There are certain milestones in life that we all celebrate. Some special dates roll around each year and we all try desperately to remember each other’s birthdays and other such occasions.
Now you may think that this post is a subtle brag that I have actually remembered our wedding anniversary but how wrong you would be. We have a long time until I have to worry about that and I have the strange advantage of numerous reminders as the date gets ever closer. This is the only bonus of getting married on 9/11 I guess.
The anniversary I’m talking about does involve my beautiful wife Sarah but it is not wedding related. Amazingly, it is a year to the day that we both smoked out last cigarette and looked forward to a far healthier and wealthier lifestyle.
Now I’ll be the first to admit, this is a post I never thought I would write but I am so glad that I can now do so. Sarah and I were both heavy smokers for over twenty years but this was not the only issue for me regarding quitting.
I have always been liable to addiction, or perhaps compulsive habits depending on your opinion. My days are each a predictable routine which i find near impossible to break, even to this day. I will drink four pints of water today, two cans of energy drink and four small cans of beer tonight. I’ll wake up and go to bed at the same time regardless of how tired I feel and spend the same exact time playing games. I did the same yesterday and will do the same tomorrow.
For me, the biggest and most daunting challenge of quitting smoking was always going to be breaking routines rather than the actual physical addiction to nicotine. I think it is fair to say that Sarah felt the same.
The reality is that years ago we would have had zero chance of success but life changes pretty fast. Becoming parents and watching our baby grow up was the push we needed to make us quit. My motivation at the time was based around wanting nothing more than to be an amazing Dad for our Son, Robbie.
As older parents (Sorry Sarah) we perhaps have a little more need to look after ourselves in order to be there for Robbie for as long as we can. I know that I was determined to ensure that I can still run around and play with him as he grows up and many activities will become more physically daunting. Robbie is highly energetic at best and hyperactive at worst and somehow Dad is at the opposite end of the scale. Though I love spending my days running, jumping and dancing with him now it is most certainly exhausting. Even smoke free, the prospect of playing football with him when he is fifteen and I’m in my fifties scares the hell out of me!
I have no doubt that quitting has given me a bit of a stamina boost among the many benefits I feel a year on. My quite disgusting morning cough has gone too, along with the yellow fingers and smokey smell. It may be a little lie to say I feel healthier than ever but the benefits from quitting are clear.
It is not just physically that things have changed. We have finally managed to get ourselves on the right track financially, a near miracle given the current climate. As mentioned earlier we were both heavy smokers getting through a box each every day. In other, slightly scary, words we were lighting up £20 a day. £140 a week. £600 a month. £7200 per year… for 20 years. That is incredible numbers and I have little doubt the cost of smoking has increased further since we stopped too.
The truth is that we were both once young free and single in a galaxy far, far away. Life changes all too quickly and becoming a Dad put everything else into perspective. I still have pretty much all of my other little addictions, routines and quirks and maybe it is about time I started to face those demons too. I guess if I can quit smoking I can quit anything?
For now though I’m just happy to proudly say we did it and know we are doing all we can to ensure that Robbie can continue to wear us into the ground on a daily basis. He’s worth it. Honest.
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