Oh how often I have said that word to my mother. As I have gotten older, I realized that I never gave my mom enough credit.
In the past year, I have really refocused my life in a way that lets me take better care of myself.
I eat a mostly plant based diet, and cut meat out of my diet three to four days a week.I buy asmany things local as I can, I try to always shop organic, and I make sure anything canned has no BPA.
I use all natural, organic shampoo, conditioner, body wash and face wash. I use a menstrual cup, and when I don’t, I only use all natrual organic, no chemical feminine products. I chart my cycle with the Fertility Awareness Method (and avoid any external chemicals or hormones whenever possible). I recycle. I drink raw milk whenever I get my hands on it, and I am trying to find a CSA to join.
I use natural deodorant, I drink 3-5 liters of water a day. I exercise (not nearly enough but I am trying) and I always make sure to park far away from the store I am visiting, and to take the stairs. I have been trying to get to daily mass to help nourish my faith life as well, but truly- everything I do, I do intentionally to make sure I am healthy, fit and ready to live a long a beautiful life.
I have a very strong (but probably unfounded) fear of some day dying from breast cancer, so I take every precaution against it. But something that is very real in my family is skin cancer.
And this is something that up until this week I thought I was invincible to. I listen to my body. I have a lot of health issues, and I have learned to truly LISTEN to my body. So generally, when it tells me it is too hot to be in the sun any more, I listen and head towards shade. I grew up hating sunscreen, and as I got older, I really began to like the golden glow skipping the screen gave me. But skin cancer is something that is real in my family. YES, I did get the thick eyebrows and extra hair that comes with the dark Irish genes, so I do get darker than some but…. I am still a pale Irish girl. So occasionally… when i don’t pay attention… I burn.
Memorial day weekend… was one of those weekends. I went to my brother’s Rugby game and I was wearing a tank top because it was so so hot. I put spf 50 on my face, neck and chest knowing that these were sensitive places that could burn, but intentionally left my arms free so they would start to take on that “healthy” glow that I loved so much. But really… i straight up FORGOT about my back and shoulders. And as fate would have it, the back of my shoulders were the one part of my body exposed to direct blazing hot skin frying sun.
As I struggled to sleep this week, I thought of all the times my mom told me I needed to put sunscreen on and I answered: yeah, yeah, yeah. And I have changed my tune. I have added sunscreen and bug spray to my daily morning beauty routine. Tan skin, something I once coveted is no longer worth it.
So now I put on Honest Co sunscreen in the morning before I leave. And if I am going to be outside I reapply because I shouldve been listening to my mom all this time anyways. And its summer, and I need to take care of this one body I have been given.
Here’s to embracing the skin I am in. And thanking my mom for teaching me how to take care of myself. And to actually tell her to her face that she is right… pretty much always.
PS: yes. that is me with my childhood teddy bear right after I got married and had chopped all of my hair off. Look at how pretty my momma is! Seriously- she is a babe!