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Good-bye, smoking. It’s been real. I am so over you. This time I mean it. I’ve tried to quit you before. This time, I’m serious. I’m done.

Well, my body is. My lungs hurt. My heart beats too quickly. My family is tired of smelling you. Let’s face it, you stink. You make me a pariah.

You wanna’ know the worst part? Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. And they know it’s bad for me too. Which makes them smug when I light up. Like that Willy Wonka meme. Or Sally in When Harry Met Sally after the orgasm scene. (Look it up.) And I hate smug people like I hate when the girl at Wendy’s insists she gave me a Diet Coke even though I just tasted it and you totally gave me a Coke but I’m not blaming you it’s just I am a frikken Diet Coke connoisseur I drink twelve a day I know the difference. It’s annoying. 

I am a little on edge. I just quit smoking. 

But I can’t lie…

I’ll remember you fondly. You made me look way cooler in my head at parties in college. (I mean, I couldn’t spend all my time grinding to Ginuwine and mainlining Skol vodka — I had to go out for a smoke break.) 

Ten years and roughly 5 million Marlboro Lights later I noted the irony of going out “for fresh air” to smoke a cigarette. But there’s something that smoking cigarettes has given me that I have had a hard time giving myself — a break. It’s called a smoke break. As a smoker I have had a legitimate reason to duck out of just about anything (except webinars – it’s uncanny how many webinars I get dragged into – I think I’m using the law of attraction wrong maybe?). As a smoker, I had permission to leave the room, quit a conversation, hide from children and annoying adults, excuse myself from just about any networking (gag) or chit chat session (I’m an introvert), and just, really, breathe…

So the next adventure is to find ways to give myself the breaks I so clearly need and which smoking provided. I’m not going to start a lengthy meditation practice or anything — I don’t want to slap anything overwhelming on top of quitting smoking. Instead, I’m going to take my smoke breaks sans cigarettes. Go outside. Breathe…

If it seems like I’m gone too long, I’m probably out on the porch, surrounded by empty wine bottles, Dorito crumbs, and no less than 7,000 sugarless gum wrappers. 

xoxo, Shannon 

p.s. This is really hard.