On the 15th of March, I had only smoked one cigarette. The following 15 days were filled with nervousness, anxiousness, pacing, walks and a general sense that something was missing as I dealt with nicotine leaving my system.
This was not my first experience with quitting smoking. This time around I was smoking 5 packs a week. I cut down to 1 cigarette a day.
One. Some days I didn't have any.
I had to select the time of day very carefully. If I indulged in the morning with my coffee, it was enjoyable, but then I had the rest of the day to think about not smoking. If I told myself I could have one before bed, I could likely get through without having any nicotine at all.
I felt that if I could get myself off the American Spirits there were many other things that would fall into place for me. Whether this was true or if it would be self fulfilling prophecy, I didn't know. Did it really matter?
As I was going through withdrawals, I wasn't sleeping particularly well. When I did sleep I had bad dreams. By Friday the 27th, I was exhausted. I cut my visit short with my kids that night and went home to rest. I was unbelievably grateful that I was able to get a nap.
The following Sunday, I took them to the last day of the local renaissance faire. My children were 3rd generation faire goers and this was our 3rd trek to this particular one. These trips were bittersweet for me. Scott and I had gone to a lot of faires a lot of time with a lot of friends and I had a lot of good memories.
Riding on the big swing with my friends Stephanie, Kathye and Susi, kicking our feet and holding our arms up, turning my face up to the sun and feeling the breeze in my hair while I laughed with my friends. Scott and I smooching on the kissing bridge. Discovering new artists and collecting their work each year. Getting drunk by noon and then laying down in the deep shade by the big pond for a nap. Playing tug of war with thirty other people, no one having any investment in winning. Untying my bodice before getting in the car to go home and taking in a huge breath for the first time in hours. The wonderful feeling of showering off the layer of dust and sweat upon arriving home. Doing it all again the next weekend.
Zoe and Will loved the faire. The one we attended was fairly small, with a large number of stages. This venue was very clear about the fact that they were a family friendly event. This was not a place to get sloppy drunk and publicly make out. (Although that did happen and I found it wonderfully amusing when it did.) They had their favorite shows and performers. They both ended up on stage in at least one show each time we attended. I took photos and posted them to Facebook. The performers thanked me for coming and I'd become Facebook friends with a few of them.
It made me very happy that it was something I could do with them, a place where we could make memories. We always drove through Starbucks before driving there and stopped at Sonic on the way back. They each had their favorite things to do. Zoe liked to throw tomatoes at the insulter. Will liked to run through the kids maze while I timed him. (I did have to put a limit on how many times we could do this since it cost $2 for each run.)
Then it came time to go to the car, get our Sonic snack on and drive them home. Then it was time for me to say goodbye to them again.
I still thought "I'm walking out on my kids." every single time I told them goodbye.
And I went home to get ready to start a new week.