This list was originally compiled on Valentine’s Day, 2008, the first day I really quit smoking. I smoked from 1988 to 2008. I have not smoked since that day and am so glad. Three years ago today, I became smoke free and am breathing easier. This list has hung on the refrigerator ever since as I reminder of what really matters to me in life.
1) I love my wife and want to be her husband for a long time. I want to grow old with her and experience my love for her for as long as possible. I want to turn 90 and, on that day, I want to still be holding her hand. I want us to enjoy each other’s company. I don’t want to stink anymore. I want to be able to kiss her whenever I want and not miss kisses because I am self-conscious about my smoky breath. I will not have smoky breath if I do not smoke; therefore, I will no longer have to be self-conscious. I will be able to kiss her when I want, as long as I want. Instead of cigarettes, I can kiss my wife every day. Now, there’s an addiction.
2) I love my sons, Kale and Landon, and I want to see them grow up. I want to be there when they skin their knees and need their daddy. I want to be there when they ride bikes for the first time all on their own. I want to be there when they get their first hit in a baseball game. I want to be there for their first date. I want to be there when they graduate from high school. I want to be there when they enter college. I want to be there when they fall in love, get married and have children. I want to hold their children in my arms and spoil them, my grandchildren.
3) I love to sing. I want to be able to continue to do so. I want to sound good.
4) I love being healthy. I want to be that way for as long as possible.
5) I love to be mobile. I do not want to be tethered to an oxygen machine. I do not want to be disabled.
6) I love to breathe. I would like to do so without the aforementioned oxygen machine.
7) I love money. Cigarettes are extremely expensive. Quitting will save a great deal of money for things that are still pleasurable, yet not deadly.
8) I love my family. I want to enjoy decades more holidays and fun times with them.
9) I love playing volleyball. I want to play without wheezing.
10) I love to walk, swim, eat, play, dance and just jump around like a crazy man. I want to be able to do all of those things to the fullest. When I eat, I want to taste my food. When I dance, I want to do so without becoming so tired.
11) I love my life. I want to live it.