This morning at 7:16 am will mark day one of my fifth year as a non smoker after 40 years of smoking. These damn clocks never let you forget.
Some of you know me, some of you don’t. Some think I am harsh, some think I’m humorous.
I like to get people on the right path so sometimes I come off harsh. Thankfully, there are plenty of others who come right after me and soften what I say. I am so greatful for them. We are a great team, all of us.
I suggest laughing when you quit for changing your mind in an instant. I write entire songs while I sleep. I think the two go hand in hand. Our minds are incredible if we learn to let them work for us. But we have to let them. We can’t be so trapped by our past thinking that we refuse to grow.
Some of you may wonder if I ever actually enjoyed smoking. I assure you I did.
There was one tree I could run under to smoke when it was pouring rain. It was my sanctuary in bad weather. I very much enjoyed running out barefoot to have a smoke and watch it coming down all around while I was dry and enjoying my smoke.
I actually liked the taste of my brand. A couple years before I quit, I was ordering them straight from Kentucky because the tasted so much fresher than the ones they sold at the store that had been warehoused for 6 months or more. You could draw on them without lighting up and the taste….well, enough of that.
I’m here now, starting my 5th year.
I have never regretted giving up smoking.
I do have a few regrets that I didn’t quit sooner.
About 11 years ago, a ladder I was on tipped over sideways. I had a nailgun in my hand and was over reaching and there was no clear place to jump down because we had had major rains and there was lumber stacked in piles everywhere, including under and around my ladder. My leg was broken in 80 places when it snapped on one of those lumber piles. My foot didn’t even look like it belonged to me. They put it all back together that night. I was in the hospital for 11 days so this was not a simple broken leg. And yet, I would crutch to the hospital stairwell to smoke even though it hurt to get there and back.
I surely regret I smoked while my severed leg healed because the ankle bone died and I have no ankle motion in my right foot. Yeah, stupid me. I didn’t pay attention when the orthopedic surgeon said don’t smoke and, I paid with 5 surgeries and 3 years straight in a wheelchair and on crutches, most likely because I didn’t pay attention. I continued to smoke those entire 3 years.
But I did quit.
I still like the smell of a cig wafting through the air at the beach so people, there are some things you just may never forget but, none of those memories would entice me to smoke again.
Because I am a different person. One who values life from a new perspective. Not just mine or my family but yours too.
I’ll never go back and I’ve still got a lot of fight left to help you.
I value each one of you and each of your quits.