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Day 65: It's a good thing...

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 30, 2012

...that I don't smoke anymore.  Because I sure wouldn't have had any time for it today!

My day:

DC to Chicago, Chicago to Kansas City, Kansas City to Denver, Denver to Ontario, CA.

Very glamorous job.

"Your nearest exit may be behind you..."

XXXOOO to EVERYONE on EX!   I love you all so much!!!!!

"Cookies are part of the Journey" sayeth the wise joyeuxencore...

This is me, after taking those wise words to heart last night...   LOL 

I love you, joyeux!!!!!

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I WAS just going to respond to joyeuxencore's comment on freedom's most recent blog.

But joyeux's words were so wise, and blogs (and their comments) get buried so quickly on a busy night here on EX, that I felt I should highlight her words so that all can share in the wisdom...

Joyeuxencore said, "Cookies are part of the journey".

Sanctioned cookies.  THANK you, Joyeux!!!!

Hell, yes.

I'm heading out to buy some Nutter Butters right now.



Day 62: An idea for Newbies...

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 28, 2012

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I know I've posted this picture before, but there seem to be a lot of newcomers here on EX in the last week and I thought they might like to try a variation on this idea.

This is a little sign I made and wore on my uniform on the first day I quit smoking.  During a single day of flying, I have personal contact with hundreds of people on airplanes. (Each plane holds 130-250+ people and I sometimes fly up to four flights per day.  That's a LOT of people.)

I thought it would be fun to see what kind of reaction I would get from people, when I wore this little sign.

Wow, was I amazed!  On that very difficult first day, I got SO much positive feedback and much-needed reinforcement from passengers.  People said the most encouraging things and high-fived me as they boarded the plane.

ANYONE can do this.  Just make a cute little sign to wear or a bigger one to put on your desk.  And you don't have to put "today" on it, either.  Then you can keep using it during all of those first few days when you REALLY need the reinforcement that you are doing something wonderful for yourself.

Btw, if anyone does this, I would sure love to hear about the reaction you got...   XXXOOO  

Hey, I haven't seen any EXers from either of these cities, but I'm hoping someone will crawl out of the woodwork now!

I'm laying over in Ontario, CA, this Friday night and would LOVE to meet up with an EXer for brunch or early lunch on Saturday, December 1.

I'm laying over in Spokane on Saturday night and would LOVE to meet up with an EXer for breakfast or brunch on Sunday, December 2.

Anyone?  If anyone is interested, message me and I'll tell you where I'm staying. 

If no one is interested, I'll just crawl off and sulk and feel sorry for myself.  But I won't smoke over it.  Teehee...

I was flying yesterday (Portland, OR, to Chicago to New Orleans). It was a long day.

We layover at the Hilton Airport in New Orleans.  It has a LOVELY courtyard, just perfect for smoking...padded lounge chairs and ashtrays.

But I don't smoke anymore.  (Yay, me!)

So I spent the 17 hour layover in my room, catching up on my sleep and wishing that I'd EXed that I'd be in New Orleans all day.  I would have LOVED to have met someone from EX here in New Orleans.

But, back to the title of this blog...  I wouldn't be here without YOU.  There are SO many people I could say this to and mean it with every fiber of my being. 

There are the people who were here, SOLID, when I first logged on to  Those people would be Frogue, Dale, Break, jojo, Youngatheart, Mike n @lanta, Pir8fan, Maggie, Ima Deer, Thomas and SOOO many others (please forgive me for not mentioning everyone who helped me when I first arrived...)  Nancy, you get a special shoutout...xxxooo...(and not because we are founding members of The Non-Smoking Nancies).

Then there are the people who arrived here on EX about the same time I did...Brenda M (GIRL, we rock!), Jordan (you are special to me!), joyeuxencore, Junior, Freedom, and so many others...  I so GET where we are together in our Quits.  I will do anything to keep my Quit and to help you guys keep yours.  I promise.

And to the Newbies:  I was a Newbie not so long ago.  I came here and blogged about feeling like the "new kid" who wanted desperately to sit at the "popular kids' table".  And guess what I found out!  We are ALL "new kids" when we come here to quit smoking.  And what is so wonderfully different about the junior high lunchroom and EX is that NOBODY here ever feels left out or unimportant! If you are just arriving at this site, jump in with your whole heart, blog like crazy, make friends and your Quit will be SOOOO much easier.

I'm just lovin' the heck out of tonight.  Yup.  This place is amazing.  Don't you guys agree???


Day 59: The Telltale Lemons

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 25, 2012

I stopped for gas on my drive from Fayetteville to DC this morning.    There, on the cement next to the gas pump, were two lemon wedges.  Positive evidence that an EXer had been at this gas station!  hahahahaha

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So when I got home from my Thanksgiving Day flights, I tried to get an empty seat on a flight to Raleigh/Durham, NC, so I could spend at least a little bit of time with my youngest son (stationed at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville) and his girlfriend.  Not a single empty seat on any flight!

So I jumped in my car and drove six hours into the late night of Thanksgiving Day.  I got to spend all day yesterday with my son and his girlfriend and her family, doing relaxing day-after-Thanksgiving things and eating leftovers.  Woo hoo!

And, to my DELIGHT, both my son and his girlfriend have quit smoking.  They were saving it as a surprise "Christmas present" for me!  So, while I've been here, NOBODY has been stepping out on the deck to smoke.  How cool is THAT??  Both Spencer & Evelyn said I was their inspiration (and that they didn't want to be the last of our family to still be smokers).

Right now I'm watching the Michigan/Ohio State game with my son.  I'm originally from Ann Arbor and lived there from 1967-2006, so you don't have to guess who I'm rooting for!  M GO BLUE!

But now I need to gear myself up for driving back to DC tonight because I fly again tomorrow (DC-San Fran- Portland).  I'll be tired.  But for 48 hours with family on a holiday?  SOOO worth it!!!

And in ALL this time, I only had one small craving.  By golly, I think I'm a real non-smoker!!!  ;-)


Day 57: I am thankful...

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 22, 2012

For not smoking and for the friends here who helped me quit.

For my five beautiful children, my six grandchildren and my extended family.

For my Beloved, Jeff, who is the light of my life.

For all the things in my life that I take for granted on 364 days of the year.

Oh, I am also very thankful that planes can fly!

I'll be flying my thankfulness all the way from Santa Ana to Denver to Chicago to Washington,DC today!!  Let the flying begin!   Woo-hoo!

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Eliminate the concept of "trying".  There is only "Quitting" and "Not Quitting".

I've been reading all the blogs and comments about where people are going to be for Thanksgiving and who they will be with and what they are going to be cooking and baking.  It's making me sad.

I should be used to this by now.  Since I've been a flight attendant, I haven't spent one single holiday with any family member.  It's part of the job.  I fly on holidays.

Before I was a flight attendant and before my five children grew up, I had a 9-5 job as "Director of International Administration" for Domino's Pizza International, Inc.  I was home every weekend and every holiday.  When my children were growing up, I was a Super-Mom of the eighties.  Thanksgiving was ALWAYS at our house, with my childhood sweetheart husband carving the turkey and aunts/uncles/nieces/nephews/ in-laws/grandparents all together.  And I made GREAT gravy.

But then I got divorced.  And then all my kids grew up.  So I got a job as a flight attendant.  I picked that job so that I wouldn't be the empty-nester needy mom who called their adult children too much and felt neglected and unappreciated when I wasn't first on their list when they had free time.  (After all, my primary goal WAS to raise independent strong adults, not weenies who couldn't cut the apron strings!)

So now I have this great job that I LOVE.  But it does mean I can't be with family on holidays.  And I should be used to it by now.  It's been years.

But I'm not.

And nothing in this blog is about smoking. Sorry.


Seattle, anyone?

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 16, 2012

Hey, I'm leaving on a DC to Seattle flight right now. 

(It was delayed from this morning, Brenda M, so we could've stayed out later,darn,,,)

And I've got a 26-hour layover in downtown Seattle.  Arriving late tonight and I'll be there ALL day tomorrow with nothing to do (sniffle,sniffle).  Leaving on the red-eye flight back to DC late tomorrow night.

So...are there any EXers in the Seattle area that want to get together for lunch or dinner?  Or just walk around Seattle?  Pike Place Market is just a few blocks from my hotel.  I think it's the Sheraton Downtown...

Anyway, let me know here on EX if you want to, and we can set it up!  I hope, I hope, I hope someone does!

Actually, Day 50 was yesterday, but I was so excited to get together with Brenda M in real life, that I forgot what day it was.  So, I'm pretending it's still my Day 50 and I hopped on the Freedom Train for the first time!!! 

No more riding my Freedom Tricycle in mad circles on my patio anymore!  I'm on the big-girl ride now!

I notice there are a lot of Newbies in the last few days.  And a lot of us may overloading you guys with suggestions about how to handle craves.  Each of us has a favorite crave-buster that we believe is the absolute BEST one.

I, however, DO have the very best crave-buster!  Hahaha!  I am known here as The Lemon-Biter.  When I first came here, I saw that suggestion and I thought it was something that EVERYONE did.  So I carried a lemon around with me in a baggie.  When a crave hit, I bit the lemon, peel and all.  OMG.  That fresh lemon juice in your mouth will stop any crave dead in its tracks.  I promise.  By the end of the second day, I made a joke here that my poor lemon looked more like scrambled eggs from many bites.

Here's a picture of the very first bite of my lemon on my Day 1.  Try it, Newbies.  It SO works!

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Meeting Brenda M!

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 16, 2012

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I had a wonderful time tonight with Brenda M!  What a little spitfire that woman is!  What is that those silly tshirts say, "I'm not short, I'm Fun Size!".  Well, THAT'S our 4'10" Bundle 'O Energy, Brenda M!

Yes, she's right, I was late.  Driving in rush hour in DC is suicidal.  It took me TWO hours to drive 13.9 miles.  I don't know how commuters do it.  I'm sure glad MY highway is at 36,000 feet!

We hugged like crazy (it was like hugging an American Girl doll; she's so TINY!), ordered our wine, complained about our weight to each other and then promptly ordered four deep-fried appetizers.  Yum.

She's an amazing woman; you should HEAR all the things she does!  So talented and open-hearted!  And guess what?  She's a non-smoker!  Woohoo!  Through the window at our table, we saw the people standing shivering in the cold outside, smoking.  We agreed it was a VERY good thing not to have to do THAT anymore.

On our way to our cars, we asked a complete stranger to take one last picture of us.  We agreed to get together again before she moves to Indiana.

It was a VERY, VERY good evening!  (More EXers should get together, I think...)


The Doctor Will See You Now.

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 15, 2012

 At the pulmonologist's office, they did four different types of breathing tests on a big fancy machine that whirred and clicked and a big clear drum moved up and down when I breathed.  No spirometer, Dale.

And the doctor reviewed the results with me and said my lung function is great. I was surprised and relieved, of course.  Btw, he said several of his patients have mentioned "" to him.  That was cool. 

But he said that cardiac problems can also cause my symptoms.  Yikes. So now I need to made appointments to go have a bunch of heart tests.

Thanks for all the support, you guys!  It means A LOT to me.


Day 48: What's up, Doc?

Posted by SkyGirl Nov 14, 2012

My appointment with the pulmonologist is tomorrow morning at 10:30am.  I'm terrified.

I got the referral from my regular doctor when I told him I wanted to quit.  He said this pulmonologist held clinics for quitting smoking.   That was a long time ago, maybe 6 months or so, and I never called for an appointment.

Then I found you guys here on EX, did the work, and QUIT.  But when I still felt short of breath for no apparent reason after Day 30, I went ahead and made the appointment. 

So tomorrow, I guess I'm going to find out if I've done irreparable damage to myself.  Kinda scary.  No.  Very scary.

But after THAT, something GREAT is going to happen!!  I'm meeting Brenda M for drinks and dinner in DC.  I can't wait!  Don't worry, folks, I'm bringing my camera.  So you'll get to see all the fun we had. 

And SOMEBODY up in Baltimore (you know who you are, youngatheart.  Oops, I outed you.) will wish she had been there after all.  BUT... that just gives me a reason to drive up to Baltimore soon to have lunch with youngatheart!  Then...I want to fly up to Philly for an afternoon to hang out with jojo!

So even if I get bad news from the doc tomorrow, I'll be okay.  Because life goes on.  And it goes on a WHOLE lot better and longer without cigarettes.  And with lots of EX friends to meet in person!

(But, I'm still scared to go to the doctor tomorrow.)

I thought NML was Months 3,4 & 5.  I see, from reading blogs yesterday, that it starts after one month (Day 30).  Am I understanding this correctly?

If so, at Day 47, I'm already 17 days into NML and didn't even know it.  But I DID know that for the last couple of weeks I've been getting blue and more blue.  <------ (Pop Quiz: "Bluer Than Blue" was a hit song by one-hit wonder Michael Johnson in WHAT YEAR?  Oh, what lengths we go to to amuse ourselves whilst quitting, right?)

No Man's Land was just a far away concept when I quit.  I almost didn't believe it was real. Like I've said before, when I was just on my first few days of my Quit, I saw the folks posting blogs at Day 32, 45, 52, 61...and I just thought, "Wow...they've BEAT it.  They are OVER it.  Why are they still acting like they JUST quit???"

Hah.  Now I know better.  I CRIED today.  For NO reason.  Okay, because a sad love song was on the radio.  Oh, c'mon.  I'm a 57 year old woman.  I don't cry over Kleenex commercials or sad pop songs!

No Man's Land? 

I would describe it as I did earlier in a comment to freedom38:" It's when the 'high-five' feeling of those first days are over". 

It's when there are Newbies who obviously need more support than you do. (Upside?  You can give it!)

It's when you are doing okay with your Quit, but something feels empty, missing, lost.

It's when you can't think of anything important or interesting to say in your Blog. 

It's when you expect you should be happy with what you've accomplished so far, but you feel sort of depressed, blue, down, off-kilter.

It's when you don't think about cigarettes a lot and rarely get a crave...but when the rare crave hits, you just want to CRY.  Like a baby...

It's when you tell people that you quit smoking (just) 37, 48, 59, 68, 79 days ago...and are disappointed because nobody seems to think it's that big a deal after ALL those days.  (Little do they know...)

It's this strange, scary, wonderful, uncertain place.  Somewhere between being a SMOKER and being a forever not-ever-thinking-about-it-anymore NON-SMOKER...

Day 47 for me.  Dale says that I'll be out of NML at Day 130.  So...83 days to go.  I can do it.  You can do it, too.  Let us stick together, ok?

You guys all know Nancy Expert???  I was just browsing blogs and comments and saw the most amazing thing she said!

"There is no JUST ONE cigarette.  That is why they travel in packs."

I don't know if this is something Nancy heard elsewhere or if it was her own thought, but I love it.

It's a really way of summing up that simple concept that a lot of us fall for:  "I can just have this one cigarette", we CAN'T. 

Not a lot of folks here know this, but I lost a TWENTY-THREE YEAR Quit.

I got over-confident, forgot what addiction was, and thought I could smoke just this ONE cigarette.  Almost four years later, I had to beat the nicotine addiction all over again.  I'm finishing up Day 44.

So don't be fooled just because you have quit.  You can smoke one .  But after that, you will also smoke hundreds and hundreds of other cigarettes.  I KNOW you don't want to do that, whoever you are. 

I've got layovers in  San Diego, Houston, Seattle and Santa Ana in the next couple of weeks.  Are there any EXers in these cities who would be interested in meeting for a drink or dinner?  I just LOVE the idea of online Quitters meeting in real life.  I mean, did you SEE those great pics of Betty and Cindy together just a few days ago????

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When I got home from the airport tonight, I was SO excited to get my "sticker letter" from Brenda M!!!   For those of you who didn't already know this:  When Brenda M quit smoking, she found herself collecting stickers just for fun!  And then she offered to send a "sticker letter" to anyone who needed a boost with their quit (or who just wanted to get a fun letter in the mail, too!).

And today, I got my own "sticker letter"!!!  WOO HOO!  How much fun to come home to a handwritten letter in the snail mail.  I mean, who DOES that anymore?  I LOVE this, Brenda M.  You are AWESOME.

To new quitters:  Brenda M is going to be sort of busy because she accepted a new job and is moving from DC to Indianapolis in just a few weeks.  BUT...I bet (because I know how nice she is) if you send her a message with your address, she will do her best to send you an encouraging "sticker letter" to help you realize that all these blogs here are from REAL PEOPLE who all have the same goal: QUIT SMOKING!

Thank you so much, Brenda M!  I LOVE my letter.  Can't wait to meet you in person in DC next Thursday!

Well, it's a good thing nobody made it to Reno to have dinner with me, because I never made it to Reno.  

My plane had mechanical problems between DC and Denver.  The crew desk used a different plane with a different crew to go on to Reno and my crew ended up laying over in downtown Denver at the Sheraton on the 16th Street Mall.  

It just occurred to me that I should have come on here and asked if any EXers lived in the Denver area when I got to my hotel room at 2pm.  Then I might have done something more soul-satisfying than watch a "Brides of Beverly Hills" marathon on TLC...  Lol

I know I should be talking about quitting-related topics, but I think it feels very cool that cigarettes were the last thing on my mind when I came here to blog tonight.  I mean, cigarettes were uppermost in my life before I quit. And it is a revelation to have them be a non-issue!!!!!

Hey, my dear EXers!  I just got a call from the Crew Desk and I'm working a flight at 7am out of DC in the morning (Friday). 

I'll be going through Denver and ending up in Reno at 2pm for a 16 hour layover.

So...any EXers live near Reno?  Want to meet me at the Silver Legacy Casino Hotel for dinner?

It'll be like a mini-practice for the big EXer meeting in Las Vegas next year, right????

Let me know.  I'll check this site when I get to Denver and again when I get to Reno.  If no EXers live near Reno, then I'll end up sitting in my hotel room, worrying about why my sense of smell isn't getting any better yet.  (See my last blog to understand that comment...)

I talked to a friend yesterday, someone who quit smoking a few years ago, and I told her I was on Day 42.

She raved and gushed about it and I felt very proud of myself.

But then, she started saying things like "Isn't it great when you realize all the wonderful smells you've been missing?" and "I couldn't believe how much better food tasted!!" and "Have you started to exercise yet?  I felt like I could climb a mountain!"

But I'm NOT feeling any better physically. In fact, sometimes I'm feeling worse.  So I'm feeling sad and a bit worried. 

How soon are all these improvements supposed to start manifesting? 

I found this online today.  It spoke to me. I can't give credit to the author because no source was given.  When you get to the end about how much each amount of time is worth, think about how it feels to YOU in relation to smoking... 

"Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400.

It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. So, what would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?

However, each of us has such a bank. It's name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against "tomorrow".

You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success.

The clock is running.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a pre-mature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics."




Posted by SkyGirl Nov 7, 2012

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Seems like I've been stuck on the ground forever!  This trip is DC-Seattle-Houston-Las Vegas-DC over the next 48 hours or so.

BUT, my uniform is too tight.  I know I joked about gaining weight a couple of weeks ago, and everyone said not to worry.  But this is getting almost frightening, the speed at which I'm enlarging.  I'm not eating in a manner that would cause this.  It's hard to believe that nicotine was suppressing my appetite and increasing my metabolism so much that THIS is the result of removing nicotine from my system.  And I'm not being vain, here, folks; I'm not moaning over a few lbs.  The scales say I've gained 21 lbs in just 36 days.  That is horrifying.

I feel like crying.  I won't, because I don't have time.  I guess I'll just wear the United Airlines sweater over my uniform and hope nobody sees how badly this uniform is (not) fitting.  And no, I can't order a new uniform.  We merged with Continental and no more uniform pieces are available until the new uniform comes out in January.

Ok, off to serve coffee and tea in the "Greyhound in the sky"...  Not feeling happy at ALL.   I guess I also have to say "I won't smoke" so nobody will have to tell me not smoke.  I don't even feel like it.  THAT'S how bad I'm feeling about this.