Day One. Again. Trying again to give up smoking. Quitting is always exciting -- Can I do it this time?; scary--how much is this going to hurt?
Because it does hurt. The addicts out there know what I'm talking about. Not so much the physical pain but the spiritual/psychological pain of saying goodbye to the truest, most loyal, ever-present, nonjudgmental Friend. With me through thick and thin, every step of the way, never breaking a promise, never too busy to come to my aid.
Who else do I know like that? No one.
But we have a new president coming in. A recently reformed smoker according to reports. That is an inspiration. And not just any new president: the first openly mixed-race president in American history. This is so big it will probably take me another week or two to find the words to blog about it. As the mother of a beautiful, charismatic mixed race man, I've been waiting a long time for a high profile mixed race American to be openly so.
And things are turning up, up, up for me: potential students continue to respond to my Craigslist ad and sprinkling of flyers stapled to utility poles around town and tacked to coffeehouse bulletin boards. I'm averaging a new inquiry every 72 hours and slowly building a studio of committed students.
And yesterday I started a new part-time job in a building they call the Energy Center (whoa! how's that for inspiration!) in the Central Business District (CBD). A high-paying part-time job and you can't find a lot of those in New Orleans these days.
So an impressive number of things are looking up in my life and I'm feeling pretty positive and strong. They say there's never a good time to quit (you can always find an excuse) but maybe I've stumbled into the ever-evasive "good time to quit." I wonder how Obama's doing. I can't imagine quitting on my way to becoming leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Can it be done?
But I've quit before so I know how it goes: all the feelings and fears and regrets that the smoke helped cover will begin to surface by Saturday (Day Three is always the hardest for me). And there's no shortcut or escape through or away from the process. It goes like it goes. The success of my quit rests on my ability to hang on.
So. OK. Here goes...