Next week, here in the northern hemisphere, is winter solstice, the shortest day, the darkest day, of the year. The solstice however is the beginning of a change. Each day afterwards, the amount of daylight increases. Each day is brighter and longer through spring and into summer. I like to think of the solstice as a time of renewal, a time when we can begin to kindle a sure hope of spring.
This time of year also reminds me of the struggle, challenge, and eventual achievement people face in becoming tobacco free. As you all know, the process of stopping smoking can be long and difficult. It is not uncommon to struggle through feelings of discouragement and hopelessness. But at some point, maybe at many points in a lifetime, hope that one can succeed begins to dawn and builds into an intention, a plan, success and increasing confidence in a tobacco free life.
I wish all of you a warm, hopeful and tobacco-free holiday season. If you have been tobacco free for a while, spend a moment to remember how far you’ve come. If you’re still struggling to quit, take heart and kindle that hope. Spring is sure to come.