In just a few hours I will have 9 Years of Smoke Free living behind me! I owe a deep deep debt of gratitude to BecomeAnEx and so many wonderful people here! Some who are still here today, and some who are long gone from the site and some who are gone from life all together! Some who continue to live Smoke Free lives, and some who fell back into the jaws of this terrible addiction! All of you have helped keep me Free!
For many years I contributed almost daily, and often many times a day! There are people who credit me with helping them quit and stay quit. That is one of the things in my life Of which I am most proud! Lately, I have not been here much! There is no logical explanation for that! Perhaps there are emotional reasons! And, so often in our lives emotions are the arch enemy of logic!
I would like to be able to tell you all that I will back with my brand of support more in 2019! I can tell you that I will make a conscious effort to do that! But, I can’t guarantee the logic will win out! What I can guarantee is that I care about the people here! I care about your quits, and will do my best to help any of you anytime! Even if you don’t know me, or remember me well, if you reach out I will answer!
Again, Thank you to all of you who have shared the “Collateral Kindness” at this wonderful place! You own a piece of my quit! And, many of you own a piece of my heart!
In the coming year I offer to each of you my favorite toast! Here is to Health, Wealth, and Happiness, and Time to enjoy all three! If you can think of anything that does not cover, let me know!
It is with a heavy heart that I take my seat at this keyboard to compose this final run of The Freedom Train. However I do have it on good authority, that we will be joined today by a number of old friends that we have not seen in a while! Please help me make this a special day that we can all remember!!
Good morning fellow EXer's! The Freedom Train is on the tracks, and prepared to make it's daily run to Freedom from smoking! Everyone is invited to come aboard to celebrate their own personal Freedom, and that of their friends!!
Now, we encourage you to come aboard today! Shout out your personal milestones, and those of your friends! Show your pride in your quit! 2 Days, 200 Days or 2000 Days! More, if you have them! Let us hear from you, and let us all celebrate our FREEDOM!! Post food and music! IT IS PARTY TIME!!!
Let us begin this magical run that today will include stops in Canada (Mothergoose and others) and the west coast (Maggie and Smokedout and others)
This Train is bound for FREEDOM from the Evils tobacco and smoking!!
"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"
I would like to extend a very special, heartfelt THANK YOU to all the people who have help to make this Train the great icon of this site! I love you all! For many years The Freedom Train has left the station with the tag line,"IF YOU ARE NOT RIDING WITH US, YOU ARE MISSING THE TRAIN"! After this weekend, I can assure you that many of us will be missing the Train! Tommy
On Saturday morning, June 30th 2018, I will come to this keyboard much like I did on January 31st 2011! In 2011 I penned the first run of The Freedom Train! On Saturday, I will write and post the final run of The Freedom Train!
I hope the occasion will be light and fun like the many celebrations of the past! To that end, I will not discuss here the reasons that led up to this decision! However, I am pretty sure all of you know how to reach me if you want to talk!
Please find some time to stop by and party with us this weekend, and please share this message with our friends that may not see this blog! Come by and share your "THANKS" with all the people who, through the years, have worked so hard to make this OUR FREEDOM TRAIN! Thank You! Tommy
It was very interesting to read all the comments and information about the mistreatment of the Horses! I did not follow any of the links to watch the abuses of training! I don't need that stuff stuck in my head! But it did not surprise me, and it set off a long and winding train of thought!
It seems to be in our nature, human nature to train animals and ourselves! Let's look for a moment at our women! The built up shoes they use to train the Tennessee Walking Horses made me think of the high heels and tight toes of the shoes that our women wear to change their gait and appearance! And speaking of appearance, How many billions of dollars are spent every year on painful procedures that have no purpose beyond enhanced appearance! Then of course there are clothes and make-up! How many chemicals in make up? Any of them harmful? Clothes! Are any of them uncomfortable or even painful! Do you ever take anything off and see marks that the item left on your body! And you Ladies are not alone! Many men are trained to torture themselves as well with excessive work outs, and muscle building! They also spend billion on surgeries and clothing (and some even spend on make-up) and fast cars in the name of......dare I say Vanity? Who trained us to do that? Fueling the fires of this training are the multimillion dollar contracts given to the most successful body, face, and even hand models! The moderately successful will be rewarded with shares of the wealth of those who admire them!
Then there are our children, The TV is full of shows and commercials, and the stores of full of books telling us how to raise our kids! The code word "healthy" means bigger, stronger, and faster! And, we are succeeding in producing that kind of "athlete"! The motivation for doing this to or kids is the same! The annual contracts of the most successful of these athletes dwarfs what most will make in a lifetime!
A lot of us were also trained to smoke! We were taught that it was cool! We were trained to be different, and stand out from the crowd! It was cool to cough and do terrible damage to our bodies? By the time we discovered that to be different meant be outcast, and to stand out from the crowd meant the crowd was pushing us way, way, out, it was too late! We were addicted!
The common thread in all this is to follow the money! The horses, models and athletes may have been well paid, but the made a lot more money for their "Trainers"! We smokers made even more for our "Trainers" and all we get is an early grave! And we, or our families have to pay for that!
If you are still contributing to your "Trainers", for the sake of all that is good, STOP IT! Don't be the South end of a North bound horse!!!!
To the people who have been doing this for a long time, there is a period between mid-December and mid-January that we call the "quitting season"! Every year, this is the time that smokers seem to pause, and take stock of what they are doing to themselves! This year we welcomed some very dedicated quitters who are doing an awesome job! Not only are they protecting their own quits, but they are practicing "Collateral Kindness"! I have never seen a group being so supportive of those behind them, so early in their own quits! I believe that because these people are so fresh in their quits, more of the new people, that we are getting now, can relate to those who are offering them help! It seems we are having a second quitting season! I am not implying that the wisdom of the Elders is any less important that it has always been! But now the quitting EXperience is enhanced by a combination of the seasoned veteran and those who are just finding their own way! I am EXcited by this! And, I am prouder than ever to be a part of this community! We are getting bigger and better! That is Fantastic!
Our second wave of quitters, this year, are entering a dangerous part of their quits! We need to be there for them as much as possible! I am seeing some familiar phrases popping up! "I hope" I wish" "I will try"! These word are dangerous! Therefore I am adding some words here, that many of you have heard from me before! I copied this from a copy of a blog from long ago!
I have noticed that some of you seem to be struggling! I read a blog yesterday morning from someone who was hoping to get through the day smoke Free. I looked at it in much the same way one would look at a suicide note! I read it twice and realized that it was to late to save this quit. As it turns out, I was right! Folks please lose the junkie thinking! Lines like; I hope I can, I don't think I can, I wish I could, I do not believe I can, wish me luck. These are all signs that you are not committed! There was a time when I was not committed either, although there were a number of people who thought I should be! I have said this before and I will say it until everyone agrees with me! You have to grow a backbone where your wishbone is! Stop wishing and get it done!
Congrats to all of you who are protecting your quits, while you reach back to save those who are struggling to get to Freedom! Thank you for all that you do! Tommy
If you noticed a slight breeze stirring at 4:15 PM E.S.T. today, it was the gates of heaven swinging open to welcome their newest angel. Our Dear Sootie's mother passed away today. Sootie ask me to share this, so no one will be wondering where she went. She is not disappearing. However, understandably, she will not be here for a while.
Please join me as I drop to my knees to ask God to give comfort and peace to Sootie and her family.
Lord, we commend the spirit of Sootie's mom to your loving care. Please watch over our Dear Friend. AMEN
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bands which have connected them to their tobacco products, and assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that compel them to the separation!
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all EXer's were created equal, and with equal opportunity to quit, and that they were endowed by their Creator with certain Unailenable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the persuit of Clean Lungs!
We, the EXer's do here by solemnly publish and declare that we are independent of tobacco and obsolved of any loyalty to the producers thereof.
We the EXer's do here by attach our signatures to this document and mutually pledge to each other to protect our quits with our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor!
I guess I no longer know how to be part of the site! I have so many friends here that I know and love, but everytime I come here I leave frustrated! I came here tonight and tried to contribute to the bonfire! I tried to contribute through two different browsers, but everytime I get to the bonfire and click "Add Comment" I get this white box with a box that says loading! But it never loads!
I wanted to ask you all to send up prayers for our Dear Friend Patticake! I wanted to drop off 109.560 unsmoked cigarettes! I wanted someone to give me a frozen margarita with EXtra salt (Don't tell Sandy)! I wanted to let everyone know how proud I am of them! I wanted to comment on how great it was to see a member with one day quit attending the event! I wanted to offer encouragement to all who need and appreciate it!
Instead of doing the things that I want to do, and the things I have done at all the July 4th bonfires, tonight I leave this blog (assuming I can post it)! If someone can copy it and post it at the fire I will appreciate it! If not, could someone please drop my 109,560 nasty Kool Milds into that roaring inferno! Happy Fourth of July!!
A special Thanks to Shawn, and all who who worked to make this event happen!!
Love to all! Live Free My Friends! Live Smoke Free!! Tommy
But, I will not turn my back on all of the friends I have made here! And I will not forget all the good that I have seen forged here! So, if you will all try not to laugh at me, I am going to come stumbling into the new era of BecomeAnEx!
Some of you know that my history with a computer before finding EX, was booking cruises, hotel rooms and airline ticket, and a little e-mail! After finding EX a number of kind people helped me learn enough to get around the site pretty good! This new platform will expose me for the fraud that I am! I know nothing about computers! I don't speak the language, or know the jargon. I am unfamiliar with many basic terms!
What I do know, is that you, the EX community, are all very important to me! The work of this community, to help people find Freedom from the slavery of nicotine, is one of the most important things that I have ever been a part of! It seems almost laughable that six years ago I created "The Freedom Train", and right this minute, I have no clue how to even post it! But, with your indulgence, I will learn!
There is an old story that I once blogged about. It tells of a dying old lady who ask to be buried with her fork in her hand! when ask why, she explained that at church socials and homecomings she had attended in her life, often someone could come by and say "Hold on to your fork!". That always meant that there was still something else coming! Something SPECIAL! So tonight I come to you grasping my fork tightly! For I am confident that the best is yet to come!!