Smoking was ‘cool’ in the 70’s when I first picked up the habit. There was nothing I didn’t love about smoking back then. It seemed to curb my appetite which helped me control my weight, it seemed to tone down my nerves before making a formal presentation, it tasted good, it gave me something to do with my hands in uncomfortable social situations, all the cool people in the movies smoked. What’s not to like?
When my son was in elementary school, he was introduced to Nancy Reagan’s ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ campaign and the dangers of indirect smoke inhalation for children of adult smokers. A direct quote from him one day when he came home from school that I will never forget: “Mommy, I wish you wouldn’t do drugs.” I’m heartbroken to this day that this was not enough to push me to stop smoking. I was a horrible mother and I hated myself for it. I’m not sure I’ve forgiven myself to this day. I’m at a loss to explain why I did not quit at that point. Chalk it up to addiction and a rebellious youthful denial that I was hurting anything or anyone. To me, it was yet another thing someone was using to try to control me, just like having to wear a seatbelt in my car. Oh, how angry it all made me. It was my life, and I would decide what to do with it. Period. How childish and selfish it sounds in retrospect!
Finally, when I was 50 years old, my husband and I purchased Chantix from our family doctor and proceeded to make our first real attempt to quit smoking. We did quit for about a year, but returned to smoking, perhaps even more cigarettes a day than before. Hmm. Two years later, we purchased Chantix a second time, this time, determined to make it work. And it did. We’ve now been smoke-free for 3 years and feeling like we can conquer any challenge. Wow. That was likely one of the hardest things I’ll do in my lifetime. I still want a cigarette all the time. I mean I really want one every day. What I don’t want is to smoke again. Not sure I can explain that, but even though my body wants a cigarette, I don’t believe I will ever go back to it. I don’t want to smoke. There’s just a little niggle of worry in the back of my mind because I know I could stop at a gas station anywhere and just pick up a pack. Man. That sure would taste good.
Hearts and Scars: 10 Human Stories of Addiction
Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery
I Quit!: Stop Pretending Everything Is Fine and Change Your Life
A few of my previous posts have mentioned my love of a good ‘project.’ Here’s the current list of projects I’m working on. Just thinking about these makes me happy.
- Pallets: My husband and I found three old and discarded wood pallets on a recent walk through the countryside, and dared to return after-the-fact with a pick-up truck! We cleaned up the pallets and are putting them to good use. The first one, I painted to look like a U.S. flag. I love it and it’s leaning against a post in my front yard as a decoration. The second, I just painted a single color and screwed in six large hooks from the local hardware store. I then also purchased a set of large frisbee rings and we have a fabulous toss-and-hook game for the grandkids. They love it! The third is waiting in the wings for a final decision on what to do with it – currently is painted red, and waiting for inspiration.
- Flowers: I am experimenting with flowers that will grow well in my yard’s soil. In one corner, there is a wisteria vine. I’m not sure if this will grow, but it is beginning to get small green leaves and am so excited to see if it will grow over my storage shed, and if it will actually bloom! We’ve planted four crepe myrtle trees around the border of our lot. Three of these are doing well, although it would be nice if they would grow faster. The fourth is still looking healthy, but am worrying because it definitely is only about a third of the size of the others. There is a white rose vine growing up one large post in my front yard. It has surprised me with how quickly it’s grown and how beautiful it is. My husband recently saw an advertisement for a multi-colored rose that he encouraged me to try. It’s definitely an experiment because I’ve read some negative comments online, saying this is a hoax and doesn’t work. When we ordered the seeds, the instructions were to soak for 24 hours, then plant in wet sand until germination, then re-plant in a permanent location. The seeds are currently in sand, waiting…we will see. The end result is supposed to be a bush of roses that are a bunch of different colors all on the same flower.
- Herbs: In an old metal tub, I’ve planted cilantro and basil. These are growing like wildfire and I’m already using them as I cook different dishes. Yum! I love, love, love fresh herbs.
- Decorating: I’m just a decorating maniac, ‘nuff said. Every opportunity, I’m doing what I can to make things prettier. We have three RV’s now, and I’m decorating each with a different theme. One is our Lake Home. One is our Cabin Retreat. One is our Beach House. All three are a work in progress, but just so much fun, fun, fun!
- Re-purposing: I love to use old things in new ways. We recently visited my stepson’s house to help him with trimming up the trees in his yard. Under the limbs of one very large tree, we found an old fence post. He immediately pointed to me and asked if I had any bright ideas on re-purposing it. I took it home and have given it a rustic coat of paint. My next step is to take an extra bird house I’ve been holding on to and attach it to the top of the fence post. I’ll then look to the hubby to help me set it into the ground next to one of our large bushes out front. Cool.
- Family pictures: One of my projects is to take all of our family pictures that are currently in about 200 picture albums, and put them onto a digital storage media. This will take some time, but I’ve made my way through scanning two boxes out of a whole closet full. My son currently is storing all of these pictures for me in his upstairs bedroom closet. We’ll both feel better when I get those boxes out of there! I see many future family get-togethers with slide shows going on in the corner. Again, so much fun getting caught up in old times.
- Will and end-of-life arrangements: While this one isn’t so much fun, this is something I’ve wanted to get to for many years and just haven’t found the time. I’ve met with an attorney and we now have our last will and testament tucked away into a safe deposit box at the bank. The hardest part of this was to identify our executor(s) and just thinking through everything we could do now to make it easier if and when my husband and I pass away. So very hard to do, but am continuing through additional arrangements as I’m able. Feels so good to have this one at least partially under my belt, so to speak.
- Firewood: My husband is addicted to campfires. He is always picking up wood whenever and wherever he can because he knows he’ll use it in a fire before long. My problem has been around where in the world to put all of this wood! I’ve come up with stacking the wood in L shapes in the four corners of our lot, delineating our property lines. So far, this has worked great. My favorite is the corner where a peach-colored rose bush is enclosed within the heart of the L. So very pretty, and right outside the window where I’m sitting and writing this post.
- Crocheting: When I was very young, I learned to crochet, but have lost memory of a lot of the stitches over time. I’ve recently picked up some blanket yarn and a crochet hook and am working on making a blanket/throw. This has been something of a challenge for me, but is becoming more and more fun as I make progress. I can’t wait for it to be done so it can become a part of my Beach House themed RV workover – the soft country blue should fit pretty perfectly.
- Finances in electronic form: My husband and I are preparing, when he joins me in retirement shortly, to spend a good bit of our time traveling. Therefore, one of my priorities has become dealing with a need to receive our bills and financial paperwork in electronic form rather than through the USPS. This is so much more time-consuming than I ever would have thought, but I am now thinking of it as a project, and am loving having the time to clean everything up, saving a tree or two in the process. Such a sense of achievement!
Can you see why I’m not bored? I love, love, love a good project! Oh yeah, and I forgot my actual favorite — I created and am now managing my POA’s website. Love!
Vintage Seashell Coat Hook Hanger by Comfify | Rustic Cast Iron Wall Hanger w/ 4 Decorative Hooks | Includes Screws and Anchors | in Rust Brown | (Seashell Wall Hanger CA-1507-04)
Cozy Cabin Birch Bear 20″x44″ Nonskid (Non Slip) Cute Lodge Kitchen Mat Rug
Ohio Wholesale Stays at the Lake Sign
I recently read a piece on the Abraham-Hicks teachings and came across a concept that brought tears to my eyes. This resonated very personally for me. These general ideas can be found at this link if you’re curious: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/teachings_brief.php .
Many of us are taught that we need to work for the opposite of what comes naturally. Work hard. Try to be the best. Stay productive. Get yours or someone else will get it before you. All of these rules imply that life should be a struggle and that we should put our nose to the grindstone and try to be that something we have not yet become.
In contrast, Abraham-Hicks suggests we should simply “go downstream” rather than constantly struggling to row our boat upstream. Do what comes naturally. This is your gift. Grab it and share it with the world. This is the purpose and meaning of life, after all.
Wow. Did I get it so terribly wrong for all of those years? Maybe I have, for many years, gone very far overboard in trying to achieve some form of continuous learning and growth. Perhaps I have been far too hard on myself, trying to learn and like the things I simply do not like and never will like, just because someone else thought I should. And maybe, just maybe, it’s ok to have no interest in those things? The tears in my eyes are telling me this is worth some fair consideration.
Perhaps there is a happy medium to be found in leaning into our natural selves and choosing those ‘growth items’ that support that, rather than reaching for things that may bring happiness and joy to someone else but not necessarily to me. I am, indeed, a work in progress, good, bad, or indifferent.
“The basis of your life is freedom. The purpose of your life is joy.”
The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham
I’m OK–You’re OK
Living Joyfully Free: Devotional (Finding freedom, hope, and joy in the journey Book 1)
When was the last time you did something you’ve never done before? I’m a big proponent of just stepping out there and doing it whenever you can! Here’s an example.
Ziplining at New York, Texas. You can check this out at www.goziptexas.com. Wow, this was great fun. They give you a short training class before you go on the actual zipline, so there should be no worries. If you can, just relax and follow instructions and it will be fabulous. They’re very careful and take great care of you. There’s a gift shop and they give you a bottled water for the trip.
There are a number of different ziplines here. You can sign up to zip from one treetop to another, through the whole place. Fabulous. Amazing scenery, and in one place, you zip over a lake from way up in the trees – just an awesome experience!
My words of advice, knowing I’ve done this only a couple of times here and at other places, but don’t tense up. Just let them buckle you into the belt thingy, you sit down into the belt, and just let go. It will hold you and you’ll be happy. Take a chance – it’s liberating!
OFF THE MAP: 25 True Stories to Inspire Your Next Adventure
Poke the Box: When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?
For the larger part of my adult life, I was who I needed to be in order to hold down a job, raise a family, maintain a household. I heard and saw the expectation of the world around me and I met it. I ran, ran, ran through every day of my life. Today, the job no longer has a hold over me, my family has been raised, and the household takes very little effort on my part.
Someone recently asked me “Aren’t you bored?” Wow. My answer is definitely “No.” The difficulty comes when trying to explain why this is the case to someone that has been conditioned by the world to believe that life has to be moving 120 miles an hour with each second filled with a pre-defined task in order to be fulfilling.
Yes, I do need something meaningful to fill my days. After 36 years of a high-speed career, I’m giving myself a minute to re-set and find my direction now that this path is completely up to me. What a new and exciting prospect! As the days pass, I am filling them quietly with any project that comes my way. As I move forward, I trust that what comes naturally will find me and my path will become more defined. Until then, I love nothing more than a good project….and there is always, always one more. I’m overwhelmed by the elemental ‘joy’ that has eluded me until now.
Developing A winner’s Attitude in 7 days: Re-setting your mind so you can win
Don’t Stop Dating Just Because You’re Married: Reignite Your Relationship (Create Buzz in Your Marriage through Dating Your Spouse Book 1)
Smead Project Organizer, 10 Pocket Dividers, Letter Size, Navy/Lake Blue (89200)
Darice 9184-91 Natural Wood Log Cabin Birdhouse, 7.1 -Inch