In the meantime (isn't there always an "in the meantime" to most stories?), this last month I broke my great record and had a smoke. So, yes, you've guessed it...another and another. While I am again struggling to get my feet back under me (because I am still running and farther and faster than ever before) and stop this horse-shit, I am struck with some new revelations that I didn't see coming.
When I go without cigarettes and my little occasional hacky cough goes away, and my complexion clears and my teeth respond to a little whitening I find myself opening to meeting new people and having more great experiences at a deeper level than I had before. The clearing was not just physical it was meta-physical as well. Life came to me, rather than me going toward life. I have become more outgoing in the last few years. I was rewarded here, since not smoking, by life coming to me. It has been the reward of clearing the space within me (clearing my lungs was just the physical reward) to allow the something out there to fill the space. I haven't just met people, I've made friends. I found that I felt more complete, more thankful, more insightful than previously.
Maybe it is all still internal. But, before I lose the headway I feel I've gained I again am setting a fresh determination to finish this year out without a cigarette. Not just a day or three as I have in the last month...but another 245 days or so left to my original goal. I have bigger things to achieve than kicking the butt of this measly problem. It appears though that kicking this butt is a major paving stone to the road I actually meant to be traveling. Having now been on that road for three and a half months I know the side street I've taken is not the road I meant to be on. That other road, the cleaner more direct path, is just up at this intersection...I've got a map now. My turn signal is on. - - - Side note: the easy route is never really that easy after all.