Random Thoughts: The Week Without Cigarettes Edition

I have to say, it’s going pretty well.

As far as the cravings, they are not bad at all. I didn’t expect they would be. There have been one or two days this week I’ve thought, “This is the kind of day I would really be looking forward to smoking that cigarette tonight.” But then I know I’m not going to have it, and it doesn’t bother me that much.

I’m not surprised that I don’t miss it more. The last month, I’ve been pretty ambivalent about smoking. Instead of seeing it as something I do for me — which, could it be the stupidest thing I could’ve done for me? — I’ve realized that I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was tired of building it into my evening. Beside which, it’s not a very smart habit. I think I mentioned that.

I will say I am having some trouble calling it a night without my nightly habit. I’ve been getting to bed at 11 p.m. or after for a week — not counting my crazy weekend — and that doesn’t bode well for my mornings. And I need my mornings, primarily because I need my morning workouts.

The biggest plus is that I get to hang out with Dan when he gets home. I’m not focused on finishing up my chores so I can go outside for a cigarette. Of course, that may be part of the problem. Instead of finishing up my chores, I hang out with him with he comes home, make sure he has something decent to eat, chat about our days. And *then* clean the kitchen.

My children’s bedtimes have become a problem again, too. I spend an hour — an hour! — getting my children to bed. And that’s after the whole bath/book/lullaby/bed routine. M regularly gets out of bed while I’m trying to read to the girls (we’re working on The Magician’s Nephew, Book 1 in the Chronicles of Narnia). He asks for water, he asks for medicine (for his ears), he asks for cars. It’s ridiculous. I have a 3-year-old with bags under his eyes because he’s not falling asleep until 9:30 p.m. Flora, of course, insists on reading herself to sleep. Kate’s the only one who regularly passes out, and I’m pretty sure that’s just because she’s spent the evening Expending! All! Her! Energy!

Anyhoo, there are a couple of things I am trying to create that nightly nightcap. One is a cocktail, something fun and different, something to try with my husband. I bought him a bottle of green chartreuse for his birthday (yesterday), and I need a couple other little things so I can fool around with mixed drinks a little. (Mom, don’t worry, I’m talking about one cocktail after the children are in bed.) I’ve been directed to a great website (h/t @thejqs) and a book that I am going to put on my Kindle (h/t @unclecrappy and @thejqs).

I am also thinking about trying to keep my nails polished. I polished them over the weekend — because wedding reception! — and I liked the way they looked. M, on the other hand, disliked it immensely that my nails were a deep sparkly red. He declared them icky. Although he did ask later if I could make my nails blue. I told him I could. His response, “Let’s do that, then.”

Finally, I may just try to dig my knitting stuff out of M’s closet, and relearn that. I bet I could knit a pair of socks in an evening! (h/t @katrinaravioli)

What do you do to keep your hands from being idle?

Forty Days and Forever

It’s finally time for me to quit smoking. I’m using Lent as the stopping point. It feels natural to me. I have to give up something for Lent, and I have to quit my one-cigarette a day habit.

So. Here goes.

I know I can quit. It’s just a matter of getting through the physical addition. Mentally, I’m finally ready to stop making excuses (“It’s just one cigarette!” “I don’t smoke every night!” “I need something to help me relax!”)

I am a relatively intelligent person. Smoking cigarettes is not an intelligent thing to do.

With the extremely cold weather, I had already kicked the “end of every day” habit. I didn’t want to go outside in negative wind chills — or even temperatures under 30 degrees — to smoke. So I have been skipping one, two, three days. But then I would find myself looking ahead at the temperatures to see if it would be warm enough for me to smoke.

That was a big red flag. Like, I was planning it. “I can smoke again on Thursday because it’s going to be 25 degrees. That’s warm enough!”

Yeah. Problematic.

I also have to admit: Smoking doesn’t make my stress go away. The stress is there all the time. Smoking was a way to avoid it, say, “I’m not going to deal with today any more.” I can find something else to transition into the end of day, to bed. I don’t need a cigarette to read a book.

Speaking of reading, I am also going to try to read a little bit of the Bible each night. I think I’m going to start with the letters of John.

Are you doing anything for Lent? What’s your favorite fish fry?