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 even just thinking of quitting, please join us! We kindly ask that politics be left out.
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Today did not get off to the most promising start for me. It was one of those nights where I'd slept funny and my shoulder (already a little stressed from recent, unfamiliar yard work tasks like shoveling and piloting a good-sized weed whacker) had gone from slightly sore to officially injured, complaining every time I tried to raise my right arm above shoulder height.
(This made the daily juggle of the cat and dog food dishes somewhat of a challenge and had me running a little late. Oh, but it gets better...)
It's one of those in-between, messed-up weather days, not unbearably hot, but hot enough and super muggy...and also due for a 15 or 20-degree drop in temperature following a thunderstorm at some point. Basically, it's the kind of day where you really can't figure out what kind of clothes to wear to maximize comfort and minimize stickiness, accommodate getting rained on, and still look presentable for other people. I was partially successful, I guess. I'm probably being charitable. My hair was a crazy humidity mess.
And things were not smooth on the work front, either. A screaming huge deadline, with a lot of money on the line, and not quite enough time to do what I needed to do to meet it. Factor in near-constant construction noise, busy phones, and deliveries. And did I mention that screaming deadline? It screamed right past, leaving me in a cloud of dust, with the post-crisis adrenaline hangover still making my head pound and heart race. Yeah, it was not pretty.
At this point, I just wanted to shake my fist at the heavens. Why so much suck? Why all at once? Can't I just go back to square one and start all over again, and see if it goes any better? Because this girl was in dire need of a do-over.
As kids, we're all familiar with the concept of the do-over. We aren't shy about requesting them, and indeed they're a familiar aspect of everything from game-playing to family interpersonal dynamics. We understand, innately, that things don't always work out right the first time around, and that it's okay to try again, if someone will just give you a chance. "Can I get a do-over?"
Sure, why not?
As we get older, we tend to forget that we have the option of at least going for a do-over when our first attempts fall flat. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get it right the first time, to avoid public failure, to stave off disappointment in ourselves or others. So convinced are we that we only get the one chance to get it right, we're totally blindsided and confused as to what we should do if we don't succeed straight out of the gate. This sort of thinking frequently derails the most sincere attempts at behavioral change.
We never think to ask for a do-over, or expect that we'll get one, or even think we deserve it. But sometimes The Universe surprises you.
There were a few do-overs today for me, and I wasn't alone. My deadline fiasco was quite unexpectedly resolved, the circumstances surrounding it so unlikely and impossible to replicate that I still can't quite believe it went down that way...I'm just profoundly relieved that it did. Seriously, you have no idea.
And once I got my do-over, I could take a moment to regroup and see what was happening in the world, and I realized that a whole bunch of people affected by some bad legislation in CA got a do-over too. As did folks impacted by the DOMA ruling today: friends of mine will probably be getting a great refund from the IRS when they re-file taxes for the last few years. So here's to unexpected windfalls and much-needed do-overs: ask for them by name!
Who's Your Li'l Buddy?
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