and, for me, that’s a wonderful thing. I can deal with most anything if the sun is shining. I’m definitely one of those people who needs lots of natural light. Despite my love of the sunshine, I’ve never thought of myself as a sunbather. In my mind, sunbathers were those individuals who roasted and basted themselves for hours in the sun. I’ve never been able to do that because I get too antsy. I just can’t sit that long, especially if there is a body of water nearby.
After looking at the definition of the word ‘sunbathe,’ it does appear I may just be one of those. The definition mentions sitting or lying in the sun, especially to darken the skin. I guess I don’t think of it that way. My body and psyche just feels a whole lot better when I absorb some rays. Do I enjoy being tan? Well, yes I do. Am I going to end up paying for my affinity for the sun? Yes, I will. Will I be able to restrict my time in the sun if need be? I don’t think so. I’ve spent the last 20 or so Summers frolicking in the water. I love to swim and be in the water. It’s my jam.
I grew up playing outside in all seasons. I had a great deal of sun exposure. Being a fair-skinned individual, I often experienced a mild sunburn before tanning took place. Over the years I’ve had a few horrific sunburns. I taught tennis for many summers, always outdoors. There was no sunscreen back then. We burned. Teaching tennis was a great way to get sun because I was always moving and never thought of it as sunbathing. The only time I intentionally set out to get some color was for the Senior Ball in high school when I sat in the backyard with aluminum foil on my Beach Boys “Endless Summer” album cover. It was a double album so maximum exposure. I ended up a deep shade of red, go figure.
In fact, the neighborhood pool opens on May 19th and unless it’s raining I will be over there with my bathing suit on and will get in the water despite it being a brisk 60 degrees on average. This is on my mind because tomorrow is my visit to the dermatologist. I’m sure he is going to recommend I lighten up on the sun. And I’m fairly certain he will be “zapping” a few spots. Don’t you love it when they say, “you’ll feel a little pinch.” Are you kidding me? I’ve been pinched by the best (my brother comes to mind) and I’ve never felt a pinch like that. Certainly I take precautions by using sunscreen, and have for years, but I know the damage was done long ago. I’m willing to continue to be cautious but I don’t want to stay out of the sun. As Sheryl Crow sings, “I’m gonna soak up the sun.” I have to. It’s part of my soul.