So we found out that the challenge didn’t work. No surprise there. Let me tell you what does work: the combination of quitting smoking, the kids being home all day because school is out, and moving.
One might think that would sound like a recipe for disaster – short fuses and an unsuccessful attempt to quit a bad habit. One might not be completely wrong in many situations. However, it feels so right, here and now.
Like I said in my previous post, I am looking forward to (and intimidated by) the opportunity to start over fresh in our new house. We all get to start over! Except, here’s the thing: It’s not magically going to work that way once we cross our new threshold. It’s not like, miraculously, everything we wish we were doing and everything we say we’re going to do is going to happen without effort. No, it’s going to take practice. It’s going to take the creation of new habits to replace the old. It’s going to take a gradual familiarization with the new territory. In other words, it’s going to take some work.
The Missus and I bought a book – not the most compelling read, as it’s a bit pedantic and preachy sometimes, but an awesome book nonetheless. It’s called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Non-Smokers Using Allen Carr’s Easyway Method. This book has helped me to look at the desire to smoke in much a similar way to how I look at mosquito bites – annoying, itchy, but if I leave them alone, they’ll go away. And when the urge gets to be so that I can’t find any distraction, if I find myself in the midst of a project I can’t leave until it’s finished, well then, the urge will usually pass.
Yesterday, that project was my daughter’s room. J.J. and I worked together for hours – cleaning her floor, sorting her books, packing her toys and winter clothes. She has a lot of stuff. I mean, really, what child needs that much stuff? But she did opt to pack most of it away for after the move, or even some things to give away altogether. And when she wasn’t looking, Mom tossed the age-inappropriate toys with missing pieces and jagged edges.
Today, we made Too-Much-Awesome Muffins. Muffins with blueberry and chocolate inside them, and they were indeed full of Too Much Awesome. The nice thing about those muffins, though, is that they take time to make, and distract me from wanting that first cigarette of the day. And I get some productive time with the kiddos, teaching them the finer points of baking: “Don’t over-mix the batter!”
This afternoon, B.R.’s room is going to receive the same treatment as his sister’s, and more boxes will be packed. There’s been an awful lot of talk about animals, the environment, and building, so maybe we’ll think about some projects we can do. Or we’ll figure out how to make our own “I Spy” book (J.J.’s idea, and I’m so excited!). In any case, there’s plenty to do, and I have all the time in the world to do it all!
Who says summer has to be lazy?