"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Monday, April 6, 2009

With age comes... crispy skin and a short attention span

Several things have recently become painfully obvious.

First of all (and most literally painful), my skin is not the same as it used to be. I didn’t realize that it changed as you got older. In my mind, I still have the golden tan skin of my childhood and adolescence. The skin that never burned, but instead continued to grow darker and darker all summer long. In fact, check out this picture of me and my old roommate from last spring:

Notice the tan? That’s after being in the sun one or two times – I think it was April.

Now check out a picture from today – one year later:

See the difference? Notice the pasty-white face and the ridiculously red chest? Ouch. This was after being in the sun for two hours on Saturday at my brother’s baseball game. TWO HOURS people. Not all day. Not even half a day. Two stinkin’ hours and I get THIS. What the heck is going on?! I don’t get it!!

Secondly, I have got to get a hold of my inability to focus on simple tasks. This, too, is getting progressively worse with age. It leaves me scatter-brained and daydreaming when I’m supposed to be diligently working. I’ll sit down to write an article and stare at a blank page for ages. I find myself zoning out when people are talking to me – when I finally snap to, I realize I haven’t heard the last several sentences. I lose stuff all the time. I misplace keys or papers. I walk into rooms and forget what I’ve gone in there for. And it’s not just every now and then. It’s ALL the time. I took an online ADD assessment last week and it told me to seek medical help for my strong ADD tendencies. I don’t know if it’s a serious problem, or if I just need to clear my head and get on the ball, but it seems like the harder I try, the worse the problem becomes. It’s starting to be a pretty significant hindrance at work. I feel like I’m constantly behind.

Next on my list of realizations – I’ve got to start actually using the treadmill that sitting in my guest bedroom. My clothes are getting too tight for comfort. Plus, it’s almost summer, and as of right now, this girl is NOT putting on a swimsuit. If I’m going to be red this summer, I need to at least be skinny and red. As of right now, I’d just look like a big ‘ole tomato. Nobody wants to see that.

Also, I need to figure out where I’m going to live in a couple months. My lease will be up the 1st of July and I haven’t decided what to do. Renew and throw away another year’s worth of rent money? Or try to find a house of my very own? I like that idea, but then there’s the issue of repairs (landlords are handy that way) or trying to sell if I eventually decide to move (there are houses on my street that have been for sell since last summer when I moved here.) I don’t know what to do…

But I’ll have to think about it later. Right now I’m going to go try to focus… wish me luck.


Diane said...

I got a burn yesterday, too... except mine is in a weird place... I was bent over and my shirt rode up (and my pants rode down), so my burn in that stripe, ride on my lower back. That part of me hasn't seen sun in a LONG time! Ouch.

You KNOW I feel your pain RE the clothes versus treadmill. Ugh.

Good luck with your house dilemma. Sending you good thoughts!

Rachel Cotterill said...

My skin has always been like that. Heaven help me if it gets *worse* as I get older!

Sally's World said...

I think we spent our early years buring all the goodness out of our skin, i was never warned of the risks when i was younger...now i just cover up, no goodness left...just wrinkles lol!

Kelly said...

I sounds like you have lots on your mind and that's why you are so scatter-brained. I blame global-warming and the depletion of the ozone layer, not age, for my ability to burn.

Anonymous said...

Heather, it's not the aging that caused you to burn (actually, it's the burn that will lead to aging) - it's your not applying sunscreen. You've heard the drill before. When you go out without suncreen for TWO hours when you've not been in the sun since the end of last summer, you can expect to BURN. Suncreen is you best defense from skin cancer and WRINKLES!!!

Kim said...

First of all - I'm so envious of all of you southerners talking about getting tans and burns already - we just had more snow:(

My skin changed after 30 and then again after a baby. As for going into a room and forgetting what your purpose was - it's just not right - right? Again wait till you have a baby!

Jen L. said...

As we get older (we being the women in our family) we have to use more sunscreen. Get some Neutrogena. It's lightweight and you can put it on your face and body. And it doesn't smell like a coconut. I use it daily.

I'm totally impressed that you're thinking about buying a place. I wish I had done that when I was your age. A friend sold her condo when I was about 25 and in hindsight, I should have bought it. Good luck with finding housing, whether it's buying or renting!

Andy said...

That's a quick burn... man, two hours?
As far as the ADD stuff, I've learned to keep my keys and other essentials in the same place every time I come home, so I stop misplacing them. Otherwise, I'd lose them all the time. I get very absent minded, as you can tell from my blog and my penchant for missing obvious things.

Randa said...

My skin used to burn like that all the time. Now, it seems to be okay in the sun for a little bit. It's old but a nice change.

My lack of ability to stay focus is getting just as bad as yours. I agree with another commenter: we're just busy and stress.

Do you think you could go for the "rent to own" route? Have the same benefits of having a landlord but still having the opportunity to gain your own household?

Good luck with all the decisions

Kitten said...

I have skin very much like yours. I used to tan up very easily, but now I burn for being in the sun for one hour. It's not fair!

I had acne-prone skin as a teenager, and thought it would all clear up as an adult. I'm in my 30s now and it's WORSE! I don't know what to do! It looks like a life of Proactiv and Clearasil for me!

cheapbychoice said...

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hebba said...

I noticed that the scatterbrained thing comes and goes. I go through a few years of scattered and then a few years of really focused and the a few years of creativity. SO don't sweat it too much...you're probably on the cusp of something really creative.

Lacey said...

I manage to get a sunburn just taking out the trash. And no, I'm not kidding even the littlest bit. It's April 6th and my shoulders are already beat red, despite my not being outside AT ALL (except for, of course, taking out the trash and driving places every so often). But this has always been my fate, so I guess I can't really blame it on age.

Secondly, I have the attention span of a gnat, and it's definitely gotten worse over the last couple of years. Just this morning, in fact, I was brushing my teeth after I got out of the shower, and I somehow ended up in front of my computer checking e-mail and Googling stuff. (Note: I have no idea how I got there and I still had my toothbrush sticking out of my mouth.) I promise myself every day that I'm going to work on it, but all I can offer as hope is that you probably have a LOT going on right now, even "just" emotionally. Maybe we can work on this together. :-)

Finally, house-buying is harder than I ever imagined. If you ARE going to do it, I think you should start now. I wish we would have started a few months ago, because there's so much to learn so fast, and NONE of it is the stuff you can learn in books (believe me, I've read a TON of books, and HGTV is a liar too). It's just weird timing, speaking economically of course. :-)

Jenners said...

Did I somehow ghost write a post for you that I didn't know about? I swear ... so much of this is me! Burnt skin, forgetfulness, clothes that don't fit...it all rings true. But I do have a house already so I guess it wasn't me after all : )

Missy said...

I do not tan! I burn, peel, and stay white!
I took Staterra for ADD for 3 or so years and really couldn't tell a difference! LOL

Lynda Lehmann said...

It's because the ozone layer has thinned, or so they say. The sun's rays are so much stronger than they were, generations ago.

If you think focusing is hard for you at your age, lol, wait 'til you see how it feels when you're pushing 60! :)

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