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22 April 2005

Cart before the horse

And I'm back again to fix a bad link, so if you haven't seen Knit Club yet, go see that, too (found via Needles and Hooks).

I'm sorry, I have to barge right in with an update.  If you have not been to Ann's for her "Oprah and a Cheesecake" post yet today, then go.  Right now.  I'll wait.  I haven't even finished reading it yet and I had to come back over here to point you over there.  Go now, learn somethin',  then come back.

Dsc04279Dsc04280_1I've had the books on the left forever; well, since the '80s.  More Knitting In Vogue has always seemed a little incomplete -- 'til now!  As of yesterday, I know what precedes the "more"!  Susie has been so supportive of the quit effort and I've been enjoying her blog (go see her daughter's wedding dress, and she's looking for advice about blog hosts).  When she made a recent haul at a thrift store, she looking to give away some of the excess.  I raised my hand.  She sent them out via UPS and I was tracking the package through the new Bloglines package tracking feature (though it never showed as updated, the info was there when I clicked by chance), so I knew they'd be waiting for me when I got home last night.  Nifty.

Dsc04282She also sent the container of espresso beans atop the books -- how did you know that I love those, Susie?  How did you know that my supply is dangerously low??  And look at those cute stitch markers.  Sweet.  Thank you, Susie!

Dsc04281

I was on the phone all night with the twins.  It's the first time I actually talked with my quitter sister since we quit (we usually email daily)!  It was very interesting, as we've both approached it in very different ways.  I'd barely put the phone down when it rang again.  I can't knit and hold a phone in the crook of my neck -- it would lead to traction or at least a neck brace -- so the knitting was put off (way off) last night.  When I finally did sit to knit, I decided to get started on a baby bootie.  Good grief, I barely got started and I was almost finished!  Teeeeny.  Isn't it cute?  I'll knit the partner tonight, then knit another pair with larger needles (bigger bootie) and I'll still have plenty of Kool-aid yarn to knit another bunch o' booties!

Speaking of smoking.  Five weeks.  FIVE WEEKS TODAY!  Can you believe it, Ann?  My sister said to thank you, by the way.  If you had not been my catalyst to quit, I wouldn't have been hers, and we'd still be controlled by stupid cigarettes.

Did I mention that one of the strongest urges I've had to date was after my first knitting class on Saturday?  I had some weird anxiety building up as the date neared -- my first-ever class, concerns about ability, meeting a blogger, being a blogger -- all of that was fine, no one pointed or laughed at me for any reason.  I was able to execute, to some degree, every knitting move that I was asked to do -- with Joyce Williams or Lizbeth Upitis or Lily Chin -- classmates, even -- looking over my shoulder!  It was all extremely enjoyable, but incredibly intense -- learning new things, knitting with other people, looking at the incredible work of others -- when that class let out, I wanted a smoke.  A month earlier, I would have been out the door like a shot, the cigarette lit before the door closed behind me.  I would have been contemplating, relaxing, absorbing, relaxing, going over what I'd learned, relaxing.

It was at that very moment -- that VERY MOMENT -- that Amy Lu (the fellow blogger) asked, "So, how's the quitting smoking going?"  I was in the midst of resisting an urge and I think I told her about it.  Then I think I said, "It's going okaaaaaay."  And then, along with the other Amy, we went out to lunch!

It's Kt's 20th birthday today.  Twenty years ago today, I woke up at a little after 4:00 a.m.  I started writing numbers down on a piece of paper (which I still have):  4:19, 4:25, 4:29, 4:35 -- 5:17, 5:23, 5:30 -- 6:53, 6:57, 7:03, 7:10 -- some of these were written in DH's hand, some of them have numbers following them, signifying duration, I think, and a couple of have the words "very mild" written after them.  There's one line that reads, "Shower 3 or 4."  Yep, it's a record of my contractions.  They pretty much started off at 5 +/- minutes apart and stayed that way all day.  I sent DH to work, and called my doc (the only person I know from Saskatchewan) to see if I should wait and keep my regularly scheduled appointment that day or just come in whenever.  I kept track until 11:24 when I left the motel.  I drove myself -- in a manual transmission Subaru, hitting the clutch between contractions -- the 15 miles to DH's workplace so he could take me to the hospital.  At 10:00 p.m., I finally gave birth to a 6 lb. 10 oz., 20" redhead.  Happy Birthday, Katherine!

It's one of those days, people.  I've got lots more to say.  Most of it is about smoking, though, so I'm going to use that nifty extended entry feature...

I had an email from someone who has been both supportive of my quit and planning one of their own.  She asked how I was doing and if I'd post my progress.  Sometimes I feel like I write about it too much, and sometimes not enough (y'all probably can't wait 'til the birthdays are over and my sister has her baby so I'll stop with the reminiscent birthing/nursing stuff).  Well, here's how I'm feeling as of now -- this is basically my email reply to her.

I walked to the mailbox at work today -- always was a primo smoking time -- and it was okay.  I take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other.  I used to pop a piece of gum or a mint for that walk, but didn't really do that for long.  A man who rents another part of the building was smoking outside his door; he chuckled and told me that he was "on break."  I told him that I quit that break -- five weeks ago.  Five whole weeks.  I can't believe how quickly they've added up!  He asked me what it was like, we talked about triggers a bit, the patch; I told him that one of the best things was having the kids off my back and he said that there are a lot of people on his back about it, too.

When my sister called me the other night, we chatted about the kids, work, her pregnancy, the doula, blah blah blah.  I finally said something about not smoking and she said, "Oh, I was wondering how it was going, but Mom said that you don't want to talk about it!"  Ha.  Mom and I did stuff together those first few weeks when it was so hard, when this very sister pissed me off so badly and made me wish I could buy one cigarette.  Mom would ask me about smoking and I'd all but bark at her.  It was kind of like I didn't mind talking about it, really, but I didn't want to be asked about it -- I'll talk about it on my terms, and don't remind me.  You know?

I'm not going to lie or sugar-coat it.  If it wouldn't be disappointing to so many people who live with me and have supported me, if it wasn't so bad for me, I'd go out on my back porch and light one up right now.  It would probably taste like crap and I'd probably pass out from being so dizzy!  I miss it and I probably will for a long time -- maybe forever -- but that's the way it is.  I don't smoke.

It is easier -- it's not on my mind 24/7 like it used to be.  For a while, it was the first thing I thought of everyday when I woke up.  I never smoked the minute I got up (or in the middle of the night like some people I know) -- I'd never smoke before I had my first cup of coffee, and usually it wasn't until I was actually leaving for work (mid-way through the second cup) that I'd light up for the first time.  It feels really good to be free of that choke-hold and not live my life around when I can have my next cigarette.

Driving home in my car at night is probably the worst time for me on a regular basis, but even that's getting better.  Driving to work isn't as big a deal, but going home -- relaxing, letting my hair down (see a pattern with this relaxing = smoking?) is the strongest trigger and the biggest urge I have to face-down everyday.  It's probably getting easier because I know it's going to happen -- I know that it will come, I know that I won't give in -- and it's like a token appearance now.  "Hi, I'm your urge, I know you don't want to see me, but I can't stop coming and just thought I'd try again" -- all half-hearted like, and weakening.  I don't drive home the same way that I used to and, truth be told, I've "smoked" a straw a few times.  I've bent it or stopped up the end a bit, as suggested in the comments over a month ago, just to have a drag.  It's not the same because I'm not holding it the same way, but I do think it helped.

I inhaled, but I never smoked the whole thing.  ; )

Comments

Congrats Vicki on the five weeks. I often wish my Mum would stop smoking but I don't think she ever will. And I personally don't get bored of reading you birthing reminiscence.

Vicki!

I am an ES also (ex-smoker)! It's been about 20 years since I quit but I would occasionally fall off for a night.
Also, who ever made up the idea that the birthee should get the recognition and presents on the anniversary of the big day! We did all the work and went through all the pain! So with all the money we spend on the birthee on that day, we are still experiencing pain!
Happy "BIRTHER"day! Go buy yourself a present!

What a fun way to remember your beautiful daughter. You and Ann are doing so well. Read Laurie (link on my blog) and her post today about caring for yourself. It might hit a cord with you. It sure did with me.

Congratulations on being smoke-free for so long! And happy birthday to Katie!! I can't believe she's the same age as my boyfriend!

I don't ever get tired of reminisces either. That's the way you learn what makes people tick. It's funny how it doesn't seem to matter how old the children are, you can remember the day of their birth like it was yesterday. It's a good thing we don't remember exactly how painful it was ,though.
Congatulations, non smoker.

5 weeks! So terrific and Happy Birthday to Katie!!

you tell your sister that I have to thank you for helping me to do this. If you hadn't have joined me, I probably would be back to smoking. Vicki my darling - we have saved $190.00 and not smoked 710 cigs!! (isn't that horrifying?!) we have also saved 2 days and 11 hours of our lives ..... hope they are a good, stress free two days! :)

wish you could have been here last night eating cheescake .... we had loads of laughs!

ps. love what you wrote, "Hello, I'm your Urge ..." makes it seem like a pathetic ex-boyfriend who isn't quite getting the message.

You are doing great and I am very proud of you. As I was reading this post it was like a flashback to when I quit smoking. Smoking used to equal relax for me as well. I have found that curling up with a nice hot cup of tea (something special not lipton) and my knitting worked wonders for relaxation.

Wow five weeks! Good for you.... Congratulations! You are doing really wonderful! I know how hard it is but just keep doing it one day at a time like you are now. I was a 2 pack a day smoker and this month was my 5 year anniversay. I saved my stats on my one year anniversary and thought I would show you...

One year, 0 minutes and 0 seconds. 14600 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,752.00. Life saved: 7 weeks, 1 day, 16 hours, 40 minutes

14600 cigarettes? Yuck huh? I no longer worry about ever starting smoking again... I only worry that I quit in time.

Keep up the good work Vicki!

That is the best cheesecake idea I have ever seen. I'm going to have to try it sometime.

Woohoo for you still NOT smoking!!! February 26 was a year for my DH. I love it!!!

Vicki..... way to go on your five weeks!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

Hang in there Vicki. You're well on your way now! What a fantastic idea for the cheesecake! I'll have to remember that to use one of these days. A very Happy Birthday to Katie! I wish I had kept some records of my experiences with Alicia so that I could share them with her now. However, the whole 9 months with her was a very touch and go situation. We lost our first baby who was born about 10 weeks early and developed Highland (sp) Membrane disease and passed away after one day. We were both very apprehensive until we were able to take Alicia home from the hospital and know she was ok. So much of her pre-natal history is just a haze to us. Just remember John changing clothes about 4 times before he took me to the hospital. And they talk about women!!!!! :)

The urge becomes less of a daily ordeal, but it (for me at least) is always still there. Keep telling yourself that you. don't. smoke.

I remember when I got through 9/11 without smoking. I've always gone back to that day and figured if I could make it through that, then I really "didn't smoke"!

Keep going strong.

FIVE weeks?!? WOW! That's great. Totally know what you mean about those urges. They DO start to come half-heartedly after awhile. But they do always come.

Happy Birthday Katie! Have a great day, Mom, with your memories and your first born.

I am so proud of you! I've quit so many times over the years. This last time it was for good. It gets easier, it really does.

Yeah for you! You're kicking butt girl!

Congrats on the 5 weeks! You're doing great! And a happy Birthday to your daughter! :)

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