Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Forward

As we are heading into the sunny months of the year, I have noticed that I don’t have anxiety about spending time outdoors this year. I can’t express how incredible that is to me. In years past I have found that I try to plan around my sensitivity to the sun. This year it isn’t a concern. I am looking forward to Springing forward.

Last weekend I did a St Patrick’s Day walk and here in Colorado that could mean anything weather wise. We had a snow storm the day before, and by the time the walk started, the sun was shining bright. I was outdoors, in the sun (for the most part) from 8:30 AM until 12:30 PM without worry.  This is such a new experience for me, something that many people probably take for granted. There were even times, when I came out of the shade of a downtown building that I couldn't wait to get to the sunny side of the street. I even looked up and said, “Ahh, sunshine”

Looking forward even further, the summer is going to be even more liberating. My daughter’s birthday is smack dab in the middle of summer and mine is just a week later. I have always had to be careful about how I celebrate these birthdays. Nothing like wanting to do a pool party like all my other friends growing up but knowing that I would pay the price of a nasty burn. Up until last year, I couldn’t offer that option to my daughter either, because I would burn. Last summer, I was able to spend time at the pool with my kids, but because it was so new to me, I had a little paranoia that this was too good to be true and feared that I would burn any minute. This was new territory for me so it was difficult to gauge. Like I said in earlier posts, I haven’t burned since acquiring a base tan through a professional salon. Without that success, I would be dreading the summer sun and what it did to me.

It is so refreshing to not have to figure a “plan B” strategy if there is no shade available at special occasions. My biggest fear when invited to an outdoor event such as a wedding, family reunion, or birthday party, was that there wouldn’t be a shelter or tent to spend most of my time under. I could get away with a baseball hat at informal events, but something like a wedding would pose a challenge. These are things most people don’t have to worry about.  But think about what that would be like for a minute, then think about how wonderful it would be to finally be set free from that worry.

So, the next time you hear someone say there is no such thing as a base tan and that tanned skin is damaged skin, think of my story and how a base tan has freed me from the sun prison I was in. When done the right way, slowly and responsibly, a tan is protection from burning and misery for people like me.

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