Maggie Wells | Margaret Ethridge

Contemporary Romance Authors

Monday Mayhem – Challenges

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 by Margaret Ethridge   6 Comments | Posted in Blog

One year ago today, I smoked my last cigarette. At least, it was my last until I turn 70—after that, all bets are off. Once I hit 70, I’m going to live fast and hard, do whatever the hell I want, and go out in a blaze of glory.

That’s my plan.

I know this isn’t politically correct or even smart, but I really loved smoking. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t miss it. I do. I loved the ritual of it. I am a creature of habit, so breaking that particular habit was a big step for me.

Still, I’m not going to say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because I’m not entirely certain that’s true. I’ve had to face some obstacles I thought I’d never get over, past, or around. They were shorter in duration, maybe, but that didn’t make them any easier.

Vigilance is the key.

As of tomorrow, I will be 365 days smoke free, and a few things have changed. I don’t have to tell myself that my heart will go ‘splodey if I attempt to smoke while wearing a patch, like I did that first week. I don’t have to physically restrain myself from lunging at my old friends hanging out in the smoke shack at work and wrestling a smoke from my victim. My pants may fit a little tighter, but I can run a mile fairly easily (on most days). Couldn’t do that when I was sucking on the Marlboros. So yeah…tradeoffs.  

Quitting smoking was a challenge, but it was not so tough in the long run. Most days, I don’t even think about it. It’s nothing compared to the challenges many people face every day. It’s good to remember that.

Smoking was just something I did, and every once in a while I have to remind myself every once in a while that I don’t do that anymore.

At least, not for another 27 years.

Who’s coming to my 70th birthday party? I’m telling you, it’s going to be legendary…

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6 Responses to "Monday Mayhem – Challenges"

  1. Comment by MichelleKCanada (@AnotherLookBook)
    April 2, 2012 at 10:46 am  

    Congrats for reaching an impressive milestone. Addiction is a hard thing to just up and quit. I love how you decided to fill the smoking void with running. You have done a body good!
    Inspirational post!

  2. Comment by Julie
    April 2, 2012 at 11:30 am  

    I am SO gonna be at your 70th birthday party, and I’m gonna be the one who steals your cigarettes. 😛 Of all your accomplishments, this is the one I’m most proud of. Because the longer you’re in my life, the better my life is. I hope you take time to celebrate and appreciate the awesomeness of this achievement. Happy smoke-free-iversary!!! *GIANT HUGS*

  3. Comment by Laurie
    April 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm  

    Congrats on the milestone. That really is an awesome accomplishment. I will so be there for your 70th. I’m be the one with the tricked-out walker. Hmmm, maybe some neon tennis balls on the legs.

  4. Comment by Christine
    April 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm  

    Great job. I’m so proud of you. I didn’t quit smoking, and I can still only run about an 1/8 of a mile, lol.

    You’re awesome!

  5. Comment by Carol
    April 4, 2012 at 6:20 am  

    I doubt that I will still be around when you celebrate your 70th, but if I am I will will run you down with my motorized scooter and take the cigarettes away from you. Besides, I was just looking through “The Power of Habit” and researchers have found that breaking bad habits actually overwrites certain areas of your brain — the impulses that fueled the bad habits are still there, but new brain activity has been created and supersedes it. So why would you want to undo all of that hard work your brain has been doing,huh?

    Seriously, though, you absolutely amaze me. Best wishes on a very remarkable milestone. Now you need to set your sights on blowing that E.L. James person and her “50 Shades of Grey” out of the water. (“Twilight” fan fic. Eh.) I know you can do it!

  6. Comment by Suzanne Lilly
    April 8, 2012 at 9:31 am  

    Congratulations on making it over a year! I’ve never heard anyone say after 70 they’re going to live fast and hard…usually it’s the other way around. I’m coming to your party! It’s sounds like it’s going to be rocking awesome! Stay well.

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