What a strange title – I wrote it and even I think it’s strange but let’s be honest, it’s definitely caught your attention or you wouldn’t be reading this. Has it fired your imagination? Maybe, possibly but whatever it does or doesn’t do for you please do read on as you may surprise yourself and actually enjoy but not no matter what, at least it will take your mind off cigarettes for a while.
So let’s begin or start at the beginning which I suppose is, logically, the best place to start. So, what is the right way? Come to think of it is there such a thing as the wrong way? I mean to say we all think our own way is the best way. We even say our way is the only way. So, with that in mind, our logical thinking is: “Our way is the best way and not only is it the only way it has to be the right way because it’s our way!” A bit of advice, don’t try saying this if you’ve had either a couple of glasses of wine or a couple of tinnies as it’s hard enough when you haven’t – had a drink that is!
So what is the point of this particular blog. Well the answer to that one is even stranger as I don’t really know and I’m the one writing it! I think here, I will take my own advice at start at the beginning. Define the right way? Well, to me the right way is any way that works for you. Whether this be your own or someone else’s way is totally irrelevant as the most important thing is that it works and it works for you. Housework, every woman is different. Ironing, again every woman is different. Even men have different ideas to us women on what comprises cleaning and ironing. Cooking – well for some it’s a pleasure and for others it’s a chore but whichever it is, men and women, most certainly have different ideas about the how to (actually cook) and the how not to (make the kitchen look like a tornado swept through it).
Surely we can all agree that providing the way we do something works for us, it doesn’t really matter if every single one of us has a different way? We’re big enough I’m certain to say as long as it works for us, we’re not going to knock it! None of us want to force anyone to do it our way – not that we could but … - we are all individuals and we each have our own personality and a unique way of doing what we have to do to get the jobs done.
So, I think I am safe in saying that the right way is any way as long as it works for the individual.
Now then – this is where I hope it becomes interesting to all. Is there such a thing then as THE WRONG WAY? Now you are all probably saying NO but, this is my blog and you know what I’m going to say don’t you? Correct – you are ohhhh sooo right! I’m going to say YES there is a wrong way! Now before you lynch me just read on and perhaps, just perhaps, you may change your mind and agree with me!
Now we all think that our own way is the best and only way to do something but how many of us really think and I do mean think that our way could actually be the wrong way? Now I’m not saying it is the wrong way for that particular individual but it is possible that for someone else it could well be totally the wrong way for them. I know you are asking yourselves how can that be? Well, it’s actually quite simple and straightforward – we are all individuals who are as different as chalk and cheese. No two people, even identical twins, are exactly, right down to the finer details, alike. They say everyone has a double in this world but that’s all the saying actually says – there is no add on that this double is exactly as you are in mannerisms, likes, dislikes, etc., etc.
What is ‘the wrong way’? Well, to me it is any way that means we are defeated in our aim. Come again I can hear you say (well I hope I can). If we want to do something and fail to do it, then I personally (and please I must stress that this is my personal opinion so don’t berate me for it) think that the reason we fail is because 95% of the time, we have tried to do it the wrong way. Does that make sense?
Let us take for example stopping smoking (bet you didn’t guess that this would be the subject matter did you?). Now I am on my third attempt since joining this site and I think that the best way to explain what I mean by the wrong way is to use my failures as an example. So folks, I am baring my soul so to speak, so do not be too judgmental – after all, there but for the grace of who knows what, go you!
Before I even started my first quit attempt, I posted the question “how do you stop having the odd cigarette?” The number and the quality and content of those replies was truly amazing. I just couldn’t quite believe how all these people rallied round to support and help me, a total stranger.
After a couple of false starts, my first quit date was 10th March. Won’t bore you by repeating the sorry details but you all know that after 43 days, that attempt came to a very embarrassing full stop. Why? Well, one of the reasons I think is because what started on day one as the right way somehow by day 43 was proved to actually be the wrong way. So what happened in the 42 days that caused this about face? To be honest, I’m not too sure but with hindsight, I thought I could be the person who could just have the one cigarette without any problem. WRONG! Worse than wrong, totally and utterly stupido! Lesson learnt – one is never enough!
Started again with quit day number one and managed a whole 3 days this time. Just could not resist the one yet again. Yeah, I know, horrible habit, horrible smell and so on and so forth, etc., etc., (thinking of Yul Brynner in The King and I (no - not me silly!)) but no excuses, as there can be no excuses.
Thought I’d burnt all my bridges as I cancelled my aka on site and just felt oh so miserable and down. Re-joined and was welcomed back into the fold and am now on day 5 and so far so good. I have to say in all seriousness folks that whilst being ‘in limbo’ and after both failed attempts, I did some thinking (yep occasionally I can get my brain to function as it should). Was I going about this the wrong way? If this was the case, where was I going wrong? What could I do that would help me achieve my goal? In a perfect world, no-one would fail in anything that they do but as we don’t live in a perfect world perhaps the following may help some and just while away a period of time for others.
So the first question I asked myself was: “Am I going about this the wrong way?” Well, as I had failed – not just once but twice – I think the obvious answer is yes, definitely. How to correct it? Well, think this is definitely a mind thing. Wanting to quit by saying I want to quit is just not enough. They are truthfully just words that we can say 100 times a day but they don’t actually inspire confidence in oneself, do they? So, how can we make this better – by adding words? Possibly – maybe? So let’s add a word - because. So we have I want to quit because – because of what or even why? Need more words – but what words. Perhaps these – I want to prove to myself (and to others) that I can do this. Or these – I want to improve my quality of life. Or maybe even these – I want to save the money so that I can retire early. Or how about using all of them and because this is my blog, I’m going to throw in a few more words for good measure, in the following statement:-
I want to quit smoking because I need to prove to myself and to others than I can/will do this and by doing so I will improve the quality of life for those nearest and dearest to me and also for myself and with the money I save I can retire early and enjoy a long and smoke free retirement.
Now me personally don’t think that is bad considering that we started with just four words “I want to quit”. Besides, just four words is stingy – why just four when you can have loads!!!!!!!
So we’ve now decided that we are going to quit and we have very good reasons for doing so. Next step has to be when and more importantly how. We all know that we can say these words but they are just that – words – action is what we need next so let’s make a plan of action.
Firstly, what day is the best for us to quit? Saturday or Sunday? No don’t think that is an ideal time – might possibly be for some but not for me. How about a Monday then? Possibility as it’s the start of a week and the chances are that we will be at work so will have plenty to occupy our minds and hands so maybe that is a good day. Doesn’t really matter that much which day of the week the main thing is that it feels ‘right’ for us.
Right, we’ve chosen a day, so let’s now choose a date! Whatever date we pick will soon come round and the main thing is we must be prepared for it hence a plan of action. Monday, 29th April, 2013 seems/sounds good but obviously the sooner the better. Why put it off, the sooner we start our quit, the sooner the days we are smoke free will start adding up. What do you think so far? Now I don’t know about you but for me personally, my first cigarette was always with or just after my first cup of tea of the day – usually within 15 minutes of me getting up so how do I/we get round that one. Well, for me, I just took my dogs out walking that bit earlier but you could make the bed, get your sandwich ready for work or something along those lines anything really that will take your mind off having the first cig of the day. Call it ‘quality time’ or even ‘me time’ just do something different to normal so that you’re not tempted. Hopefully, so far so good! Now as far as I am aware, no one is allowed to smoke at work anymore and judging by the number of people you see stood outside puffing away I think I am correct in that so, with luck, work time will not be too big a problem. Lunchtime may possibly be difficult to get through without a smoke but go for a walk and (really) look around you as you do so. If you’ve a supermarket near where you work go in and walk round – you never know you may find something that you want to buy! Then there is the time after work - a whole evening and some of the night to get through. Simples (as the meerkats would say) plan for this. Some of it will be taken up with preparing your meal, then you have to eat it and believe me it will taste an awful lot better now you haven’t had a cigarette for more than 12 hours. Sit after you’ve eaten and read a book or a paper for 10 minutes – relax and enjoy a bit more ‘me time’. Then you can wash up – if you have a dishwasher don’t use it – do it the old-fashioned way and dry it with a tea towel. That’s at least another 15 or 20 minutes you’ve not smoked so congratulations you’re getting through the time nicely now. After this, go for a nice stroll if it’s nice and if the weather is bad go and clean out one of those drawers or a cupboard that you’ve been promising yourself when you have the time you will do - it’s amazing how quickly the time passes when you do things like this. You could even do a bit of baking – nothing complicated, just a few buns or biscuits! Look at the clock now and it’s time for a drink before bed and low and behold, you’ve got through your first 24 hours so congratulations to you – this is the first day of the rest of your smoke free life!
Plan of action complete so what’s next? It would be absolutely wonderful to sleep ourselves smoke free but regrettably that is not possible – unless of course you know different? It is something I have only recently thought of but the main problem with stopping smoking is boredom – and that really should be Boredom with a capital B. Stop and think now people, how many times in the past have you smoked a cigarette because you just cannot think of what else to do, in other words you are bored? There are many more days to come so our plan must contain something that will help us not to smoke so how about a new hobby? For us ladies, knitting, French knitting, crochet, cross stitch, embroidery even cake decorating or bread making (with a machine bought with what we have saved of course) come to mind. For the menfolk, gardening (sorry but it is just an idea), decorating (another (bad) idea perhaps but?), home brew either beer or wine (please drink what you make sensibly). For both the girls and the boys, walking (won’t suggest jogging as that is definitely too much like hard work), biking, crosswords, sketching or painting. The list is really endless and the possibilities enormous – like to think that there is definitely more that we can do either with someone else or alone just have to engage our brains and find something that we enjoy doing. Just bethought myself – remember rubik cubes and solitaire? Both of these will definitely keep your hands busy and your brain alert! You see you don’t have to be the “Brain of Britain” to think of things to do. Have a look at e-bay or Amazon and there are so many variations now of rubik cubes and I understand that you can also get Sudoku cubes as well these days.
I think we all feel that the days when we aren’t smoking will be endless – at the beginning, each and every one will feel like a week but believe me, with grit and determination, we can and will get through each and every one. I’m now on day 6 and it does get better I promise you. Writing my blogs helps pass the time for me in fact, the hours just fly by and hopefully to the people that read them, the time passes just as quickly.
You could also get yourself a little digital camera and they aren’t that expensive either. Mine is a little Kodak one and I have got some super photos with it. All the photos I illustrate my blogs with are taken with this camera which measures just 4” x 3” or thereabouts but obviously you need a memory card so that you can put them on your computer. You never know you may find that you’re a natural photographer and there is so much you can do with your pics – make a calendar for Christmas presents for relatives aboard using photos of local scenery. Make your own birthday or even Christmas cards using special photos - not to put too finer point on it, use your imagination, the possibilities are positively endless.
You can fill your days doing anything and everything – doing stuff that when you smoked you just never seemed to have time for. BUT and I have to add this for safety, no one absolutely no one, me, you or the next person, is immune to nic – be aware and beware he will be waiting in the wings for quite a long time ready to pounce when you least expect it. DO NOT BECOME COMPLACENT! DO NOT take it for granted that after 4 or 5 days or even 45 days, you can’t be caught out because YOU CAN as I have been there, done that and got the tee-shirt!
Life is definitely what you make it and if you want to make your life smoke free then think and plan before you even decide on the date of your quit. Life is not easy – never has been and never will be - just ask anyone who has been smoke free for 3 months or more and I think you will find that the temptation to light up is still there although not the be all and end all that it was in the beginning.
I’ve spent a very pleasant hour and a bit just walking with my two dogs this afternoon and the pic is of the only giraffe I know of that resides in West Yorkshire! Taken with my trusty little camera I now have a few more photos on the memory card to put up with the blogs that I have no doubt I will be writing over the coming week!
I do so hope that you have enjoyed my blog but please do remember that these are my personal thoughts but if they help you to quit or just make you feel better whilst quitting then I feel as if my efforts in writing it have been worth it.
Stay strong as TOGETHER WE CAN AND WILL DO THIS.
Keep smiling we will get there and that's a promise!