I knew when I started this journey that on this day, I would have been traveling for 82 days. How’s that? Well you see, today is my wife’s birthday and every year she reminds me that I am older than her for 82 days. As she puts it, I’m old for 82 days and then I become young again!
After encountering strong urges on our vacation, the likes of which I hadn’t seen for weeks, things have settled back down - somewhat. There are days that the trail ahead is clear and well defined and then there are days that the trail is not blazed and I feel somewhat lost with an empty feeling. There have been times when the sun is out and I feel like I’m a non-smoker, and other times when the clouds roll in and I feel like a smoker who just hasn’t had one for quite some time. I suppose that’s to be expected, given that I smoked for 40 years. That mindset can’t be undone overnight.
I’ve entered a new section of the forest. One where obstacles in my path are somewhat different. Obstacles that may make me angry, irritated or frustrated are no longer easily dismissed with a puff. This past week has really been a challenge along that front. So, I find myself sitting beside a lake, setting up camp, reminding myself just how many reasons I have to be grateful. All those years of just puffing away thoughts and emotions - now it leaves me feeling exhausted and lonely at times.
It’s this part of the trail that has tricked me before - it’s so different. I don’t have urges, cravings, anything tangible that can be acknowledged and then dismissed. When one does come, it’s easily dismissed. It’s more of an uncertainty, not knowing where this trail is leading, moving along on faith that a better day awaits as I know it does.
After a bit, I get up, dust myself off, grab my hiking pole and resume on the journey. Repeating to myself that I am a non-smoker now and that there’s only 2 ways out of this forest. One is to turn around and the other is through this forest. As I was reminded by a fellow traveler recently (thanks kelsmynme), I’ve come too far down this trail to only get to this point, I will not turn around until I reach my destination.
Thanks to all of you for hiking along…