Sunscreen

I don’t like sunscreen. I have lived in Florida almost all my life, and I still struggle with putting sunscreen on. I don’t like feeling sticky; it stinging my eyes and having to reapply after a few hours.

Casey B. asked me recently, “Is there anything you would have done differently when we were younger?” I said, “Yes. I would have let you mess up my sunscreen.”

Whenever we would go to the beach or the pool, I had to put sunscreen on to protect my skin from burning. I burn easily and have come home many times painfully red, while Kristin would come home with a great tan. She would put dabs of sunscreen while I put on gobs of it.

When the kids were little, we were active around water – swim, body surf, and build sandcastles. If they wanted to ride on my shoulders or get close, I would say, “I don’t want to mess up my sunscreen.” I genuinely regret that.

There were so many times we wrestled, did “fwhps” on their bellies, and hugged…just not when I was wearing sunscreen. I look back now, and I think that was silly. It wasn’t worth the price of missing a special moment, so I didn’t have to reapply.

Now, as a grandfather, it came back to me when I was on our last beach vacation. I was out with Casey, Graham, Jax, Christopher, U. Scott, and U. Matt in the waves. We are all bobbing around, and Jax swims over and puts his hands on my shoulders. Christopher said, “Jax, don’t mess up Pop’s sunscreen.” The next day, when I was wearing my swim shirt, I had no problem with Jax piggybacking while we were in the water.

Wow – why so much about sunscreen? Because while it was protecting my skin from a nasty burn, I also let it get in my way. I encourage you to examine the things that stop you from doing something you enjoy. I love healthy, active relationships with my kids and grandkids. I love swimming and bodysurfing with them. Why would I let myself be controlled by a silly thought or idea? It is so easy to do, and it can shape our lives when we allow it to become a subconscious action.

Do something about it. I am pushing myself to get up when I want to sit, listen when I want to speak, and speak when I want to stay silent. Trust when I don’t want to, believe the best when the story I created is more comfortable to believe, and yes, dive into the moment and put on some more sunscreen instead of missing the moment.

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