it, and protect it well, as it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

Don't fight your quit, love it.
Don't struggle with your quit, hold it close.
Don't ever give up your quit because then you are giving up on yourself.

Celebrate, if only with yourself, each day you chose to be good to yourself through remaining smoke-free. Remember, a challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it. (Ray Davis)

Your quit is precious, my friend, and so are you.

Sometimes it helps when we see how others cope.  So, if you have time, please let us know how you stay strong.  How do you stay quit in those "yikes" moments?


Those who know me already know that I stay strong singing and dancing....rain or no rain =)  Being happy is my strength and I use it to continue my quit.  I dance through WalMart, down the street, in the house...singing loudly (and badly!).

How do you stay strong and quit?

It has been 11 years since I lost my dad to cancer.  It seems like yesterday.  I can't remember what "type" of cancer it was, but I do remember that it made his bones brittle and if we hugged him wrong, a bone could snap.  I also remember that the emphysema made his cancer quickly take his life.


He didn't remember me the last time I saw him.  He was disoriented and confused and would only respond to my mother at the end. 

But he was much more than a cancer/emphysema victim.  He was a man of honor and principles.  He had solid family values and a wonderful work ethic.  He was kind and gentle.  A man easy to love and so very difficult to let go of.....

I miss him still. 

So, I'm writing this because somewhere in your life, you have someone who would miss you.  Who would remember that you were in pain.  Who would have to forget the hugs because of brittle bones. 

If quitting today gives you even a chance of a longer life or a life without emphysema, please quit!!  It's so worth it to those you love as well as to you. 

I miss him still.



Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Sep 9, 2013

Honesty is so important in whatever I do in life, whether it is quitting, teaching group, or raising my family.  I believe it gives me confidence to get through the bad days as well as the peace I get from simply!  When I came here about two weeks ago, it was for the sole purpose of encouraging, supporting, and bugging my friend.  She means a lot to me and I have read over and over again about the success rates of quitters who have a good support system.  So here I am.

I didn't say that I had been here before.  That is where I met Bee Jay and she has been a welcome addition to my family ever since.  It's been years and I missed so many people here but life took me in an entirely different direction for awhile. 

I finally found my strength, my center, and my courage to face all the things that I used to hide from. I'm better now than I used to be and I like myself much more than I did when I left here years ago.

But I'm not here to tell my smoking journey this time.  I'm here to remind a friend that she has more strength, courage, and intelligence than she believes right now.  Letting go of smoking is not giving up a part of is gaining the best part that you never even realized was there.

I'm grateful for this site, for the people here, and for my friendship with a remarkable woman.  Thanks for allowing me to be honest :)


~~If you hate to start over, stop giving up.~~


Have a lovely, lovely day!!


She's funny and she's wise.  She's hilarious and she's kind.  She's the reason I'm here on ex, as I would do anything to support her quit.  Not because I am a good friend, but because she is!!  I'm proud of her 30 days quit and I wish for her a lifetime of non-smoking days because she deserves them.

Congratulations, Bee Jay, on 30 smoke-free days!!!  Happy you have done this and knowing without a doubt you can continue this......Hugs, my friend!!