What's Next?

What's Next?

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

23 Jul 2002, 21:52 #1

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.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Jul 2002, 21:57 #2

Image I have nothing I need to add. When is the last time you saw that happen. Image

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Jul 2002, 21:59 #3

Okay...I'll add one more thing. If you want to make today as successful as yesterday was always stay focused as to why you initially committed to never take another puff!

Last edited by Joel on 03 Dec 2013, 14:13, edited 1 time in total.

Guy (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 Jul 2002, 22:11 #4

Thats unbelieveable Joel that you have nothing to add!!LOL!!!

Parker GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 Jul 2002, 22:27 #5

Excellent navel-gazing! And you are absolutely right...it is about a process not an event. I have been learning about that in my Al-anon groups. In Al-anon you hear about taking care of yourself and letting other people make their own decisions - good or bad. It's about learning how to relate to people in the healthiest ways possible. But, you don't ever graduate. There is no diploma.

Same thing with learning how to live without nicotine. There are milestones. I am making progress. The comfort level will grow. But, Joel is never going to hand me a certificate that says..."Congratulations. Your struggle is over. You can relax now. There is no chance you will ever smoke again." I know I can always blow this quit - anytime. I've read too many of Joel's stories of people who have given up quits of 10, 15, or 20 years. I don't get to graduate from this. The only way I will remain smoke-free for the rest of my life is by doing one day at a time. Hope that doesn't sound sad or hard or discouraging, because it doesn't feel that way to me. It is the reality of being in recovery. And there is so much joy in that process.

Thanks for your thoughts...

Best wishes from YQS,
6 weeks and 4 days of healing

Roger (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

23 Jul 2002, 22:37 #6

I like the post. I understand where you are coming from as I manage construction projects for a living. Lot of smokers around my jobsites. In your post you made reference to life.....
The trick to life is not to look for a destination, but to enjoy the trip.
I agree with your above statement. I have at times put in my posts something similar. It goes like this.
Success Is a Journey, Not A Destination.
I have always felt that quote pertains to our journey through life, whatever we do or wherever that leads us.
Today looking back almost 7 months, my journey through life led me to the gates of Freedom and beyond. My initial purpose was to take back my life from years of substance abuse leading to physical and psychological slavery to nicotine. As I journey through Freedom I find my purpose shifting from a dependency to choice, instead of taking, I am giving freely my time in hopes of showing others how they too can take back the life they were robbed of many years ago so they too can be succcessful if they choose to be and make the rest of their journey a more comfortable one by finding their freedom. Savor your journey Dave, where ever it leads you too.
Good Post Dave

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Jul 2002, 22:52 #7

One of my concerns over the past few months has been with the expectations that the color milestones seemed to bring with them but it's much like a birthday - some serious celebration but otherwise probably little noticible difference from yesterday or tomorrow.

In the original scheme of things I'd selected "RED" to be symbolic of the week one experience. It didn't take too long for even this simple mind to realize that red brought with it lots of negative expectations baggage. The color clubs are a lot of fun and after we decided to discontinued an extremely labor intensive (late into each night) method whereby the managers keot track of each member's daily posts and their exact quit status, Joanne came up with the idea of displaying our status behind each member's posting names. It was a fantastic idea! Not only does it allow new members to see who they're communicating with but it allowed Freedom's graduates, many with very limited posting time each day, to quickly hone in on the posts of newer members who may not yet have developed the knowledge and insights needed to go the distance.

Regardless of where we each are in this period of adjustment from active smoker to comfortable ex-smoker, one truth remains constant throughout. We owe today's freedom to remaining nicotine clean today. As long as we each don't use nicotine today, we'll always know what's not next - captivity! Great insights Dave! John : )

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

23 Jul 2002, 23:24 #8

Hey Hillbilly:

Yes Projects have deadlines and there is always impatience on the job for sure. My husband is an electrician and he works with construction and contractors and deadlines all the time. Fortunately for him, he never smoked and never will smoke which has made my quit a little bit easier. But he has told me many stories about the guys he does work with that have and do smoke now. One cigarette after the other and how some of them have struggled to quit and how two of them who were relatively young have had heart attacks... one was only 40 years old.

And yes you are right about looking at a project with a beginnng, middle and end....Why get stressed over it... Weather you smoke or you don't smoke, things are not going to change. Your job is not going to change. And it's good now that you can look at it and say "What's Next", instead of worrying about where and when the next job was going to be....

Nicotine only adds a problem on top of a problem and when you sort it out like you have done here, you realize that there Really is No problem. You have quit smoking and you have handled your job well....

So Keep up the Good Work here and You will Go a Long Way......


13 weeks+

improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

24 Jul 2002, 23:14 #9

Image Lots to think about Image Thanks for the post Joel I knew you'd come up with some of your wise wisdom Image
Last edited by improud (golder) on 20 Mar 2009, 00:44, edited 1 time in total.

Lilac (Bronze)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

08 Aug 2002, 22:50 #10

That ain't no ramble, good Hillbilly, that's a small masterpiece.