If and when you are kind enough to add me to your blogroll, please DO NOT use my last name. You are perfectly welcome to link to me in any other way that you choose and I do have a multitude of nicknames for you to choose from, just please please please don't use my last name. If you've already linked to me with my last name, I'm asking you to change it pretty pretty please.
Okay, moving on.
Every Spring I encounter the exact same dilemma. I LOVE the sun. I love it so much that when Spring and Summer roll around, I want to lay in the sun ALL DAY. With or without apparel. Truly.
Why is this a problem?
If you've ever seen me, you know that I am very fair. In the Fall and Winter I refer to the whiteness of my skin as a moonburn. My hair is naturally both dark blonde and WHITE (seriously), and my eyelashes are very blonde. I'm okay with being pale. I quite like my natural coloring and usually embrace the pale. But I can tan. Truly. I can. And when I'm dirty derrty golden tan, it's a beautiful thing to me. I love it. It's so hard for me to resist. I grew up in a sunny oceany place and now I live in a sunny deserty place. I love the sun. Life without snow is a beautiful thing. Laying outside for hours with the sun like warm kisses all over my skin is a beautiful thing. Doing this next to the ocean is an even more beautiful thing.
Here is why I resist: I have a family history of skin cancers. I have several red flag skin cancer risk factors. I have an ugly pink scar on my left arm from having a questionable mole removed last summer (it was, blessedly, benign). I have a desire to not look like a handbag when I'm 40. But mostly, it's the deep and abiding fear of cancer. I lost a parent to lymphatic cancer at the tender age of 12, a grandfather to prostate cancer in my teens, and a grandmother to breast cancer in my 20's. A woman I've known for my entire life passed away a few weeks ago from malignant melanoma, leaving behind children and grandchildren who love her. I've got a healthy respect for the big C. We're better acquainted than I'd like to be.
I ate my breakfast outside this morning so I could better smell the orange and lemon blossoms in my yard. As I took in the gorgeous late morning, I felt the sweet little sun kisses all over my skin and considered running inside to change my clothes and grab a towel to lay on. Instead, I looked at the little half inch pink button of a scar on my left arm. I went inside and found my sunscreen collection and put it where I'll be reminded to put it on every day.