Boy, you hit it right on the mark with the word "freedom," MA2AZ.
I hit my month mark on Tuesday, 6/19, and it is sooooo nice to have control again. I really don't have too many memories of not smoking. I picked it up when I was 14, so other than a few fleeting glimpses of memories as a small child, all of my memories are that of smoking. The freedom is priceless and really immeasurable.
The small things I've been able to enjoy with this freedom:
Leaving the house on a whim -- not having to make sure I've got my smokes, my gum, my body spray, extra smokes, extra lighter. I can just grab my purse and make sure my phone's in it.
The stress of enjoying a meal with nonsmokers is gone! I used to have to quietly "excuse myself" after a meal to go outside in the rain, in the cold, in the wind to go smoke after and sometimes during a meal. And I know I stunk when I came back inside, but I was an addict.
Work is so much more stress-free. I have no control over my breaks. Various judges give them to me. Sometimes they're five minutes; sometimes they're 15 minutes. In those breaks, I'd have to change my paper, change my tapes, run to the bathroom and go down four flights of stairs, rush outside, take four or five hits off a smoke, go back through security, rush back upstairs and be seated in my chair for when court was back in session. That crap of rushing outside is done. Gone is that stress and in comes the freedom to spend my break how I want to spend it.
Movies!!! What smoker likes going to the movies? It's a waste of money because you're going to have to leave the theater at least once or twice to smoke. The freedom to enjoy going to the movies again ROCKS!!
Quitting is definitely hard, but it's really worth it when you consider how much control smoking had over us. The freedom is wonderful on the other side