Archive for June, 2011


As in: five years.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of me putting down the cigarettes, and putting them down for good.

I was one of those people who never thought I’d quit. One of those people who simply loved smoking. I loved everything about it. Truly. And the few times I did try to quit, I did it half-heartedly, knowing that it wasn’t for real, knowing that I was just paying lip service to quitting. Because one was Supposed To Want To Quit.

But I didn’t want to quit. Not ever.

And then, out of the blue, RegularDad up and quit chewing tobacco one day in early June, five years ago. And after a few weeks of it, he still hadn’t started back up yet, and I kept quiet about it because it would be terrible of me to try to convince him to go back to it. Truly terrible.

And then he told me about this website he’d come across, and after reading through it, he just up and quit. Just like that. So, I went up to my office with a cup of coffee, lit a smoke and read the website. It took most of the day and most of the cigarettes in my pack, but I read all day long.

That night I poured water over the few remaining cigarettes in the pack, tossed them in the trash, went out and bought myself a huge bag of Skittles, and five years later, here I am.

Oh, I’m not trying to say it was easy. Not at all. The first three days were pretty bad. The next two weeks, a muddle. And I put on about 30 pounds, 25 of which I’m still carting around. And I had to start this blog at one point, to keep myself from running out to buy a pack of Marlboros.

But, dammit. I did it. And I’m really glad.

For the record, here are my stats:

As of this writing, I’ve been nicotine-free for 5 years, 11 hours, and 29 minutes. I’ve not smoked 36,529 cigarettes, and I’ve saved 126 days of my own life. Financially, I’ve saved (at a minimum) $7,882, but when you add in the cost of RegularDad’s chewing tobacco, that total actually comes out to be a little of $10,000.

So, there you have it. Me: nicotine free. Who knew? To celebrate, I walked my dogs this morning, at a nice, brisk pace. It feels good to walk like that, when for so long, I simply couldn’t do even that simple exercise. This afternoon, I’m going to swim in the pool with the kids and enjoy the lack of that phlegmy cough I used to sport, and enjoy the fact that I won’t be constantly disappearing into the side yard or the garage to have a quick smoke.

Did I ever tell you what one of my 8-year-old’s first phrases was, when she was a toddler? It was “Mommy’s gonna take a quick smoke.” That’s what she used to say, in her 2-year-old sing-songy garble. She used to say it all the time. Now, she doesn’t remember me smoking at all. My 10-year-old does, though. Vaguely.

It was good incentive to stop.

I am a lucky woman.


NCLB: It should really stand for “No Child Learns Because…”

As in: no child learns because we’re in this for the money, and the industry, and the re-elections. The education of children isn’t really a primary concern or goal anymore, is it?

Report: Students don’t know much about US history

“The history scores released today show that student performance is still too low,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “These results tell us that, as a country, we are failing to provide children with a high-quality, well-rounded education.” [emphasis is mine]

Education experts say a heavy focus on reading and math under the federal No Child Left Behind law in the last decade has led to lagging performance in other subjects such as history and science.

Why does this not surprise me?

Barefoot and frog in hand.

It’s how we raise ’em round these here parts.

On building confidence.

Here’s my 10-year-old, doing something she loves:

That last one makes me cry. 

For joy for her.

For the joy of her.

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