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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support series for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. We avoid discussion of political issues. If you are quitting or even thinking about quitting, please -- join us! You can add GUS to your stream by clicking on the ♥ next to the GUS tag. The GUS Library at dKosopedia is organically evolving, and stocked with free-range information, quit-smoking links, and helpful GUS writing tips.
"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." (h/t to FG)
I've started writing about what skills I possess the past few months, as a logical extension of self improvement and in an effort to seek career choices I might find more rewarding. I'm recognizing some patterns and trends in the exercises I've shared. I want to focus on a different aspect today, and that's where I'd want to live. There are places I have a connection to. And there are places I feel drawn to. At this point I'm trying to be practical, and still allow for some exploration, or boundary pushing. I'm only listing three and I'm only focusing on the positives of each of the three for now. I can revisit this petal as things gel and I progress.


Sunset Over St. Louis [EXPLORED]Staying in St. Louis is the easiest and safest choice. It's both familiar and familial. My parents lived here and I've grown up and spent more than 50 years here. I have close relatives in the area still, like my brother and sister. There's a long list of positives to go along with those bonds. It's centrally located in the country. The cost of living is reasonable. There's a flourishing arts, entertainment, sports and cultural scene. An adequate public transit system although if I stay I'd almost certainly move closer to a light rail station. Four distinct seasons and I'm acclimated to the weather. I can ride my bike outside for more than 6 months of the year. There wouldn't be anything wrong with living here if that's the way it works out. This is "home."

City from Ohio Street Beach Chicago is my second choice. It has a lot to offer. It's world class, and only about 300 miles away. I lived there for a couple years when I was very young. I had family who lived there for most of my life and I've often traveled there on vacation, so I'm acquainted with it fairly well. I might even be able to scrounge up a couple new friends, if I was so inclined. It's still centrally located in the country. Public transportation is extensive. Vibrant arts, music, sports and culture. I wouldn't have too hard a time moving myself, my cats and my belongings there. I could ride my bike outside for 4-6 months of the year, and with acclimation and the right attire, I could extend that further. I can also easily tick off two personal attractions I'm drawn to, the beach and skyscrapers. I could sit on the steps of the Field Museum, or on the steps along the pedestrian path near Ohio Street Beach and look at that skyline and the lake there for forever. There's a subconscious connection and that's the best I can explain, but it feels like "home."

At Griffith Observatory.I know it probably doesn't seem exotic to most, but for someone who's never been to California, L.A. comes in 3rd as a dream destination. This would be the hardest move of the three choices, but still one I'd be able to accomplish by driving myself and my belongings to. It's at the edge of possible, but it is possible. Here again, Los Angeles is a world class city, with everything I'd want as far as arts and entertainment. Public transit is extensive and growing. In addition to the beach and an impressive cityscape, the weather there would mean I could ride my bike outside almost year round. I have distant relations around L.A. who I haven't had contact with in years. And as with Chicago above, I could probably find some friends. There's obvious and very conscious attractions to moving here, as well as subconscious ones. This is where "home" realistically could be.

That's where I'm at with this exercise, for today. I know that I can't control unseen forces and circumstances, and it's possible I'll be living in cardboard box in a storm drain this time next year, but one thing is extremely apparent to me after working through the stories I've shared and the ones I'm going to share.

My successes have almost always been preceded by a plan, whether it was something pleasurable like taking a trip, or rewarding like finally finding the right job, or life sustaining, like quitting smoking.

So, what success are you planning for today? How about tomorrow? Next week? Where do you see yourself in a month? or a year? What road are you on? How close are you to finding home? What's your plan?





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