Those of you who know me are aware I'm a bit of a freak about palindromes (words or numbers that read the same forward and backwards). I'm not sure why, because I'm terrible in math, but there's something about the symmetry of palindromes that fascinates me. So here I am at Day 1771 and I got a job offer. I did a really bad job of retirement planning, and realized, at the age of 70, that although I plan to live for another 15 years or more, I have about enough retirement funds to get me through 2 if I stretch it. So back to the job market for full time work. I've been seriously job hunting since July 5 and this last 4 months has been quite anxiety producing. I've sent out 150 resumes, gotten about half a dozen in person interviews and 8 telephone interviews. I've worked with 7 agencies for full time and temp work. Finally yesterday I got a call on an interview I had last Thursday in which I was told the corporate approvals were in process, but I should be getting an offer letter today. And unlike many other statements promises I got in this process, I got the offer letter, and it's awesome!!
Now, you newbies are probably saying okay, what does this have to do with quitting smoking? Actually, a lot. First of all, the stress I've been under would have, in the old days, resulted in my smoking even more than usual, and with this much time on my hands, I easily could have knocked back at least two and a half packs a day -- maybe three. I did smoke three packs a day from 1963 to 1983 (when I could still smoke at my desk at work). But I haven't. Not One Puff - Ever. One of the things I learned in quitting was that smoking doesn't help anything -- it just costs a lot, smells bad and kills your lungs (and many other parts). I scoffed at first when I heard that we were hiding behind a smoke screen, and we needed to deal with our emotions directly. It's true. In the almost five years since I quit, I've realized that going off to have a cigarette to calm down was a form of escape. I don't do that anymore. Consequently, at a conservative price of $7 per pack, that's $21 per day I would have spent for a total of $2,310 over 4 months. That's the rough equivalent of two month's rent.
Quitting smoking has also taught me fortitude. I was known as the Happy Quitter in my first year here at EX, but I never made out like it wasn't hard. Of course it was hard. Smoking was entangled in everything I did. If I wasn't smoking I was thinking about when I could have the next one, or whether there was a place I could go to have one, or if there were ashtrays available so I could light up or if I had to wait, or how many did I have left and where could I go to buy more. When you remove that obsession from your life, it's jarring. It's hard. But especially with the support of this wonderful community, I stuck it out. I blogged every single day for over a year. I read everyone else's blogs. I learned how to get through whole days with only a few craves, and there came a day -- and I can't tell you when exactly it happened -- that I didn't think about smoking at all. And now I occasionally have a thought about it, but it's never a crave -- just a memory. That fortitude came in handy over the last 4 months, and I'm grateful.
So love to everyone on this happy day -- I know you can do it!!