An accurate calculation done on my fingers tells me that as of today I've been nicotine-free for 19 days short of 19 years.
This ash tray in the parking lot at Samy's Camera brings to mind several things including pity, relief, revulsion and gratitude.
I don't fault smokers for their addiction. It is hard, hard, hard to stop smoking once you start. (Thus the pity.) I know because I smoked for years and it took Nicotine Anonymous to get me off the stuff. I sat in those 12-step meetings and listened to heroin addicts talk about how much easier it was to kick smack than cigarettes.
But I managed, and I don't have to do it again. (Thus the relief.) One of the benefits of quitting is a super sense of smell, which is how I found this "butt can" in the first place. (Thus the revulsion.) And the benefits are endless. Of all the debilitating things smoking can do to your health, it can do just as much damage to your self-esteem.
We can point to major turning points in our lives. For me, quitting smoking was one of them. Losing that crutch allowed me to bring happiness into my life in more ways than I can count on fingers, toes and all the family digits. (Thus the gratitude.)