I haven’t had a smoke since Friday night. Proud of me? I sure am.

Having quit dozens of times before, I know that I’m usually fine for a few days before I get some serious cravings. It’s been six days, and I’m doing fine; the thought of smoking kind of makes my throat hurt.

For years now, I’ve been saying I should quit, but it’s always been one of those things you say but you know you’re not going to do. I enjoyed smoking. I didn’t WANT to quit, I just knew I should.

I don’t know what, but something in the past few weeks has made me realize that I really don’t want it to be a part of who I am. When I do have kids, I don’t want them to come home from school and tell me that they learned I’m going to die because I smoke. I don’t want to look 60 when I’m 40 because I can’t breathe and reek of smoke. I’ve seen the immediate effects plenty of times; every six months or so, I have to cut way back for a week because I start coughing and can’t breathe for a while. Every time, I say I’m just going to quit while I’m ahead, but I always pick it up again. I came the closest this spring, when a nasty cold made me quit for about three weeks. I was doing real well, but then started again for no good reason.

Previously, I’ve set definite quit points for myself, like the end of a pack or midnight on a Saturday. This time, I didn’t even really want the last pack I went through. We were drinking on Saturday night (I always smoke more when I drink), and when I asked BP if I could bum one, he just handed me a pack (since he gets them real cheap at Duty Free, he’s pretty generous with them). I took one out, and handed it back - I had no desire to finish another pack.

It occurred to me several months ago that I know very few people in their late 20s or 30s that smokes. It seems that the smokers I know are either college kids who started in their teens to try it out or be rebellious, or they’re older folks that have just been doing it forever. I knew I would find myself among the latter before long, so I wanted to quit after finishing college.

I’d like to think I mean it for real this time, but I’ve meant it for real a dozen times before, and it’s only been six days. This time, though, my mind set is different - in the past, it was just because I “knew I should” and I figured it would shut everyone up. This time, I actually want to stop.