Over the past week, my daughter-in-law Lisa had been staying with me for a mini - vaycay while my oldest son Kevin continued working from home, holding down their domestic fort, and feeding Goliath, their grey tiger cat.
Because I am cigarette-free for almost eight months and Lisa is a smoker, I set up a comfortable smoking spot for her on the front porch. I also asked that she not smoke in my car. She stuck to "my plan" for the 7 days she was here without even one complaint or negative comment.
And I seemed to be doing okay with the thought that smoking was goin' on just outside my front door. And that I'd occasionally catch sight of her cigarettes and lighter on the living room table. After all, I no longer smoked....right??
But by Thursday, when we were into the 6th day of our co-visit, I became aware that the smell of fresh smoke was filtering through the living room window screens from the front porch. And I also realized that Lisa and her clothing smelled of stale cigarettes. And even the trash, where her discarded cigarettes lay, reeked of burnt nicotine.
And, surprisingly, it still smelled good to me. It was familiar, like a long- lost friend I missed being with.
I was craving a cigarette.
Now, when I say craving, I don't mean that littlle nibble at the corner of my subconscious mind that it would seem good to just taste a cigarette again, and to feel that perception of relief as I drew its smoke into my lungs. No, it was more like a jolt; a visceral command to go light up. It was so persuasive that it actually scared me.
Not unlike a movie reel, my mind quickly played out the ramifications should I smoke : the failure of it all; the disappointment to self and others; and -- worse of all -- having to give away my beloved cross as I'd vowed to do should I ever smoke again.
It was an emotional slap to my face, one that brought me to my senses! My decision became a firm NO!!
NO!! I am not going to let myself down!
NO!! I am not going to retract my pledge to others that I would not smoke, no matter what!!
NO!! I am not going to give away my beloved cross!!
And so, YES!! I am not going to smoke!!
YES!! I will not disrupt my hard-won quit!!
YES!! I will remain a non-smoker!!
Lisa went home Friday night and I am still a non-smoker.
And I am so happy with my decision.