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nostalgia photo: Nostalgia Photography043.jpgGUS (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 outside.

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A message to ALL quitters (and would-be quitters): You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time or nag you. We consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

Pina ColadaGetting a slurpee on a 100 degree day? Swell!

Thinking that the piña colada flavor will be reminiscent of childhood? Maybe!

Realizing it tastes like frozen tanning lotion? FAIL.

--my friend Anna S.

When I read that status on my friend's Facebook page, I had to laugh, because we've all been there, right? We've all had some random little childhood memory we've hung onto, idealized and sunny and wonderful, something that promises to deliver a sweet jolt of nostalgia with a side order of awesome, that when realized turns out to be...well, something less than that?

Cue the sad trombone.

Or we've romanticized something else---a relationship, a time in our lives, places we've been, jobs we've held, things we've experienced, even behaviors we used to have---and conveniently forgotten that it really wasn't perfection, even in the moment. We might have the impression that partying like a rock star was 100% pure fun (with our rose-colored 20/20 hindsight), for example, but that's only because we've conveniently forgotten the hangover and public embarrassment part of the equation. We recall the fun parts and forget the crap ones, because who wants to dwell on the bad stuff? Not us, that's for sure! We remember the "standing at the party looking cool" part of smoking, not the "horking up part of a lung and tasting ashtray mouth" aftermath.

Part of that is self-protective behavior---we try not to dwell on the worst parts of our experiences because it can be overwhelming, even depressing. We remember the good stuff because it helps us keep a positive attitude about life. There's a lot to be said for that.

There are a lot of things I miss...summer vacations, not having to work crazy hours, the comparatively carefree existence I had as a young adult, traveling the world, spending time making art and reading for pleasure, people I've lost...the list is endless.  Of all the things I miss, though, nicotine addiction's definitely not one of 'em. No matter how rosy the hindsight gets, the bad things associated with that outweigh the good, and always will. I think I'll stick to missing the truly good stuff instead. It's not a bad thing to reminisce, and who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to make room for and time in your life for people or things you've been missing.

What are you missing right now?

                     
                               
                     

Who's Your Little Buddy?  
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