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60 to 60: Counting up to the big 6-0

I thought it would be fun, not to mention a much-need writing discipline, to post every day for 60 days. In sixty days (actually 59, I'm always late) on June 8, I am turning 60. Don't feel too bad for me, I'll be in San Sebastian, Spain that day! In some departments, I got very lucky.

Anyway, every day (all day) my mind is filled with stories I want to share, and yet I hesitate, for no good reason. I'm now realizing that if a person gets to be 60 after living a pretty big life as I have, maybe it's time to drop ALL hesitancies. Let go of old stories, "lower mind" thinking, negative thought patterns. After all, this is what I would tell you.

Here on Day 1 of 60 to 60, it wasn't as great as day on the beach, that's for sure. It was my quarterly visit to my dermatologist, whom I greeted today with "It's you! My bestie!" By now, we've gotten to know each other a bit, as apparently I am very good at making suspicious-looking spots on my skin, and she is very good at taking them off. I've had 3 melanoma in situ removed in the last year, for which I am grateful because in situ essentially means "in place." The last visit I had felt like I got a Hall Pass, the one they give you in high school to go to the lav. She didn't find anything. Today was a different story, as she found 3 spots that she took a sample of and "we'll talk very soon."

Yes, this IS scary. The truth is all of this sun damage incurred in my life way before I turned 40. All the rivers paddled, mountains climbed and skied, the endless days spent at the sea...all of it happened 20 years, 30, 40, 50 years ago. I was telling Jay about my middle-school friend Lorraine, and how we'd bring our teeny bikini bodies to our local lake, Lynn Deming Park in New Milford, Connecticut. We'd slather up in baby oil (SPF ZERO) to darken our skin, put lemon in our hair to lighten it and played Peter Frampton Live extremely loud on our portable radio and giggle at the bad word. Going to THE LAKE was like a religion then, holy. Later we'd get red hot cinnamon ball candies at the food shack, oooogle over the 8th grade boys (a whole year ahead of us) and never once did we toss a care toward sunburns or skin cancer.

Fast forward, I've lived in the Rocky Mountain West for over three decades. It's high here. The sun is hot, and close! All this to say, I don't have time to place blame or shame or guilt or any of that nonsense on myself or anybody else for having lots of pre-cancerous stuff. This is one of those life situations we get presented with. We all get obstacles and challenges presented to us, it's life, it's inevitable.

After my appointment, I bought a lovely spring bouquet of flowers called French Blossoms. I choose to look at beauty. I believe we have to balance out the scary, sometimes awful and confusing stuff with life's most simple and basic pleasures. Every time I walk by the vase in the kitchen, I smile.

See ya tomorrow.


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