I Need To Move Some Cheese


Change happens when the pain of holding on becomes greater than the fear of letting go.

Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese?


For some years now, that quote has been a favourite of mine.  Though I have read Who Moved My Cheese?, I actually first heard it when I was in a treatment centre for drug & alcohol abuse.  I can still feel the jaggedness of the lump in my throat, the barrenness of the pit in my stomach, and the sting of the tears in my eyes as those words penetrated my entire being.  But that’s how life goes sometimes, doesn’t it?  It hits you like a ton of bricks.

At first, that ton of bricks knocked me down.  And I fell hard.  But that’s the thing about hitting a bottom isn’t it?  Once you realize where you are, there’s only one place to go from there.  Up.  And one of the best ways I’ve learned how to move upwards and onwards is to embrace the lessons that are in the very same bricks that knock me down.  And so I did with those words.  And I changed.  And for that, I hope to remain eternally grateful.

I’ve changed lots of things in my life, not just the quitting drinking, and today’s daily prompt has had me reflecting on them.  Just to name a few, along with some other relevant quotes from Spencer Johnson, here are some of the most life-altering changes I’ve made, when the pain of holding on became greater than the fear of letting go …


The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.

I changed the very unhealthy number on the scale from around 200 to a now decent weight and BMI for a woman of my height and age.  I guess you could say I let go of the triple cheese layered nachos and found some cheese that came from a cow that happens to laugh instead.

If you do not change, you can become extinct.

With my last drunk being a suicide attempt, I finally got sober.  And after I got the booze out of me, I was able to deal with the other mental illness challenges I had faced since I was a child.  I will die an alcoholic, that’s a given now, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow myself to die of the disease of either alcoholism or mental illness.

What would you do if you were not afraid.

A couple of years ago I quit a job, without another one lined up, to stay true to my values.  I was scared bowel-movement-less.  At first.  Then I realized that all I had to lose was money.  Staying was costing me my life.  So I took a leap of faith and quit.  Jumping = x number of dollars lost in my bank account.  Landing = priceless.

When you change what you believe you change what you do.

I used to believe that if I forgave the man who raped me and the two different men who molested me, it would somehow make it ‘okay’ that they did what they did to me.  Then I realized that no, it wasn’t and it still isn’t okay that it all happened.  And that fact can be and is compatible with me choosing love and forgiveness over hate and contempt towards them about it.  Changing my beliefs about forgiveness allowed me to heal.  And that’s all that matters to me about it all today.

Better late than never.

A few years ago I started to *finally* chase my childhood dream of becoming a writer.  In large part it was attributed to a conversation with someone who recommended I read Writing Down The Bones – Freeing The Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg.  Can’t rave enough about the book but suffice it to say after I read it, I was off and running.  Or should I say on and writing.  I dunno but here’s one of my favourite passages from it, found in the preface:

Believe me, you too, can find your place inside the huge terrain of writing.  No one is so odd as to be left out.  Now, please go.  Write your asses off.


The next quote is, well, one I had a like and dislike for when I first read it.  I’ve been fighting with myself about using it in here, but I’m going to surrender to the battle and include it and see where it takes me.

Integrity is telling myself the truth.  And honesty is telling the truth to other people.

In all of the short little time I’ve been blogging, I’ve shared some very personal things about me and my life.  But I have quite literally forced myself to not share one particular thing with you.  Why?  Because it is something I am embarrassed about, ashamed of, and disappointed in myself for.  I am a smoker.

There, I said it.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  I am fairly educated on the activity, its health perils, and that it’s not helping my body fight the skin cancer I’m currently battling.  No need to add comments to those effects, I get it already.

But … super-dee-dooper big BUT … I haven’t quit quitting.  And a conversation the other night with my big brother who is driving me to my next tumour surgery in July has me thinking about it again.  So yes, there is some more cheese I still need to move in my life.  My old cheese of smoking is stinking up my house, my car, my clothes, my hair, the list goes on and on.  And it’s stinking up my body too on the inside, making it a little cloudy for it to be fighting off the cancer.  So I’m going to work on my fears about quitting smoking and give ‘er another go.  It will be round 7 in the quitting smoking ring for me.  But like I said above, I haven’t quit quitting.  And hopefully posting on it and telling you folks will help me be more honest with myself about it.  And that would be the integrity part of the quote.  I do like integrity.  I think I’ll try to find me some real soon.


So there.  If this little ole redneck gal from Northern Ontario can get off her plaid-flannel-pjs-covered rearend and make the kinds of changes I’ve made, then what’s stopping you?  I know.  It’s fear, just like me.  But that’s just in your head, our heads.  Literally I mean, fear is just a thought.  And those thoughts are gonna get bigger and bigger like they did for me.   And they’re gonna knock you down like a ton of bricks, like they did to me.  And it’s gonna hurt like hell, like it did for me.  And then, also like me, you’re going to realize that the pain is a feeling and you don’t want to feel it anymore.  So you’re gonna change the thoughts, the fear that is, and see the lesson it has in it for you, just like I did.  And when you change your thoughts, you change your feelings.  And when you change those two things, you change your actions.  And when you change your actions, you change you and the world around you.  Oh yeah, and so can I.  Cool.


Now, all of us, please go.  Let’s change our asses off.
Don’t know about yours, but my cheese is really stinky.

Better call U-Haul.  Or Davidstow I guess.
It’s time to move some more cheese.



In response to today’s Daily Prompt:  Transformation

Image source:   Christopher user on flickr.com, CC2.0 Generic


Listen to music.  It could save your soul.  Be kind.  It could save someone’s world.  Wear a hat.  It could save your life.


41 thoughts on “I Need To Move Some Cheese

  1. You have more tumors? I thought the doc got it all when you had your surgery last month. Holy moly, Marianne (almost said ‘holy smokes’ but didn’t want you to think I was getting on your case about….the smokes)!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I dated a man years ago who smoked heavily and tried quitting again and again. Took him forever, but he hasn’t smoked (I hear) in fifteen years. I’ve seen first hand how terribly difficult quitting is, and yet it can be done. Rah. Best of everything with all that you’re facing. Your honesty and openness should count for something, I think. Also, “Writing Down the Bones” is gospel for my writing soul. So glad I found your blog — well, you found mine first, I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it can be done. Even if it takes a couple, or 7!, times haha. Thanks for the encouragement Belinda. I will win this battle too, one day.
      “Gospel for my writing soul” – that sums up that book for me too. Wow eh? 🙂
      Glad we found each other, regardless of who did it first. Marianne

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marianne, you will quit smoking…I believe in you! I can’t tell you how many times it took me to finally quit smoking, but it was way more than 7 rounds. I tried weaning myself off by not smoking in the car, then in the house, then at work and I found myself in my garage most of time smoking. I was finally ready to stop smoking when the prices kept going up and I couldn’t see blowing that money up in smoke. That was what it took for me to finally stop. It’s been 23 years for me now since my last smoke. Don’t miss it, don’t think about it and most of all I don’t have an attitude towards smokers, like some “ex” smokers do. You have overcome so much in your life…you will overcome this too! Here’s to your success…it’s around the corner:)

    Liked by 2 people

      • I totally understand what you are saying. That’s why I wanted to let you know it’s not easy, and you just have to keep at it. Thanks and I’m sure you will be able to claim years of victory too! One hour at a time, one day at time, one week at a time….until they keep building up:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful post. I love how you’ve brought the quotes to life through your own story. I wish you all the best for your next strike against the smokes, and for your continuing treatment. And of course for your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Marianne what can I say, you are indeed brave, in a way you are right, why keep it all hidden since it certainly was bothering you, once you let it go you are a new person. Your transformation is complete, except one little thing you mentioned, it will also leave you, God willing. All the best to you.
    Have a nice week-end. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome post. You have made some major life changes and anyone who knows you or reads this post would be encouraged that change is possible and the results are worth all the sweat equity. Good luck with the smoking. It took me years to finally quit. Pick it up and put it down I did. But I am happy that I am now an exsmoker.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How timely! Last night I wrote a post responding to the prompt of Transformation, looking for your life (thank you, Sound of Music) and instigating change when we recognize it’s needed. I am currently in the midst of intentionally manifesting certain changes in my life, and it sounds as if you have been on that road too. Kudos to your courage as you keep sharing your story. This is the good stuff. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks savoryspicysweet. Kudos to your courage as well. Takes a lot of guts to make life changes doesn’t it? So here’s to some brand new transformations for both of us that will take us on an adventure beyond our wildest dreams!
      Hope you’re having a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi,

    Mam reading your story made me remember one song that I heard when I was a child, it’s in Hindi- Duniya mein kitna gam hai, mera gam kitna kam hai. It translates into- world is full of sorrows my sorrow is nothing. You are a brave woman battling all odds with so much courage. Your story gave me strength. It’s really an honor to know you in my life. God is definitely with you, he is there watching you extending his helping hand towards you. You will come out of every peril undefeated.
    You r an inspiration to many like me.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you for being so open about struggling. It isn’t always easy to talk about what you’ve been through. It seems as though you’ve overcome a lot and I’m sure you will be able to do so with your current issue.
    “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”-Confucius

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Who Moved My Cheese is one of the most expensive books I have ever purchased. I bought a copy, read it, loved it, and gave it away. I have probably purchased close to a dozen copies and always end up owning zero. That kind of simple wisdom is hard not to share. Congratulations to you on everything you’ve accomplished. =D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much buddhist who keeps trying. I have a few books of the ‘expensive’ variety as well. But if the person gets something out of it that improves their life, well then the book I shall consider priceless instead. 🙂
      Hope you’re having a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Liked by 1 person

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