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The dead horse called...

I didn't want to write any more about smoking. But that's really been all that's on my mind. Not smoking affords you a lot of extra time. Time that you can use to think--or write--about smoking. I used to think if only the day had a few extra hours: My floors would be spotless, my laundry clean and folded, each child satisfied from "quality one-on-one" time.

Since I have had enough spare time to figure out just how much time I spent smoking (approximately 2 hours a day, in case you were wondering), my day now has a couple extra hours. Still, my floors are dirty. My laundry is in piles and hampers. I have eaten nearly all the kids' Halloween candy. But since I did it while they were at school, I don't think that counts as quality time.

However, I have analyzed a lot of things, made a lot of lists, and followed lots of scents around the house with my newly discovered bloodhound sense of smell. My mom told me, "That's why people gain weight when they quit smoking, because they can smell so much better." I nodded politely and muttered under my breath. Mostly I've been on the trail of phantom vile smells that don't make me hungry. And mostly I've been eating because the pantry is on the way to the garage. Since I can't go to the garage and smoke, I stop at the pantry and eat.

I didn't think too much about all that pantry eating until two days ago when I put on a pair of jeans that were too tight. They've never fit right, but I hold on to them. And they're not the kind of jeans that would fit right even if I lost 10 pounds. They are just not designed for my body type. So I don't really know why I keep them. It is not as if my body is going to change that much. At the very best shape of my adult life, after 90 days of Tony Horton hell, they still didn't fit right. "THROW THEM AWAY!!!" But I keep them. Put them on occasionally so they can kick me when I'm all ready down. Wow, there's a whole case study worth of issues going on in those jeans!

But that wasn't the point. Yesterday, I put on a pair of my regular comfortable jeans, and they were tight and uncomfortable. First thought: a dryer conspiracy. Then I stepped on the scale to see a number 5 pounds higher than the number I normally see. Shit. I guess my body did register those 800 mini chocolate bars even though I was standing up when I was ate them and barely chewed.

So, I guess there are pros and cons like everything else. Everyone says there are no cons to quitting smoking, but this growing-bigger-by-the-day ass of mine begs to differ. Yes, I'm being vain and trivial, but it's my ass. I put a lot of stipulations on this whole quitting smoking thing, so I have high hopes. I still can't run without getting winded; I had expected that within a week. I still have wrinkles; I was expecting them to vanish. I can still see my pores; I had expected them to shrink.

Yet I plug away. Because I am so happy that I can smell Chloe's perfume lingering in the air after she leaves for school. Comforted by the shampoo and toothpaste smell of freshly showered P, when he snuggles up with me. Grateful for Lily's warm milk and sleep smell, when she first wakes up. Coffee brewing...well, I could always smell that, but now it almost reaches into my bed with it's warm fragrant arm--like that old commercial?--and lifts me out. Not happy about all the stinky things I was blissfully unaware of before. But the good definitely outweighs the bad.

And today, this minute, the good outweighing the bad, is enough to keep me from smoking.


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