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Sky is getting crab(by)

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 30, 2013

Finally.  Doc has said I can fly!  Got a new cast yesterday, designed to allow for swelling at high altitudes. 

So I'm finally (14 days after injury) getting to go home to my Oregon Coast and to My Beloved.

But just now realizing that I can't get my uniform on over my cast. Yikes.

I could get crabby about that and smoke about it...IF I still thought that smoking would somehow make my uniform go on over the cast.  Funny how I used to think that smoking would fix things!

No.  I'll just fly home in street clothes like a real person.  And EAT that crab when I get there!



Shout It From The Rooftops!

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 29, 2013

I've noticed a few blogs here in the last week (and one just this morning, in fact!) that talk about telling your your family and friends about your plan to quit smoking.

Or NOT telling them.  Because you might fail.  And then be embarassed. Again.

We are already advocating that new quitters look at quitting in a whole new way (which is "gaining" vs. "giving up").  So let's look at telling our friends and family in a whole new way, as well.

If you don't tell anyone, obviously, no one will know.  If no one knows, then maybe you could smoke again.  Wait.  What?

Yes, let's be honest with ourselves here.  That's the real reason for not telling anyone, isn't it?  Being embarassed and having to eat some humble pie would definitely suck...but that's not your main motivation for not telling anyone!  Deciding to keep your Quit a secret is because you are not fully committed.  You want to leave that door open juuuuuust a keep the possibility of smoking again alive...just in case.

So, what's the new way to look at this?  SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! 

Good heavens, why would you want to do THAT?  Because there is a whole world of people out there who want to be in your support newtwork!   And you've already learned just from being on EX what an amazingly strong tool a little bit of support can be, haven't you?

Support and encouragement doesn't come only from the people we know well enough to call when we are sobbing in the middle of the night.  It comes from from every single person who knows we are quitting. 

Why would you want to ignore such a huge resource?  We need to use every tool we can find in this journey.  Sometimes just one single word from a stranger can keep you on track.

How do I know this is true?  I made this little paper sign and pinned it to my uniform. (Even though it says "today", I actually wore it for several days.)  The endless stream of positive comments was like manna to me during those first few days!

You can do the same type of thing, modified for your own lifestyle or type of employment.  It made a huge difference.  AND, it helped me shut the door I talked about earlier!

Have you ever gotten a brand-new car?  Oh, that feeling as you drive away from the dealership!  You are excited, happy, and a tiny bit apprehensive (oh, golly, what if I scratch it?).

As you drive your wonderful new car around during the first few days, you are learning about it: "What does this button do?", "How do I set the clock?", "Is this the cruise control switch?".  It's all so new and different!

And, best of all, you are getting so much attention about your shiny, new car!  Everyone wants to talk to you about it: "It's gorgeous! I wish I had a car like that!", "Where can I get a car like that?", "You must be so happy!".

After you've driven it for a while, it's not so exciting as it was at first.  Everyone knows you got a new car a few weeks ago.  They are still happy for you, but it's not a hot topic anymore..."How's that new car working out? Oh, good...hey, did you hear that John got fired yesterday?

Pretty soon, you start noticing that your car doesn't feel so new anymore.  Maybe you spilled a soda on the seat.  Maybe you tracked some dirt on to the floor mats.  Maybe little Tiffany ate Cheetos in her car seat.  Your car needs some minor maintenance.  You can make the effort to clean up your car...or not.  It still runs fine, right?  So what if it's not quite as nice as it used to be?

A few months later, your car salesman sends you an email, reminding you that it's time for some regularly-scheduled maintenance.  Oh, but you are SO busy!  And the car seems to be running just fine.  You ignore the suggestion for maintenance and just keep on driving that car the way you always do.

Then...late one night, you find yourself driving on an unfamiliar country road.  You've driven on roads like this before so you aren't really worried.  Piece of cake.

But you didn't do the maintenance.  And, while your car seems fine on the surface, things underneath have eroded.  You see a big rock in the road and slam on your brakes!  The brakes FAIL!  Your car hits the rock, spins off the road into a swamp and promptly sinks. Your car is gone.  Gone.

And now you have to buy a new car  And start all over again with car payments, probably higher than your first car.  Will you take better care of this car?

Okay.  Sad story.  Now, substitute the concept of your brand-new QUIT in place of a brand-new car.

And, that is why we are always reminding people to PROTECT YOUR QUIT.  Take care of it, don't neglect it, do the "maintenance", especially after it is no longer new, shiny and exciting!

xxxooo,   Sky


My Goodbye Letter

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 26, 2013

Dear Cigarettes,

You were the worst boyfriend I ever had. All my friends told me you were bad for me, but I thought I needed you.

You were clingy and nasty. I couldn't go ANYWHERE without you. You always smelled bad and people could certainly tell when I'd been with you.

When we were together, my priorities were all messed up; if you weren't welcome somewhere, then I didn't go there. You even made me stop doing things I loved to do, like hike, bicycle and exercise.

When I broke up with you, it was very hard because I thought I still loved you. But the longer we are apart, the more I know that dumping you was the best decision of my life. So don't even THINK that we could ever get back together.

And stay away from my friends, too, you lying jerk!

Goodbye forever,



A Smart Turkey

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 20, 2013

Quick!  Tell me what comes to mind when I say the words, "cold turkey".

Let me guess.  Miserable withdrawal.  Endless cravings.  Curling up in a dismal ball on your bed.  Feeling horrible.  Pacing anxiously.  Am I close?

Here are two ways to quit:

1) You decide to quit.  You get rid of your cigarettes.  You gut it out.  You spend your time FEELING all the effects and symptoms of the nicotine leaving your system.  You feel out of control.  You don't know what to do.  You don't think you can make it through...because all you are doing is FEELING...without understanding it.

2)  You decide to quit.  You educate yourself.  You read about nicotine addiction and how nicotine usage has hijacked your brain receptors and your dopamine pathways.  You learn exactly why your brain has told you that you LIKE and NEED smoking.  You start to understand what will happen to your brain and your body when you quit.  And you prepare for those emotions and physical symptoms by planning how to handle them when they occur.  You get a support system of friends, family and EX in place. THEN you get rid of your cigarettes.  And when urges to smoke hit you, you are able to step outside of them emotionally and see them for what they are...making them much easier to deal with.

Gee.  One of these methods is cold turkey.  The other is smart turkey.  Not hard to tell the difference, is it?

Oh, what about nicotine replacement therapies?  They have their place.  But only if you understand that there is no commercial NRT in the entire world that will do your quitting FOR you.

Your BRAIN is the biggest, best nicotine replacement therapy available to you.  Use your brain to make the decision to quit, to commit to that decision and to honor your commitment every single day.

Then, if it helps you, use NRT to take the edge off during your early Quit.  Anything that you use temporarily to help you quit smoking forever is great.  Just don't substitute one way of using nicotine for another!

Smart turkeys are more likely to join that small percentage of forever quitters.  Be a smart turkey.  Gobble, gobble.


Sky? No. Grounded.

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 18, 2013

Bad experience at doc today.  Nice doc.  Rest of office staff was insensitive to someone in pain who could not write legibly with left hand.  Asked for assistance in filling out multiple forms.  Was told "sorry, we have our own jobs to do."   No smiles, no helpful attitudes.  When I was told if I couldn't get forms filled out in next 10 minutes, I'd have to reschedule appointment, I started to cry.  Asked for FIVE minutes of time from one front desk person to help me.  Was refused; "we're not allowed to do that".  I finished, even though it was mostly illegible, and saw doc.  No surgery, thank goodness.  BUT..hard cast and NO flying for at least 12 days. Cast Tech (Giulia, isn't that a theatre position?) defies me when I ask for plain white cast, telling me that a "sweet pastel" will cheer me up.  THIS is a "sweet pastel"????  Then, they charged me $80(!!!!!!!!!) for filling out my forms.  Even though they wouldn't even help me fill out those leave of absence forms and the FMLA forms that they sat there watching me crying in pain trying to fill them out myself.  Their explanation?  " The doctor's signature is what you pay for".  SERIOUSLY???

Too frustrated to keep on typing with one finger lefthanded. 

more later.


I fell down

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 16, 2013

Just got home from the E.R.

My right wrist is broken. 

Seeing orthopedic surgeon on Thursday.

I'll be on medical leave for 4-6 weeks.

This has been a bad day.


Toilets and Other Priorities

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 16, 2013

I had decided, a few weeks ago, to take almost the entire month of August off.  And after this last trip, I need some relaxation more than ever, right?

I decided to invite some friends out to the Oregon Coast to hang out for a few days, go deep sea fishing, crabbing, antiquing, see some Community Theatre, bonfires on our beach at night, visit some local wineries, tour the cheese factory, do some kayaking, eat some amazing local seafood and play "Sorry".

My Beloved has a cool little motel on the port in Garibaldi, OR, which is the premier Dungeness crab port in upper Oregon.  He gave me a few rooms for my friends for the extended weekend of Aug 22-26. 

Of course, the first person I invited was Teddy, since we have been BFF since we first met here on EX, despite the fact that she is a MUCH sweeter, lovelier person than I could ever hope to be. 

When personality traits were being dealt out, she got the warm, caring, forgiving, loving, patient traits.  She's awesome. In my next life, I want those traits!  In this life, I got the blunt, practical, sensible, factual, functional, hard-boiled traits. 

Teddy and I being close friends is like putting rubber garden boots next to patent leather 4" high heels.  It's like putting Alka-Selter next to a vodka martini.  It's like putting a #2 lead pencil next to a Mont Blanc pen.  But our friendship works.  We like it.  A lot.

Tonight, my beloved friend Teddy had to decline my invitation to come out to the Oregon Coast.  All of her reasons greatly appeal to that "sensible, factual, functional" part of me.  I understand.  If I were Teddy, I'd say I am broken-hearted about her not coming.  Since I'm hard-boiled ME, I say "I am disappointed.  But her reasons make sense.".

But...wait.  She says she needs a new toilet.  I rank below a new toilet?  It's a darn good thing I have a sense of humor, isn't it?  Aaaaaahahahahah.... LOL  

I love you, Teddy. 

Don't smoke.  It's really bad for you.  However, laughing is EXCELLENT for you.

xxxooo,   Sky



Posted by SkyGirl Jul 14, 2013

No.  No.  

I called the Crew Desk when I got to Houston.  Just like they told me to do.  "We have nothing for you" they said last night.  "We are just going to deadhead you back to DC tomorrow", they said.

Which was good, because I was starting to get a sore throat, chills and a stuffy nose.   "Are you SURE??"  I asked.  "Because if you think you might use me for something else tomorrow, I want to go en route sick"  ("En route sick" is exactly what it sounds like; calling in sick in the middle of a trip and they leave you in your hotel room until you can fly again.  There are ramifications, but if you are truly too sick to fly, it's an option.)

"OH, NO" said the Crew Desk.  "Everything's covered for tomorrow.  We won't change it again."

I take some cold meds, try to sleep, wake up with a raging sore throat and a fever, thankful that I'm only deadheading home early this morning...  Um.  Yeah.

At 6:25am in Houston, as I'm walking out of my hotel room door, I get the call.

"You'll be working to Salt Lake City.  Your check-in isn't until 8:45am".

"I'm sick.  The Crew Desk promised they wouldn't work me today".

"Oh, dear.  Well, you can rest in SLC.  And you only have to work SLC back to Houston tomorrow".

"Then what?"

"Then what WHAT?"

"What is my assignment when I get back to Houston tomorrow?"

"Well, just go home and get better."

"But what flight am I on to get back to DC?"


"Yeeeessss....I'm based in DC".

"Oh.  You are?  Just a minute, please...  Okay, then.  We will just deadhead you back to DC when you get back  to Houston tomorrow afternoon.  Ok, thanks, bye".

There are no words at this point.  I love my job.  I love my job.  I love my job.

Are there any EXers in Salt Lake City that can bring me chicken soup and some Motrin?

xxxooo,   Sky

That's me, banging my head on the wall.

Showed up at the airport for my 5:00am check-in this morning (for my Tampa/Los Angeles trip).  Purser says to me "Who are you?  Your name isn't on the crew list".

I call Crew Desk.  "Oh, yeah.  We forgot to call you.  We changed your trip.  Your check-in isn't until 7:45 am now.  You're going to DC-San Diego-Houston today.  But we don't know what to do with you once you reach Houston.  Call us when you get there..."

Bam!  Bam!  Bam!

Ohhhhhh, I am SO glad I don't smoke any more.  I would have used all this stuff as excuses to smoke a whole pack or two in the last 36 hours .

And it wouldn't have changed a single thing.  Not the canceled trip to Sao Paulo and Rio.  Not the unnecessary 5am check-in.  Not the fact that I am merely a tiny pawn in the hands of the Evil Crew Desk who, despite their great power, has NO idea what to "do with me" when I get to Houston. 

I am all about lovin' up my Quit today.  It is one of the most important things in my life.  Sound too puffed up?  Well, think about it...   My Quit is what allows me to do what I want to do, not what my nicotine addiction tells me to do.  My Quit is what allows me to go where I want to go, not where my nicotine addiction tells me to go.  Those are some pretty darn big benefits to not smoking, wouldn't you agree?

Nevertheless...bam! bam! bam!    ;-)

xxxooo    Sky

We boarded passengers at 9:30pm.  Huge storm and lots of lightning shut down airport for hours.  We sat at the gate for 4 1/2 hours with passengers onboard.

Because we (the crew) would have become illegal to fly the 9 hr flight to Brazil at 2:10am, Customer Service elected to close the airplane doors and send us off to sit on the runway.  Even though there was NO chance of taking off during the storm, this precluded us from "walking" when we became illegal to fly.  Their reasoning?  If a break in the storm allowed the plane to take off, they wouldn't have been able to find another crew in the middle of the night. we pointlessly taxied out to sit on a closed runway, there was a loud "POP" and all power on the plane went out.  Lights, ovens, coffeemakers, video...nothing.  It started up again, thanks to secondary systems, after about 20 seconds.  But soon the pilots made the announcement that the suspected lightning strike to the plane had taken out the navigation system.

After two hours sitting on the runway, while pilots worked with mechanics on the phone to try to fix it, the flight was finally cancelled.

We arrived back at the gate at 4am.  Passengers who had fallen asleep shortly after boarding were distraught to find themselves still in DC after being on the plane for 6 1/2 hours.  The passengers were angry and were verbally abusing the flight attendants as they deplaned.  We asked the pilots to come out of the cockpit and stand with us in order to discourage the nasty comments we were getting.

Because this was a reserve call trip (not one of my regular assignments), I will be paid only for two flight hours instead of my entire duty period which was slightly over eight hours.  And despite the fact that every other flight attendant on the plane got guaranteed the full value of the entire trip (25 flight hours) because this trip was on their regular schedule (vs. being assigned to me at the last minute to fill in for someone).

I got home at 6am, slept until 4pm, made a grocery run and came home to find that I've been reassigned to a new trip which starts at 5am tomorrow. 

Can you just IMAGINE how many cigarettes I would have smoked, and blamed it all on "stress", "anger", "unfairness", "tension", "hassle", "exhaustion", etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum???   IF IF IF I still smoked?

But I don't smoke anymore.  I got smart.  I learned that smoking fixes NOTHING.  Smoking doesn't change a single thing.  Oh, wait.  Yes, it does.  It changes you from being a person who is FREE into a person with a sad, expensive, stinky, embarassing, harmful addiction.

Any EXers in Tampa or Los Angeles?  Speak up!  Please?

xxxooo,   Sky

Just when I thought I was off the hook for the rest of the day!

I'm off on a trip to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro at 8pm tonight.

Yes, I know it sounds exciting.   It WAS exciting the first 20 times.  Not anymore.  Oh, well, who actually has an exciting job anyway, right?

Why can't they send me to Portland?  Or Seattle? 

Ok, I'll be around if I can get internet at my layover hotels.  If not, I'll be back at 7am on July 15th.

DON'T SMOKE while I'm gone!  Promise?  Good.  I'll hold you all to that

!Não me esqueça! E não fume cigarros!

xxxooo,  Sky

In the first few months of your Quit, try to think of your Quit as a newborn baby.

During the first few days, you are like a brand new parent with your newborn Quit.  You are a little frightened, unsure, worried.  You think you may not be cut out for this. You panic easily.  Your Quit is tiny and helpless.  Your Quit can't make it all on its own yet.  Your Quit needs lots of attention.  You must watch carefully over your Quit.  Your Quit needs you to take good care of it.  Just like a real baby.

So spend a lot of time nurturing your Quit.  Do the things you need to do to make sure your Quit stays healthy.  Spend a lot of time helping your Quit to grow stronger.  Just as you would do for a real baby.  Feed it healthy foods.  Take it for a walk.  Cuddle and coddle it when you first bring it home with you.

You may need to cut back on your usual activities in order to take good care of your little Quit.

Stay away from the places that might harm a newborn Quit.  Don't take your sweet little Quit into bars.  Don't take your precious Quit into the homes of smokers.  You wouldn't take a real baby to these places, would you?  Of course not.

Hang around with other new parents of itty-bitty Quits for support.  Ask for the advice of older parents whose Quits are now toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers.  Listen to their advice; they've already raised good, strong Quits.

Just as in the case of a real newborn baby, your Quit will grow every day.  It will become stronger and smarter.  It will learn to stand on its own without you having to cradle it in your arms all the time.  But not right away.  Right now, give your baby Quit what it needs to thrive.

Maybe someday, as your Quit grows up, instead of constant attention, it will only need a pat on the head or a kiss on the cheek to stay strong and tall. 

It will always need loving attention from you, just like any growing child.  But as it grows up, it won't need your constant hovering devotion.  Just remember to make your Quit always knows how much you love it and how you will always be there for it, no matter how old it gets.

But until all that a parent can, and should, do to protect your precious newborn Quit.


xxxooo,    Sky

Oh, My!  Well, now THIS explains everything, doesn't it?   Heeheehee!  Remember, a good laugh will kill any craving, folks!



Man/Woman Control Panel photo lifeexplained.jpg

1)  Smoking a cigarette does NOT calm you down, ease your stress, make you happier or more able to cope.  All that smoking a cigarette does is increase the level of nicotine in your body, which holds off the effects of withdrawal that started when you finished your last cigarette.

2)  You do not enjoy smoking.  What you are enjoying is NOT feeling a low level of nicotine in your body.

3)  Educating yourself about nicotine addiction gives you a HUGE advantage in successfully quitting.

4)  The way you THINK about quitting is absolutely KEY. 

It is important that you banish the concepts of "trying", "attempting", "hoping it works", "wish me good luck". 

It is important that you read enough about quitting until your thinking does a complete 180 degree turn from "giving up something", "sacrificing something I love", "doing without", "getting through this" into "FREEDOM". 

Freedom from what?  From a life that is ruled by an addiction, freedom to enjoy better health, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from worrying when and where you can have your next cigarette, freedom from the panic when you realize you are out of cigarettes, freedom from smelling like an ashtray, freedom from hiding and making excuses. 

And don't forget to think about all the free time you will gain, the money you will save, and the self-esteem that will rocket upwards when you quit.

So get that thinking flipped around so you are ready to quit successfully!

5) You CAN quit.  Your addiction is no stronger and no harder to beat than anyone else's.   If we can quit, then you can quit.  We can ALL quit.

6)  Yes, the first few days of quitting are not very pleasant.  In fact, they suck. Completely suck. 

But if you prepare in advance for how to handle those first days, you will make the whole process go a lot easier for yourself. 

Listen to the advice of those who have already achieved what you came here to achieve. 

Then FOLLOW that advice.  Don't just read it in the blogs and think, "hmm, yeah, that sounds good".

You must actually do the things that have been PROVEN to help make you a successful quitter.

7)  Be HAPPY.  This is one of the best decisions you will ever make for yourself.  Be excited to do this.  And be VERY, VERY proud of yourself.  We are.  And we will be here to help you all the way...






Thank you to every kind and wonderful person who responded to my last blog.  It really helped.

I'm back in DC after that hellacious double-Amsterdam trip.  I allowed myself a 14 hour coma and I'm now starting to feel back to normal.  I worked 36 flight hours in just over five days.  Boy, I hope I don't get THAT assignment again very soon.

Back to my last blog...I do know the statistics.  We are all in more danger simply crossing the street or driving a car than we are on an airplane.  Even someone who flies as much as I do is safer at 36,000 feet up in the air than when I drive myself to the airport.  It wasn't the idea of the plane crash that made me feel, as I said in my last blog, "vulnerable".  I'm not afraid of flying.  I'll never be afraid of flying.  I love flying.  I hope I can fly forever.

But here's why I felt vulnerable.  I know that plane (Boeing 777-200 ER) like the back of my hand.  I've flown on that plane many times.  I've worked those rear jumpseat positions.  I know where every coffee pot is.  I've stood in that back galley joking, laughing and making layover plans.  I've held babies in that galley while moms used the lavatory.  I've eaten my dinners at the counter in that back galley.  I've administered first aid to dehydrated passengers in that galley.  I've handed out more cups of water and packets of pretzels in that galley than could ever be counted.

And I know what a descent onto a runway is supposed to feel like when sitting in those jumpseats.  There's a certain feeling, a hard-to-describe sensation when the plane gets close to touching down.  Maybe it's the way the airflow under the plane changes.  I don't know.  In the industry, we call that sensation "flare".  Flight attendants can tell, from the way the flare feels, if the touchdown will be smooth or rocky, hard or soft, fast or slow.  As I said to Giulia earlier in a pm, those flight attendants on that Asiana flight KNEW something felt wrong in the moment before impact.   I told Giulia that I've often made casual comments to the other flight attendant sitting in the back of the 777 (as we fly into that EXACT runway in SFO where the crash occurred) such as "Sheesh, he's bringing us in awfully slow, isn't he?" or "Oh, he must really be in a hurry to get home!" or "He knows this runway is made of concrete, right?  Hahaha" or "Geez, he's a wobbler, isn't he?  Good thing I know how to swim!". 

And, of course, we always land safely.  And, statistics prove, we always will.  I have a greater chance of being killed in a shark attack (one in 3.7 million) than in a plane crash (one in 11 million).

But I don't swim with sharks.  I fly.  So, for a brief moment, I felt vulnerable.  Thank you all for helping me get my balance back.  And a special thank you to Guilia for her letter to me.  It made a difference, Giulia.




Posted by SkyGirl Jul 6, 2013

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed when landing in San Fran just now.  No mechanical issues during flight.  Completely unexpected; no warning to passengers or crew.  Watch CNN.  I have landed, hundreds of times,  on the exact runway you will see on the TV reports.

I fly this type of plane (Boeing 777) all the time.  I think it will ultimately prove to be pilot error, rather than a problem with the plane.  And I don't think there was a loss of life, thank goodness.

But every time a plane crashes (and it happens much more often than the public hears about), I do spend a minute questioning why I do what I do for a living.  Especially after 9/11.  Sometimes I feel so...vulnerable.

I'm exhausted.  I'm SO ready to fly the last segment of my six-day, double-Amsterdam/NYC trip tomorrow.  I missed the bonfire last night.  I'm sad about that.  I'm just not feeling like myself.  I won't smoke, of course.  I don't often admit to this...but I could use a hug or two, please.

Sorry if this blog doesn't sound right.



Change of Flight Plans!

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 3, 2013

Wow.  Listen to this.  The Crew Desk just called me with a change in my schedule.  Instead of staying here in Amsterdam, I'm working a flight back to Newark in just 8 hours from now.  They are doing this because they need me to work ANOTHER flight to/from Amsterdam on July 5th.  

Once I arrive in Newark at noon tomorrow, I have a 30 hour layover before I go back to Amsterdam.  And here's the really excellent part: they are laying me over in downtown NYC in a hotel just across from the The World Trade Center Memorial!

So, after saying, here on EX, that I was disappointed not to be in the USA on the Fourth of July...just LOOK where I'll be on July 4th-5th!   I'll be visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site.  I can only imagine the patriotism and love of our country that I will find there on Independence Day.

Are there any EXers in NYC ???

AND...I can come to the Bonfire, too!  Woohoo!

xxxooo,   Sky

I just got an unexpected call from the Crew Desk for a six-day Amsterdam trip.  Leaving in three hours.

Darn. (No, this is not exciting.  It's my job.  I've been to Amsterdam 4,000 times.  I had really hoped to be here in the USA on July 4th this year...)

Oh, well.  If our layover hotel isn't still charging 30 euros for internet access, I'll see you guys at the bonfire (only a six hour time difference so maybe I'll be awake then). 

Otherwise, see you all in six days!  Hang on to your precious Quits, Newbies!  And everyone have a great Fourth of July.  I'll be thinking of hot dogs and beer...  Oh,wait, I can gets lots of good beer in the Netherlands!

Vaarwel, my friends!  Vergeet niet mij!


My ___ key is broken!!!

Posted by SkyGirl Jul 2, 2013

I just discovered that the letter key just below the "a" and the "s" on my Qwerty keyboard doesn't work!  I hit it.  I get nothing!

So now I can't type compliments like, "You're AMA_ING!"

I can't give advice like, "Quitting makes you tired so go take a snoo_e."

I can't suggest that you reward yourself with a fro_en treat.

I can't reassure folks that, during your early Quit, you might feel like you're in a ha_e.

I can't tell anyone that their great attitude absolutely da__les me!

I'm unable to warn people that boo_e can be detrimental to your Quit.

I can't say "I recogni_e how you are feeling, but that will change eventually" or "I reali_e that it isn't always easy, but it's so worth it!"

I can't even say that not having my _ key is putting me into a fren_y!

I'm not kidding about this, folks.  It really doesn't work.  Does anyone know how to fix a single key that doesn't work all of a sudden???


There are a lot of Newbies here who are beginning their new lives as ex-smokers tomorrow on July 1st.  I was trying to think of something I could say to encourage them, so I went back and read one of my blogs from just a few months after I quit.  It's absolutely astounding to me that it was possible to have such a change in lifestyle and viewpoint in such a short time.  What's even more wonderful to me is that, here I am now, never wanting to light up and feeling so damn good about that!  I will just repost the old blog I'm talking about instead of trying to create a new blog tonight.  The past speaks loudly, doesn't it?

xxxooo,   Sky

Hi, everyone!

I am so happy with my new life and all the wonderful changes that beating nicotine has brought in my life.  

My very favorite thing about being a non-smoker is really a very tiny thing compared to some of the larger concepts of getting healthy, saving money, etc.  

But when My Beloved grabs up a handful of my hair, buries his face in it and tells me how great my hair smells nowadays...that does more to reinforce my Quit more than any extra dollars do!

Newbies, I would not have believed that I could quit smoking and gotten to a point where I almost never even THINK about cigarettes!  So, even if you find it very very very difficult at first, please hang in there.  I could have been voted the "Person Least Likely to Successfully Quit" before I found EX.

 But when I came to EX, I did every single thing that the Elders and EXperts told me would help me to succeed.  I read all the recommended reading and did all the tracking and separation exercises.  I got  a little tote bag and put together a "Quit Kit" that contained all the things I would need to occupy my brain and my hands when a craving hit.

 Even when the suggestions EXers gave me make me think "Seriously? You really think that THAT will help me???", I DID IT ANYWAY.

I even carried a whole lemon around and bit it when a craving started...(I thought everyone did that; I didn't know it was sort of a tongue-in-cheek recommendation.  Hey, it WORKS.)

And guess what?  I quit.  I am an ex-smoker.  And it feels amazing.  

No matter who you are or what your situation is, you CAN quit.  We all start out quitting at the same stupid addicted place.  Nobody's nicotine addiction is stronger or harder to beat than anyone else's addiction.  Your "need" for cigarettes is not special.  We all had it.  We've all been able to beat it.  You can beat it.

It starts with making the DECISION to quit.  Then you COMMIT to that decision, no matter what happens.  And then you HONOR that decision every single day, minute by minute if that's what it takes in the beginning.  

You gut it through the early days, and then you start to enjoy the days that the cravings aren't so bad.  Then you rejoice on the day that you wake up and realize that you don't remember the exact number of days you have under your belt!  You just keep on honoring your commitment to quitting as the days mount up.  And then the very best day comes...and that is the day that you no longer just feel like a smoker who has quit.  But rather, you really feel like a ex-smoker.  And, boy, does that feel great!

xxxooo,   Sky

To all July 1 Quitters:  Cowabunga!  You CAN do this.  I believe in you, so you darn well better believe in yourselves!  I'm not working tomorrow, so I'll be hanging around EX to give support to new Quitters.  Please, please, please feel free to write to me if you are having trouble tomorrow!  But don't forget to feel JOYFUL tomorrow because quitting smoking is a wonderful, happy, freeing, delightful thing.  It doesn't have to feel bad even when it feels difficult...think about THAT,eh?