The sight of my shoulder catches my eye as I walk past the bathroom mirror. My towel slips a bit I see more clearly what I only glimpsed at first.
I am tan. The stark contrast of the white skin where my bathing suit usually lies and the darker brown skin that surrounds it makes me smile.
It’s not a pretty tan. My arms are darker than my shoulders. My shoulders darker than my legs. It’s not something I paid for in a salon or something that came from hours of lying still in the sun.
And yet I smile.
This is the first summer in years that I am tan like this. This darker skin symbolizes just how different this season is from the ones in the past.
The sight of my back reminds me of the summer I got married, when I tried so hard to get fit all while keeping my back free of tan lines. My entire focus that summer was to avoid what is all over my back today. And I succeeded too! My back was a gorgeous unified pale peach color right up until the night before our wedding when the cat got spooked while in my arms and clawed up my shoulder. (A great life lesson on not really being able to control anything. Perfect for a wedding eve. Plus, it gave some of the grown-up fodder for their lewd jokes. Total win.)
This summer’s tan lines however I wear with pride. They are proof that I’ve been outside running since the Spring. That the girls and I have been swimming daily. That our weekends have been filled with nature hikes.
These tan lines are proof that for once I’m putting myself and the family first. And while my work productivity might be suffering, my health-both mental and physical- are definitely improving.
|What it looks like to be outside. So lovely.|