July 13, 2004

The drive is harder than the meeting

Had an all-day meeting today, which I wish were this all-day meeting, but it wasn't that exciting.

I noticed I didn't think about smoking at all during the meeting. I was engaged in learning, conversation, and a kick-ass lunch with one of those great MEETING salads--blue cheese, grilled chicken, pecans, rasins, baby field greens, and vinagerette dressing. Mmmmm.

On the drive there, though, I missed smoking every mile of 30-mile ride (one way).

I was a big car smoker. Atlanta can challenge you that way.

Now I don't smoke.

Now my car doesn't stink so badly. I suppose that's good.

But I almost fell asleep from the boredom of driving without my fix.

I remember when I quit last time, the biggest gap for me to cross was accepting that it was okay -- that it could be tolerable -- for me to do only ONE thing at a time. When you smoke, you are always doing more than one thing at a time. Every time you light up you are smoking AND thinking, walking, breathing, sitting, talking, pacing, driving, writing, drinking, whatever. Usually you are doing several things at once. That's what stimulants do best--let you multi-task and enjoy the rush of it.

Losing the ability to escape the perplexing LENGTH of a single moment is perhaps my biggest loss in giving up cigarettes.

There must be some joy to be found in those seem-to-last-forever-moments -- another stretch of highway, another commercial, another bill collector, another Zoom episode, another press release, another Web site. There must be something people enjoy about being present inside of those tick-tock-ticks of time. For me, it is extra time to be anxious.

I've got a long way to go, friends.