I'm definitely celebrating 1800 days today and I have much to be celebrating. My new job is awesome, and the benefits are great. I really like my boss, who is the general counsel of the company. So the legal department is the two of us! There are 400 employees of the company, but the headquarters is in New York City, and there are only 12 of us in Richmond. The four-month job search was grueling, but I definitely found the right job. As far as benefits go, I am astonished at some of them. They determine how many days of Paid Time Off (PTO) you get not by how long you've been with the company, but by how long you've been in the workforce, so I'm getting the maximum 26 days of PTO a year, on top of 9 paid holidays! They put 8% into my 401(k). I'm sticking with Medicare and my supplement instead of taking their health care plan, but I can get dental and vision coverage through the company, and it doesn't cost me anything!! I'm so thankful that this is the job I found, and it's yet another example of how faith works.
And of course this has something (everything?) to do with quitting smoking. When we take that frightening first step and say "no more", we are likely to envision hellfire and brimstone (figuratively) in our future. We anticipate the pain that not lighting that cigarette will cause. And the factor that allows us to not light that cigarette anyway is faith. Faith in the process. Faith that you will get to the other side. Maybe whatever religious faith you practice that tells you that you will be all right. I had to have faith that a job would be offered through that four months, and trust me, the fact that I went from silently screaming five years ago that quitting smoking would KILL me, to five years later being a bona fide non-smoker, informs everything I do. Yes, I had faith (admittedly faltering occasionally) that if I kept up the job search even though I thought looking at another job board would suck the life out of me, I would find a job. So I took it a day at a time, just like I did in the early days of my quit. And the rich reward of finding a great job is only surpassed by finding freedom from smoking!
So my thought today -- on my 1,800th day of not lighting that cigarette -- is that for all of you newbies who are struggling, and everyone in no man's land who has a completely unexpected massive crave, and for those of you who are white knuckling it through the quit process and fearing the craves, have faith. Have faith that those of us who celebrate multi-year milestones were just as scared or taken aback or exerting willpower as you are. The beauty of belonging to a site like EX is that you see positive proof every single day that this process works. That there is a rich reward on the other side. That we're no different than you are and you are no different than us. You can do this. Have faith.