Jul 282008

Wow!  It’s been a really great summer.  I suppose I should say it was a really great summer, ’cause mine’s over now.  It started early (with the trip to Hard Rock Park’s opening in May) so I suppose it’s only fair that it end early as well. Tomorrow Z boards a plane to visit my mother for two weeks, then she starts school about a week after returning.

Not only did Z and I have some amazing experiences this summer, but we really grew closer as well.  We have better conversations and understand each other better than we did in the past.  We’re closer and I’m actually feeling like a father.  I like to think that she is actually seeing me as a parent as well, but we’ll have to see what effect school has on that.

Unfortunately, I kind of ated like a school kid myself and took most of the summer off from my (non-parenting) responsibilities.   Oh, I still worked my day job (or got days covered so I could vacation), but I’ve hardly blogged at all and all of my online revenue streams have been largely ignored.  It’s not like I didn’t notice.  My flagging bank balance made itself evident repeatedly, I just couldn’t get motivated to do anything but plan my next adventure with Z or relive our last one in my brain.

My online empire really started to fall apart in the spring when Z was away and I entered a pretty serious bout of depression.  But I’m hoping to reverse that trend completely this time around and use her time away to get my virtual house back in order.  But it’s notjust the internet stuff that fell off this summer.  After losing successfully quitting smoking and losing roughly 20 pounds back in May I’m now heavier than I was in January and back to a pack a day.  Both of these need to be remedied.

Summer wasn’t a total disaster for my long term goals, however.  I did manage to complete my California CoasterQuest!  Now I just need to get around to writing the posts of all the great adventures we had doing so.

May 012008

Last night (Wednesday) I straight up forgot to put on my new patch. I remembered after I was already in bed, but decided that getting up to change my patch wouldn’t be any better than getting up to have a cigarette. This morning I woke up without the desire to smoke. Around 11am my arm started to itch and I suddenly realized I was stil wearing yesterday’s patch so I removed it and threw it away.

This afternoon I went through my normal routine of picking up Z frmo school nictonie and urge free. I was so proud of myself, but it was obviously too soon. After dinner Z really started driving me crazy. Nicotine withdrawal? Bratty child? We’ll never know for sure. After a couple hours of it I really wanted a cigarette, but I put on a fresh patch instead. Finally, trapped in the same room with her while she drove me insane (seemingly intentionally) I snapped and went downstairs for a smoke.

Lighting it wasn’t very satisfying and I just ended up standing on the back porch holding it while it burned down. So, I got cocky and screwed up after 11 solid days without tobacco. But I did learn something – I’m perfectly capable of escaping a situation without having a cigarette. So that’s my silver lining. Oh, and I also learned that I may not be as ‘former’ a smoker as I thought. Still got 5 solid days until I need to be smoke free, though, so I think I’m doing alright.

Apr 302008

Despite all of the “common wisdom” out there that says people gain weight when they quit smoking I decided to reisk my forward (or is that downward?) momentum on my weight loss goal by quitting smoking as well. It’s now been 10 days without a cigarette (wow! I actually had to look that up 😀 ) and in that time I’ve lost another 6 pounds! WooHoo!

Yep, I’m finally under the 230 mark . Just barely, but I’m under. Considering I decided to lose weight when I was at 250, got stuck at 240, and somehow shot up to 253 a mere five weeks ago, I must say I’m pretty darn pleased with myself. 229 pounds still isn’t even halfway to my target weight, but if I take the stated goal literally (“lose 50 pounds”), then I’ve accomplished that handily 😉

I’m not trying to say that quitting smoking allowed me to lose the weight. I’m sure it’s all the walking and sticking to my Subway diet 5 days a week that has really made the difference. However, I was really expecting to bounce back up once the smokes were gone and I’m glad to say that hasn’t been the case.

Apr 272008

As I type this message I will be passing the one week (7 days / 168 hours / 10080 minutes) mark since I last smoked a cigarette. And all I want to know is where are the benefits?!? Last night Z and I went out for a seafood dinner. Neither my senses of taste nor smell seemed any better then the last time I ate seafood. I walked around today for about an hour and got just as winded coming up the stairs upon my return home as I always do. Hell, X even told me my hair smelled like smoke today! Not to mention that I didn’t get a single bit of congratulations from Z. So what, exactly is the point?

Before y’all start thinking I’m just having a major nic fit allow me to assure you that I am not. The patch has been pumping nicotine into my system 24 hours a day for the same amount of time (technically about an hour longer) that I’ve been tobacco free. And the cravings have all but ended. I’ve faced every single one of my triggers time and time again and not had a cigarette. The very same pack I left in my desk drawer around this time last Sunday night is still sitting there.

And I have seen a few benefits-

  • So far I’ve saved roughly $15 ($5/pack/day*7 days – $20 for nicotine patches)
  • I have a lot more time on my hands since I don’t have to keep stopping what I’m doing to go smoke
  • and… um… well… er….

Okay, so that’s it. $15 a day and maybe 2 extra hours of time. Not much of a benefit for giving up the single thing that’s been in my life longer than any other (barring autonomous functions like breathing). So, once again, I’m doing fine, but where are all the benefits?!?

Apr 232008

I passed the 72 hour mark without smoking a cigarette a few short minutes ago. Overall today was definitely easier than yesterday. But it still had its challenges.

The morning started with the return commute to San Jose to finish getting Rover smogged (I promise to post my rant on this tomorrow), but this time I hit major traffic. After being essentially parked on 101 for about 40 minutes I was incredibly grateful that my remaining smokes were in my desk drawer at home and not in the car. I don’t think I could have held out with them that close. I did have the courage to cut off the freeway and take side streets atthat point, though, braving liquor stores and mini-marts on the way.

Even though I arrived about the same time the tech did yesterday (~8:15) he wasn’t there yet so I was forced to stare at the Camel sign posted in the window of a nearby store for 10 minutes while I waited. Rover passe dhis smog, but it took another 20 minutes, followed by another 40 minute drive home.

Now the apology…

I knew that if I just sat at the computer typing I’d get serious cravings.  Hence, no posts until so late this evening.  Instead, I managed to keep myself busy all day after that – finishing the redo on my room and generally cleaning the house. Then the penultimate Big Brother 9 episode was on and that kept me distracted with Criminal Minds following right behind it. At this point I’m once again in complete control, but the cravings are still making themselves known.

Tomorrow I get to see Z, so that should keep me solid through the weekend. Wish me luck…