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 (or want to support quitters), 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.
A message to all quitters: you don't have to avoid GUS if your latest attempt to quit didn't work out. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the attempted quits as "practice" for the real quit.
Change is usually hard, we all know that first-hand, and change that involves altering ingrained behaviors, long-standing habits, and rituals of all kinds are among the hardest to deal with, especially the older we get and the longer these things have been a part of our lives.
Even if we're ready to embrace that change, start fresh, leave old ways behind, or do what it takes to improve our own quality of life, it's still difficult. Best-case scenario, it's at least marginally harder than continuing to do what you've been doing. When faced with a "difficult" vs. a "not-so-difficult" scenario, it's tough not to want to default to the one that takes less effort and mental focus, and causes us the least amount of discomfort. And even though we know it's better for us to make the needed change, we often find ourselves looking for ways around it; looking for excuses as to why it can't be attempted, or just won't work.
Well, I call B.S.
At least when it comes to breaking out of old patterns or habits, getting back on track after a failed attempt to change behaviors, or to finally do something you've always wanted to do, I think Old Dogs may even have an edge over younger, more impulsive pups.
After all, with age and experience comes a host of things that might be in the Old Dog's favor:
Old Dogs tend to be less impulsive, or at least a bit more patient than they might've been in their youth.
Old Dogs have a wealth of experience--both positive and negative--to draw upon, and a greater ability to answer open-ended "what if?" questions correctly.
Old Dogs are good at taking the long view and putting things into perspective...so when quitting crazies hit, they have a better shot at realizing that This Too Shall Pass.
Old Dogs are better at estimating the consequences of their actions.
Old Dogs are less concerned about what their peers think about them or about their actions.
Old Dogs simply have more practice at dealing with the Hard Stuff.
All that adds up to a bunch of Old Dogs who have a lot going for them when they take a shot at something difficult, like quitting smoking.
What? Think I'm being overly optimistic about your chances? Well, I'm pretty sure this guy would beg to differ...he's actually one of the people who inspired my topic tonight. Another was a sister-in-law who was recently thinking out loud about decisions and approaches she's made to her career. And of course my own life script had me publishing a book long before now, and the older I get, the easier it is to fall into that "too late now" mindset. And I think that's a mistake.
So here's the thing: from now on, when I feel like an opportunity has passed me by, or I let my negative inner narrative try to talk me out of even trying something because "I'm too set in my ways" or "I'm too old to change" or anything like that, I'm going to remember Jim and remind myself that if someone in their nineties can pull it off, I have no excuse whatsoever to at least give it a shot.
I may be an Old Dog (or at least fast approaching Old Dog territory!), but I have a feeling I still have a few tricks up my sleeve...and I'll bet you do too.
Who's Your Buddy?
1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, A Man Called Gloom, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, awkawk, b4uknowit, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, burrow owl, BusyinCa, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, Cleante, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, dadanation, dangoch, DarienComp, Dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, FlipperWaves, flumptytail, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, Georgianna Darcy, glpaul, GN1927, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, greylox, grndrush, GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, hold tight, hulibow, I love OCD, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, inventor, I said GOOD DAY sir, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou, Jeffersonian Democrat, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joe's Steven aka Steven, john07801, johngoes, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, Kodiak54, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, longislandny, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, marknspokane, maryabein, Matt Esler, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, Minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog, mntleo2, Morague, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, notgivingup, NY brit expat, one pissed off democrat, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, OverTheEdge, pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, Positronicus, post rational, Proud Mom and Grandma, psycho liberal, ptolemynm, Purple Priestess, PvtJarHead, racheltracks, randallt, real world chick, red mittens, Reepicheep, regis, relentless, revelwoodie, revsue, Rex Manning, rexymeteorite, RiaD, rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, rincewind, rkex, roadlion, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, Safina, SallyCat, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateofGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, sunbro, Super Grover, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, Treefrog, triciawyse, trs, trueblueliberal, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, Vetwife, vgranucci, 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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