Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nails on a chalkboard...

A lot of things have changed with the way I think.  Going places that require being in the sun for an extended period now make me nervous.  I now will no longer wait on seeing the doctor when something seems suspicious.  Yes, I totally may be becoming a hypochondriac.  Sunblock stands out and it makes me happy when I see huge displays in the front of stores.  Now when I hear people say that they NEED a tan; that a tan looks healthier, it literally sends a shiver up my back…it sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

The sun (and we can’t leave out tanning beds) emits ultraviolet radiation.  Once in the sun, your skin begins producing extra melanin in an attempt to absorb all of the solar radiation.  That suntan that you get is your skin’s defense mechanism trying to protect itself from the UV rays that it’s being exposed to.  Oh, and technically that sunburn you get is a radiation burn.

Back in the day, people that were tan were thought to be in the lower class because they had to work outside.  Affluent people were typically pale because they stayed indoors and women went to great lengths to keep their skin pasty.  Full length dresses that covered their entire body, white face powders and IF they ever did venture out in the sun, they walked around with those cute, little umbrellas known as parasols.  

Nowadays people are going to great lengths to damage their skin.  Listen, I get it – I used to be one of those people.  I used to lay out in my backyard using my SPF 4 oil and I would spritz myself with water to cool down, basically removing any of the little protection that I had on.  And that was only the front; I didn't have arms long enough to reach my that got pretty much no protection at all.  

I used to go to the tanning salon in preparation for summer.  Though I only went a couple days a week for about a month, maybe two months out of the year, I still had the mindset of getting that healthy base tan every year so I would look super cute in my tank tops and wouldn't burn as easily (which is a complete crock of toasty fried crap).

Things have changed…completely.  

  • I am completely fine with double thinking activities depending on the time of day.
  • I am completely fine with being super pasty – so pasty that you can physically see my veins through my skin.  
  • I am completely fine slathering sunblock on.  
  • I’m completely fine with worrying about my skin the random days where I forget to put sunblock on.  
  • I am completely fine being the voice of annoyance to the people around me “Have you had that mole checked out?”  You WILL be wearing sunblock, right?”  
  • I am completely fine with *hopefully* having skin like milk while sun goers will have skin like leather.  
  • And, more importantly, I am completely fine with working on understanding the person that I have changed into since all of this started 



  1. I am in the same boat as you, girl. I recently discovered that we just don't go out and do things outdoors like we used to in the prime sun/heat of the day. Our lives have completely changed in so many ways since April. I carry sunscreen in the car (like 5 kinds, because I let the kids pick their own), I have sunscreen in my classroom (fire drills, walking to the next building), I have a hat in my classroom (same reasons as above) and a hat in my car. I lived at the pool prior to April. Tanning oil, not sunscreen. I have more of an olive skin tone and dark eyes and hair; I don't think I'll ever have pale skin. But, my skin this summer certainly got a break. Yes, my whole family has (and wears) UV sleeves.

    I don't think anyone else understands the changes, or even the panic we feel at times.

    Today, for example, I was sitting in the car waiting for my kids to come out from hand bell practice at church. It was only about 60 degrees, but the sun was out. It was coming through the window and windshield. I automatically went into panic mode. Before, I would have thought nothing of it...

    Change is good, though, right?

    1. Ha! It's funny about the car situation 'cause I've totally been there! Especially on days when I think "Oh, I'm just running to the store, I don't need to slather" and then of course you hit all of the lights on the way to the store that is 2 miles away and you're trying to hide yourself. I used to drive with the windows down ALL the time. Literally, during the winter I would have the heater on with the windows down... The only time with the windows up would be on days just too dang hot or when it was raining.

      Change CAN be good. It can also be super - really SUPER - annoying! :)