Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Choose Me

Yesterday over at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, Heather asked us to take a step back and take a look at our lives.  Are we so busy doing for others that we don't do for ourselves?  I know I'm guilty of this.  I work, I have twins turning 13 in a couple months, I'm busy putting their needs ahead of mine a lot of the time.  However, I have been working very hard to also carve out time for myself.  How can I give my family and my students what they need if I am run-down or unhappy?  We need to take care of ourselves first and the rest will follow.

We have also been hearing about the devastating effects of cancer from our friends at the Sisterhood. Heather informs us that the American Cancer Society recently rolled out their Choose You campaign, which encourages women to take charge of their health by making a commitment to themselves to eat right, get active, quit smoking, get regular health checks, and/or protect their skin.  I'm happy to report that I do all of these things.  However, the one I want to emphasize here is to PROTECT YOUR SKIN.

Did you know, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and that 3.5 million (yes MILLION) cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually?  1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and indoor tanning increases your chances of Melanoma risk by 74%.  Remember, the only safe tan is a fake tan. 

I'm vowing to protect my skin.   This beautiful woman did not live to see her girls grow up, graduate from college, get married and have their own children.  This woman did not lay out all summer trying to achieve the perfect tan, but she loved her rose garden and playing outside with her girls.  She played tennis and loved to go on walks.  She didn't usually wear sunscreen.  She died in 1984 after a 4 year battle with Melanoma.  She was my mom, Kay Francis Benson. 

So on this first weekend of summer vacation for many kids (and some lucky grown-ups), what will you do to protect your skin?  Please vow to wear sunscreen EVERY DAY.  I need to be better at this too.  I always put sunscreen on my face and my makeup has sunscreen in it, but I often forget about my arms and hands.  We need to wear sunscreen when we are going about our daily lives, not just when we are lounging by the pool or playing at the beach.  Even choosing a body lotion with some sunscreen is better than nothing.

Please join me in vowing to Choose You.  Please don't let your kids grow up without you because you thought you looked better with a little color.  Take 30 seconds for yourself before you walk out the door and layer on some sunscreen.  You are too important NOT to.



  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I also lost a parent to cancer. My dad in 1977. Sunscreen is so important. I try to be good about it, but sometimes, I just simply forget.
    p.s. I have twin girls, but they are twice as old as your boys.

  2. Great reminder, and a moving post. I am always too lax about this, figuring that I'm fine because I'm just out there ten minutes here, twenty minutes there... Not good enough. I'll start tomorrow.

  3. ummm.... REALLY, I'll start tomorrow. It's nearly 9PM here. That wasn't "start tomorrow" as in a vague promise that gets put off and off. I really will do it!

  4. Great reminder. I am adamant about sunscreen on my face but always forget the other exposed spots (arms, hands especially)! I'll remember to do that from now on.

  5. I am a huge advocate of sunscreen because my arms turn bright red alsmot instantly. I have gotten over the tanning phase that I was one in (for way too long) and would much rather live a healthy life pale as can be then a short one tanned. Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sorry cancer took your mom. I know she is so proud of the woman you have become!

  6. i have already vowed it! my face is always protected my i need to get my arms and legs too!


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