Banishing the Fish belly

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Last week, a friend got sunburned, and boy howdy, I was jealous. I mean, she was going to just peel and be as pale and alabaster as before, so her burn wasn’t glam at all. I get a little bit of burn, put on my Ocean Potion Lotion for a day or two, and I’ve got the base layer for my summer colour. And I get to smell like Creamsicles the whole time. Yes Please!  This weekend, I got my season-starting burn, and it’s already turned to brown already. We’re off to the golden races.

Yes, I know that every burn is does irreversible skin damage, and will give me wrinkles and make me leathery and whatever else. But you know what? I’m either going to stroke out when my blood pressure decides we’re done with this nonsense, or I’m going to blow out my liver taking a lifetime of anti-seizure meds, or I’m going to get skin cancer, or I’m going to get hit by a bus crossing the street, or getting brained with an unsecured lid as I take a Creuset cast iron Dutch Oven from a high shelf. No one gets out alive, and I’m never going to say that I wish I spent more days looking like a fish belly when I’m staring down whatever it is that finally does me in.

I put on sunscreen when I know I’ll be out for many hours (or when I go south, where the UV is more intense more often), because while I don’t mind a little pink, I sure as hell don’t want all my carefully gained bronze to blister and peel off. That’s not efficient at all.

The careful art of weighing the cost benefit of things that are largely considered not-good-for-you is fraught with pitfalls. My mom has pre-cancerous spots on her legs and can’t spend time out in the sun. My dad roasts in the sun like a thanksgiving turkey as often as he can. I have my dad’s complexion, so I’m banking on the Great Tan genes to carry me to my old age. And my dad looks great for his age, so I’ll take that deal all day long. Even when I do things that are traditionally considered healthy habits, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to shake out like they should. I do things that are good for me of the organic-vegetable sort. I hedge my bets that genetics, plus the regular internal application of blueberries and external application of Ocean Potion Lotion is going to counter my penchant for going out sans sunscreen. Or something like that. I’m binging hard on Vitamin D. That’s what I’m doing.

And even when I am virtuous with my habits, it hasn’t really panned out for me in the blood pressure department, has it? It’s time to be mostly-responsible, with a generous shake of “what I want to do” tossed in for good measure. I’ll eat a salad as I rehydrate, promise. No regrets.

I don’t want to half-live my life. And I would much rather live in the full glare of the summer sun than from under a patio umbrella or a super-wide-brimmed hat. Although I do like hats…

What were we talking about again? Ah yes, sun worship.

I bought prescription sunglasses for a reason. Time to get my money’s worth. I put a flagstone terrace in my yard. Time to enjoy it. I have 5 excellent raised garden beds and many big planters in my yard. Time to plant the tomato forest and have zucchini negotiations with critters of the yard.

Time to banish the fish belly for another year.

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