Wednesday, January 19, 2011

E for Exciting News!

Some cool numbers:

18: The number of days I haven’t had a cigarette—not even a puff. (As of 10 o’clock tonight.)
270: The number of cigarettes I haven’t smoked in those almost 18 days. (GROSS!)
81: Dollars I’ve saved by not purchasing cigarettes.

I’d like to tell you that I feel super amazing and that quitting smoking has changed my life, lovely reader, but so far it really hasn’t. I’ve been incredibly, overwhelmingly, unbelievably exhausted. Like zero energy. Like I’m amazed I even make it to work and make it through the work day.

Combine that with a new semester starting (one in which I’m taking three classes) and the usual busyness of acclimating myself to a new homework and work schedule, and you have a recipe for a very bad blogger. I haven’t started the new year off well at all. I know that. I hope to change that. I appreciate the half dozen of you who remain faithful readers despite my sporadic posting and broken promises.

Now, don’t let that first paragraph up there fool you. I don’t regret the quitting smoking. Not one single bit. I’m glad I’m no longer slowly killing myself with those little death sticks. I just wish that the amazing health benefits you hear about (like a boost in energy) would kick in sooner. I know that my body is detoxing right now—getting rid of all of the garbage and chemicals I’ve abused it with for around 14 years. In addition to that, my brain is working on rewiring itself—getting rid of old habits and associations I no longer need as a nonsmoker. I understand that this is a process.

I’ve quit smoking before. My longest quit was a few years and my shortest was about three months. Each quit attempt has taught me something about myself and quitting smoking. I’ve learned that quitting smoking is only as hard as you make it. This time around, I chose to use the cold turkey method. I decided that if I was going to quit smoking, then I just wanted to be done.

There really was no fanfare, I didn’t have a big plan, and there was no grandiose “final cigarette.” I smoked my last cigarette at 10 pm on January 1, standing in the garage with MusicMan as per usual. After I was finished, I decided I wasn’t going to buy anymore cigarettes. And, with that, I was just done.

Apparently I was more ready to quit than I would’ve thought, because unlike some previous quits, this one hasn’t been so tough. I’ve had my moments, here and there, where I swear the whole world is doing its best to thoroughly piss me off. But, overall, I feel good about this decision. I feel committed to being a nonsmoker.

Of course, it helps that I now seem to be incredibly allergic to cigarette smoke. One little whiff, and I’m in sinus hell. I cannot believe how badly I used to stink when I smoked! I am absolutely positively embarrassed over how awful I used to smell. To think, I actually thought certain people didn’t know that I smoked. Yeah right!! There’s just no hiding it!

I really want this quit to be the one that sticks and I’m feeling way more committed to joining the ranks of nonsmokers than I ever have in the past. That’s part of the reason I’m telling all of you about it. The more people who know, the more I feel I’m being held accountable. That strength and accountability will be helpful in future moments of weakness.

In other news, classes are going pretty well. I have two online classes, Philosophy of Religion and Biology of Women, and one traditional class, Human Biology Lab. It looks like I should be able to juggle all three this semester. I am a little worried about the homework load as the pace picks up though. I have a few large papers to write for Philosophy of Religion and the second half of the semester for the Human Biology Lab involves writing up lab reports, so it would appear there is a lot of writing in my future.

I also have to get moving on writing my admissions essay for acceptance into The College of St. Scholastica’s Social Work Program. I received word yesterday that I have officially been accepted as a student at the college, and I’m super thrilled! If all goes according to plan, and my wish comes true and I’m accepted into the social work program, I will start my bachelor’s degree in September! How exciting is that?!

While I’m bragging updating you all on recent events, I also have to mention that I was honored with a very special invitation last week. On Friday, I received an email informing me that I had met all requirements of eligibility to become a member of my college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. The email invited me to join my school’s chapter of PTK, which I gladly accepted.

Not only will this incredible honor look good on resumes, but PTK has scholarship programs available to its members. This could be incredibly helpful for me, because I currently am not eligible for financial aid (MusicMan and I allegedly make too much money.), which means I’m financing my education with loans and paying out-of-pocket.

I’m hoping my PTK membership will give me a competitive edge as I apply for acceptance into St. Scholastica’s Social Work Program. It’s a competitive program; only about 25 students are accepted each fall, and I’m hoping to be one of Fall 2011’s 25 students. Wish me luck, lovely reader!!
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