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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or thinking of quitting, please -- join us!  We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts, or access the GUS Library at dKosopedia for a great list of stop-smoking links. Check it out! Want to make sure you never miss us? Follow (♥) the GUS tag to keep GUS in your Stream. It's just that easy!

A message to ALL quitters. You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

"Had we but world enough, and time..."
- Andrew Marvell
Oh, hey there, look at the time! Or rather, don't look at it, 'cause I'm even later than I'd hoped to be in getting this thing posted. It was originally supposed to be posted last night, and then I'd planned to post it bright and shiny this AM, and, well...I myself was not bright and shiny this AM, and that didn't happen. Worked later than expected, got home after ten, took a while to wind down, and ::: poof! ::: before you know it, you're watching a re-play of The Ed Show at 3 AM.

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst."
- William Penn
I had good intentions; I always do. I am pretty good at estimating how long a project or errand will take, but I have a way of forgetting (or at least, minimizing or dismissing) all the random elements that can creep into a day that throw everything out of whack: the unexpected request, the unanswered call or email, the "just one more" thing that turns into three or four, or more. Around the holidays just about everyone runs into this, and even the best time-managers fail to anticipate everything. Things start to spin a little out of control.

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
- The Doctor, Doctor Who
These days, I never seem to have enough time...my work routine is unpredictable but usually jam-packed, and overtime is a regular feature. My first year as a homeowner is well underway and filled with the usual new homeowner learning curve, in addition to that whole unpacking, organizing and decorating thing, which sucks up time like crazy. I spend a bit of time online, though less than I used to, and my beloved shiny magazines pile up in stacks, awaiting a quiet time to peruse them. I haven't had a vacation (more than a long weekend) in quite a while---I have a ton of vacation saved up because I so rarely take it. And so...well, I took it. Off until after the holidays. w00t!

When I first quit, even though I was working, free time seemed to loom everywhere, spiraling out in front of me in endless loops, each one involving a craving for a smoke, or a stressful incident that should somehow involve a smoke (but didn't), or a recognition that DAMN, I used to smoke pretty much all the time, or at least with a frequency I found alarming, once they weren't filling up those moments anymore.

I struggled to fill the empty minutes and hours until my brain readjusted to its new nicotine-free routine. I created busywork, I focused on other things, and sometimes, I just sweated it out. It was hard to do things I'd associated with smoking at first: being online, taking a walk, waiting for things, being on the phone...you name it.

And then, time sped up again, and kept on speeding. I figured out how to fill those hours I used to spend smoking; I adjusted to doing one thing after another without a cigarette in my hand (or the promise of one when I was finished). As a new quitter, the prospect of facing a whole bunch of days off without smokes kind of terrified me, rather than thrilled me. The concept of having too much time on my hands was a new one to ponder...but I recognize it from my Dad's experience, as someone who quit after he retired, and suddenly didn't have eight or ten hours of distraction in the middle of his day. I know it's tough for those seeking work (boy, don't the days drag and blur when that's going on) and it's a different kind of tough for those juggling two or more roles---parent, caretaker, student, volunteer---sometimes on top of a job, where the concept of "having enough time" is the punchline to a decidedly unfunny joke.

A few of us are fortunate enough to have figured out a balance, to have enough time to do the things we must and the things we like, without either one dominating. I'm not even close to that elusive goal...but if anyone's got it figured out, I would be really, really, really happy to learn your secrets!

Who's your little buddy?
1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, A Man Called Gloom, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, AoT, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, awkawk, b4uknowit, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, beefydaddy18, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, Bronxist, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, bumbi, BusyinCA, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, ClapClapSnap, Cleante, claude, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, common green, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, dadanation, dangoch, DarienComp, dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, Dave in Northridge, David54, deedogg, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, docreed 2003, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, Dr Teeth, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, entrelac, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, ezdidit, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, Friend of the court, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, glorificus, glpaul, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, GreenMountainBoy02, greylox, grndrush (in memoriam), GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, history first, hold tight, Hugh Jim Bissell, hulibow, I love OCD, I said GOOD DAY sir, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, Inventor, IsaacsDad, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou,  Jeffersonian Democrat, jillwklausen, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joes Steven (aka Steven), john07801, johngoes, johnny wurster, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, Kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, katchen, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, KrazyKitten, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Leo in NJ, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Liberal in PA, Lonely Texan, longislandny, Lorinda Pike, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, Marjmar, Mark E Andersen (Kodiak54), marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matt Esler, Maxiemax, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog, mntleo2, Morague, MotoGP, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboyz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, nokkonwud, notgivingup, NY brit expat, oceanview, OleHippieChick, Olkate, one pissed off democrat, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, Over the Edge, Pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, paulitics, peglyn, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, Positronicus, post rational, PowWowPollock, Proud Mom and Grandma, psycho liberal, ptolemynm, Purple Priestess, PvtJarHead, racheltracks, randallt, ray bob, real world chick, red mittens, Reepicheep, regis, relentless, revelwoodie, revsue, Rex Manning, rexymeteorite, RiaD, rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, Rileycat, rincewind, rkex, roadlion, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, Safina, SallyCat, Sanuk, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, shesaid, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, sidnora, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateOfGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, stonekeeper, sunbro, Super Grover, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, Tim DeLaney, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, TracieLynn, TreeFrog, triciawyse, tripodisblack, trs, trueblueliberal, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, vc2, Vetwife, vgranucci, Village expects idiot home soon, vulcangrrl, waytac, webranding, weelzup, Wes Opinion, Whimsical Rapscallion, willy be frantic, willy mugobeer, Wood Dragon, wolfie1818, Wordsinthewind, Wreck Smurfy, x, xopher, yet another liberal, Zotz
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