Wednesday, April 18, 2012

547 Days


I should have been a Broadway star.  You cannot imagine how much delight I get out of people breaking out in song half way through a stressful situation, or a happy situation, or a sad situation, or any situation ever.  I love singing.  I remember my brother begging me to stop singing all the time when we were kids.  He wanted to listen to the artist singing their song, not me.  I sing commercial jingles and kids songs and oldies and I can even do a mean Mariah, if I put my mind to it.  This song has been running through my mind for a few days now...




...how do you measure a year?  Better yet, how do you measure a year and a half? 

Five Hundred forty seven days and four hours

In daylights?

In sunsets?

In midnights?

In cigarettes not smoked???

Five Hundred forty seven days and four LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG hours.

Yes, it's been a year and a half since I last had a cigarette.  I still think about having a smoke every single day.  Sometimes, when I walk by someone smoking, I breathe in extra deep.  I'm an occasional second hand smoker.  Sometimes, the cravings get so intense it's all I can do to resist jumping in the car, going to the closest gas station and buying a pack of Matinee Extra Mild.  Sometimes, I'll get in the car after work and reach for my smokes and lighter completely out of habit.  I miss smoking every single day.  And my weight shows that I have definitely relied on food to get me through the cravings.

But,

I have circulation in my hands and feet again.  This is probably the most significant change since I quit smoking.  My hands and feet are warm like all the time.  This is really huge for me, because I always used to sleep in socks because my toes were icicles.  My finger tips would turn blue for absolutely no reason....well, other than I smoked and it totally screwed with my circulation.

Also, I don't yawn as much.  I know, super weird things I've noticed, huh?  But I've heard that yawning is your way of giving your body a surge of oxygen...and I used to always yawn after smoking.  I was starving my body of oxygen.  I'm also less tired, more energy.

Then there are the more obvious benefits to not smoking.  I have more money ($10/pack once a day...that adds up).  I've been on a trip to Disneyland with Q, Calgary to see my BFF, the Dominican Republic to see my brother marry his beautiful bride, and next Wednesday I'm going to Las Vegas with BFF.  So, ya...a little extra pocket change. 

I don't smell like stale smoke.  My new car, Lola, still smells like a new car and not like a dirty ashtray.  My breath might be coffee breath, but it is not stale smoke and coffee breath which is so much worse.  My clothes smell fresh, my hair smells like shampoo.  It's all good.

I have more time.  Five minutes here, five minutes there - you don't really notice how much time smoking steals from your life.  Not to mention, I was a slave to my addiction and my cravings.  Everything I did was controlled by my cravings - could I sit through a two hour movie in the theater without having a smoke?  Or would I need to sneak out in the middle?  Where would I be able to stop during the road trip in order to fix my nic fit?  Would I have enough time to smoke and eat on my lunch break?  Every single thing I did was done with smoking in mind.  It has no control over me any longer.  My time is my own. 

And most importantly, Q has peace of mind.  I have peace of mind.  My family has peace of mind.  My risk of developing coronary heart disease has decreased by half, how crazy is that?  My son knows that his mommy is healthy and that I made a choice to be healthy for him.  That means the world to me, and probably to him as well.  Once a smoker however, always a smoker.  People who haven't smoked in 20 years tell me they still think about it every single day, others hadn't smoked in 5 years and then one day, for whatever reason, decided to pick up a pack and were back two packs a day in the blink of an eye. 

I have to remind myself of all the good things I have to live for now that I no longer live for cigarettes.


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