On December 31, at 11:45, I will be one year free of cigarettes. There was one evening I had one in my hand, back at the beginning of May I believe, but I never lit it and never would consider it. I think at that point it was nice to know that I could put one in my hand, look at it, (with a lighter in my pocket as I still need something for incense, candles and such) and just know that I was done with it.
There were certainly points of time during the past year that I noticed the space left open by not smoking, but the space was the reward. The space of not needing to stop what I was doing at any given time to take a break and go smoke. If you are a 10 cigarette a day smoker, that adds up to 100 minutes or more a day. And what can one do with 100 minutes in a day? Granted, there are things that one can do while smoking, but considering I never smoked in my house or around my kids, the act of smoking was always something that required time "away" from whatever I was doing.
As I look at what I have gained from a year away from the habit, the one thing that sticks out over everything else is how well I handle the cold temperatures. It can be 30 degrees outside and I'm completely fine to take a walk in it. My circulation has improved drastically. Last year I could barely keep my toes warm in two pairs of socks. I don't mind the colder weather. In fact, as soon as I'm finished writing this post, I'm heading outside to take a walk and move my body.
I now have a five-year plan that I'm working on and the next step I need to take towards this is a break from social media. I admit that there are things that I love about facebook. I love that I can easily keep in touch with friends across the country in one space. I love that people share pieces of their lives and photographs of the places they live and visit, and I love to share those things myself. But if I'm saving 100 minutes a day by not smoking, I am probably spending more time than that scrolling through my newsfeed multiple times a day. And for what?
I'm done watching it. For a while at least.
My word for 2016 was Movement. And it definitely guided me in many ways. I'm pretty sure that "Embody" is going to be my guiding word for 2017 and I think it goes without saying that practicing what I preach is where I need to begin. And if you want to find me, this is where I will be when the time allows. Stay tuned. Good things to come!