Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why the Sun Isn't Worth It

I am just not going to conform to standards anymore.

Yes, dear readers (all seven of you), I am letting you know a painful truth:  this summer, I refuse to tan.

I LIKE to tan, mind you.  I enjoy being out in the sunshine. I like hiding flaws under bronzed skin.

I tan rather well.  I realize I probably look pasty white, but I actually can get fairly dark with little effort thanks to my Native American gene pool.  I have always liked being tan - and I still like the way I look when I'm tan.

But I like my skin more.  For most of my life, it has been even-toned, fairly dry, and cooperative.   Recently, however, it developed rather large sunspots.  I got my first few on my legs a couple of years ago and dismissed them.

This past summer, while at the beach, one popped up that was about the width of a pencil and the length of a dime (or, nay - a nickel - gasp!) right on the center on my nose.  My nose skin has been weird since the Infamous Christmas Break of the Worst Year of My Life (when I had to have surgery thanks to a swimming pool debacle the previous summer), so I should have known.  I should have known that my nose would be the first body part to fall apart as my body begins the descent into middle age.

I detest this stinking sunspot.  It's one of the the first things I see when I look in the mirror.  I spent last fall trying to attack the little booger (no pun - haha!) on my nose with lightening creams and serums I bought off of the internet.  This spring, I began to re-apply some of the same stuff in hopes that it would go away.  I really thought it helped...until a few months ago, when hairstylist thought she spilled chemicals on my nose and panicked.  I was mortified.  "No, that's just my big sunspot," I lamely admitted.

At that moment, I realized I'm probably going to have to see a dermatologist and a laser if I ever want to get it removed.

Now, mind you, I realize that this is a "first world" problem. I really have other issues besides a sunspot to harp on (I am really just detailing my issues with it to show my weaknesses and to hopefully make you laugh a little), but the center of this issue, of this blog entry, is this:  is tanning really worth it?

I'm not sure we in the South realize that there are dangers involved in looking sweet and sun-kissed.  We flock to the sun and to tanning beds like they hold the antidote for all of our life problems.

Look, I'm not preaching - I'm guilty.  I dismissed those "the sun is bad for you" warnings, too.  I didn't wear sunscreen until well in my twenties.  Back then I turned tan like no one's business.  Now that I'm older and battling sunspots, I've got a whole new perspective.  And probably a large bill to pay to my dermatologist.   

Look cute while you can, young girls.  It really does all go downhill as you get older.

It's just not worth it to me anymore.

P.S. Have I mentioned WRINKLES?!  Oh, heavens...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hey, Baby Girl

Work this past month was stressful.  Exhausting.  Challenging.  Overwhelming, yet rewarding.

But now it's summer.

Time for giggles and sprinklers. Lemonade and lightening bugs (they are not fireflies - they're lightening bugs in the South).  Time for super hot sunshine and the smell of sunscreen.

It's time for okra, sweet tea and squash - fresh fruit and freezer pops.  Time to spend time with your Granny, to watch her hands, and to learn how to make a real biscuit - we're going to do that this year.

It's time for big wheels, playtime, and dirt on our knees.  Time for swimming pool fun, rides on slides, and hopefully a little trip to the beach.

It's time for lunches with friends, walks in strollers, and rides with our windows rolled all the way down.

I hope you're ready.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Centrifuge of Words

Here lately, time has been a pretty precious commodity - I haven't had much of it.

Sometimes time saps my creativity - my ability to think, to process, and to write.

Words will bounce through my head and never make their way out of my fingers.

Writing is a process for me.  I have to take the words in my head, mull them around in some sort of centrifuge, and arrange them in the manner I want.

I want the words I use to be peppered with creativity.  This is a problem - I lead a fairly ordinary life.

So, when it comes to writing about my kid's Easter and showing you pictures, there's a problem. How do I make a post witty, clever, and authentically mine?  When I tell you about a trip to the zoo that I didn't really enjoy, how to I put it into words to still make it memorable (not great - just memorable)?

Ah, yes -- I realize these are probably problems that do not bother the general populace.

I respect words.  I respect the English language.  When Henry Higgins describes the English language to Eliza Dolittle in "My Fair Lady,"  he captures my heart when he says, "the noblest thoughts that ever flowed through the hearts of men are contained in its extraordinary, imaginative, and musical mixtures of sounds."  I feel like he (yes, a fictional character) gets me.

So, when you take the problem of time and compound that with the problem of simply finding the right words to use, you'll find that I've got just a touch of writer's block.

I'm someone who writes for therapy - for comfort - for release.  Writer's block left me with a feeling clogged brain. Clogged brain + no time = grouchy Dana.

Words are breaking loose, however - I can feel the thoughts of peeling away from my subconscious. The pieces of the various puzzles are coming back together - the ideas are framing themselves back into the little snapshots of my family life that I so wish to capture.   I just have to make myself force them out.

Over the next few weeks, and especially over this summer, I'm going to try and push myself to write - to make myself spend a few hours a week (or possibly more) on it.  I want to get better.  I want to be good.

Be prepared for the brain flow.