From Here to There

Because Half-Assed Only Works For So Long

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Still Smoking, Still Hate It

Two days of success followed by five of failure. I’m still smoking. Ugh.

I’ve started really thinking about what my triggers are though, and stress really isn’t one of them.

Frustration is a trigger. Like the frustration that comes from living with young adults who need reminding to wipe up spills and slops. Trying to cook nice meals and having to spend 1/2 hour tidying up the kitchen enough to mess it up again is a huge trigger. Having to wait for the dishwasher to finally be unloaded or bitch to get the garbage taken out is a huge trigger. It’s frustrating having to clean all of that up before I can do the things I want to do. The things I enjoy doing. Or wanting to do a recipe post and needing to spend a half hour scraping the burnt crud off of the stove first because hey, why would you wipe that shit up before it gets burned on.

Procrastination is another trigger. If I need to do something I don’t want to do, I’ll convince myself to have a smoke first. I’ll take more breaks to have a smoke too. The list of things that need doing that I don’t want to do is very long. Things like fold another load of laundry. Things like tidy up the kitchen – again. Or put away the dishes or take out the garbage. Or edit photos for a blog post.

Fatigue is a trigger. I hadn’t realized just how often I will have another cigarette just to keep myself going. One more cigarette while I read this last blog post. One more cigarette while I check my Pinterest feed. Another one to check my Facebook feed one more time before I go to bed. It goes on like that for most of the evening.

My son’s dog is a trigger, and I’m a little ashamed to say that. He’s a good dog, really he is. But he’s a smart dog, one who gets bored often. One who craves the center of any activity. And since I’m the person in the house who actually does more than play video games, he finds me endlessly fascinating and interesting. If I’m digging around in a cupboard to find something, he’s got his head right in there seeing what it’s all about. If I’m trying to find my shoes, he follows me around because I might be going someplace interesting. If I look up from my work I might be willing to play so he nudges my arm or lays his front half on my lap, or brings me a squeaky toy. When he’s bored he paces, he clicks his nails on the floor, he jingles his collar. Such small things really, but they irritate me.

All of it makes me want to hide in my bedroom and smoke my brains out. I need to find better ways to cope, because this nasty habit has to go.

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Confession Time – Relapse #1

Relapse #1I’m not one of those people who loves being a smoker, and yes they do exist. I hate being a smoker, it seems like such a shameful thing in this day and age. I hate the smell. I hate the cough. I hate the sticky yellow shellac of nicotine that covers so many things in my home. Smoking is gross.

I hate the money it wastes. I hate that every month I spend the equivalent of another mortgage payment on a disgusting habit. I hate that the main reason my finances are never under control is because of the cost of a bad habit. At least if shopping was my drug of choice I’d have a closet full of clothing to show for it. Smoking leaves nothing but a bad smell and dirty ashtrays as proof that money was spent.

So why did I break down and buy another package? Not one of those cigarettes tastes nice. The burnt caramel flavor of the e-cig is much more pleasant. I could blame it on stress – living in a small home with two young men and two full-sized dogs offers up plenty of stress to an introvert like me. But really, stress is a part of life and plenty of people navigate through it without the crutch of nicotine. There have even been studies to show that six months after quitting, people have lower stress levels than they did as a smoker. The cyclical stressor of nicotine cravings only adds to stress levels more than it soothes the smoker through stressful events.

Sure I was at the point where I wanted to shovel food in my mouth until my gut was ready to burst, but I know that can be handled while it’s happening. I could have gone for a walk instead of driving to the store. There are two dogs in this house who would have been quite happy if I had made the better choice. But instead I got in my car, drove to the store and wasted almost ten dollars to keep this nasty habit going.

So here I am again, wearing the nasty stink of cigarette. But I won’t quit quitting, because I’m determined that I won’t go into my 45th year on earth as a smoker. So in the meantime I’m going to start cleaning the glass in all of my pictures because that’s always a good way to see all the gross of cigarettes. When I do give into the craving I’m going to make it as uncomfortable as possible and stand outside. My e-cigarettes are at the ready because this is going to happen before the end of 2014. It simply must happen if I ever want to build a well-balanced budget and have a nice smelling home.

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Quitting – Day Two

Quitting Day TwoA former boss once told me about what it was like for him when he quit. His theory was the worst seemed to come in threes. As in the third day, the third week, etc. I’ve quit more than once for varying lengths of time, so I can say his theory has some merit.

Still I’m almost through day two, and I’m thankful for every day I’m successful.

I’m thankful it’s finally the weekend. Quitting smoking and all the angst that goes along with has made me a bit less focused this past two days.

When the cravings are bad, sometimes brushing my teeth helps. I can’t brush my teeth every time I want a cigarette though since that would leave me with bleeding raw gums.

Rubber ToothpicksI’m thankful to have discovered these rubberized toothpicks for other times.

Vapur - classicFor other times I’m thankful for this fake cigarette with smoke like vapour helps – a lot. I’m hesitant to call it an ecigarette because there’s no nicotine in it. Just flavoring that’s reminiscent of burnt caramel or sugar. If I ever need another one, I’m going with mint next time.

I’m thankful my house is starting to smell less like cigarette. I smell a lot better too, even if my bedroom carries the faint scent of burnt caramel. It still smells nicer than cigarette, and I’ll feel much less self-conscious when I’m visiting customer.

I’m thankful to have all of my family with me – even A3 who has learned to make his toenails click. I wonder if I can have my mom knit dog slippers? Pacing without the click would not be so irritating. Yesterday was a bad day for me to spend with an antsy 1 year old dog. Today was better and he held no grudges.

I’m thankful for the gift card I received from my employer. Even though I’ve got the money for Christmas put away, hosting a dinner of lasagna while fun isn’t cheap. I appreciate the President’s Choice gift card.

I’m really thankful I can use the gift card at No Frill’s where the dollars go further than they do at Zehrs and the Canadian Superstore.

I’m thankful that I’m not still working in vegetable production. Last year at this time I was still working from 6am to 10pm three or four days a week and almost as long for the rest of the six-day work week. I’m not ready to decorate for Christmas yet with two big dogs and two cats in the house, but at least I won’t be doing my shopping and buying a tree three days before Christmas this year.

I’m thankful that even if I haven’t started my shopping yet, I have the money set aside for it. Knowing it’s paid for takes a lot of the stress out of Christmas.

I’m thankful that while I my participation in NaBloPoMo was horrible, I seem to have the beginnings of what feels like a blogging community again. One that may still need nurturing but at least the start of it is there.

I’m thankfully participating in TToT for the second time, it’s a lovely community so please take the time to check them out.

Ten Things of Thankful