There is probably no new ground to be covered in this, it's just something I needed to put down to try and make sense of a few things. All of what I am thinking has already been covered better by someone else, so I'm not going to re-invent the wheel, here.
Most of my life (so far) has been in the construction business. By the very nature of construction, we are always "working ourself out of a job". We start a project, stay on it for a few months, finish it and go on to the next one. In other words, we're always saying and thinking "What's Next?".
Projects almost always have deadlines and doing the job quicker translates into more money, so the pressure is always on, impatience is the nature of the business. Any wonder why it always seems like the percentage of smokers is higher in this industry? Every thirty minutes, get a crave and satisfy it. Jobsites are hardly ever non-smoking, feeding a habit is seldom a logistical problem, "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em" is the rule, not the exception.
All this leads me to what's on my mind this morning. When I started my quit, subconsciously I'm sure I looked at it like any other project, one with a beginning, a middle and an end. At some point, I should be finished with this and say "What's Next?".
Well, it doesn't work that way. Quitting smoking is like life, it ain't over till it's over. It may be easy for months and then a trigger hit like a bolt out of the blue. The coping skills we learn over the weeks and months of a quit have to be enough to sustain the occasional rough spots, just like life. We learn coping skills for life to help us through the rough spots, too.
The trick to life is not to look for a destination, but to enjoy the trip. Maybe that's the same for a quit. Most of the time life can be pretty good and most of the time a quit can be pretty good. It's our experience and education that gets us through the rough times of life and a quit.
What we all should be looking for in a quit is the same thing we're looking for in life. We need to work hard, then sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. If we work hard in life, we can enjoy retirement. If we work hard at our quit, we will eventually get to the point of almost total comfort forever.
If we're always asking "Whats next?" in life, we never take time to smell the roses. If we're always asking that of a quit, we're never going to be comfortable. If we celebrate a Bronze milestone and then ask "What's Next?" the answer should be "Three Months and One Day!" Same with Silver and Gold. Six months quit is great, but what's even better is six months and one day.
I know this has turned into a bit of a ramble and a lot of navel contemplating, but like I said, just wanted to sort out some thoughts. Hopefully it'll help some other struggler in this journey who's still taking things "One Day At A Time".
I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Months 5 Days 10 Hours 32 Minutes 8 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 3375. Money saved: $464.11.