My psychology teacher recently told the class that the early onset of puberty has been attributed to increased exposure to light – albeit artificial. It all has to do with our circadian rhythm, more commonly known as our biological clock.
So if I’m following correctly, our body clock, which regulates our wake and sleep cycles according to the daylight to dark hours, contributes to the aging process according the number of days it perceives by sunrise following sunset.
Are you going where I’m going? If I were to live in total darkness, would I stop aging? Or worse, sun worshipper that I am, am I accelerating my aging by following the sun? Well, of course, we know all about sun damage and aging skin, but I’m talking about over all, external and internal aging.
Should I be setting up camp at the South Pole? Eschewing all forms of artificial light except perhaps the dim glow of a candle?
Well, I do look better by candlelight these days. Recently, I caught a glimpse of my face in the side mirror of my husband’s truck. It’s not often I have the opportunity, or the inclination, to gaze at myself in broad daylight under the noontime sun.
“Oh my Goddess! Where did those wrinkles come from?” I was getting to be okay with the faint crows feet (faint as long as I don’t smile or frown), but there are wrinkles on my cheeks. Can other people see them? Drat these cataracts and the sun exposure that caused me to have them (when I’m way too young by the way).
I feel like an addict who has finally felt the sting of betrayal from my drug of choice – knowing that I still won’t give it up.
I remember those winter vacations in South Florida when I was just a teenager; seeing all those wrinkled, leathery bodies in beach chairs. I thought those bathing beauties were all well past eighty. They were probably the age I am now!
A good friend of mine is a nurse (translate – should know better). We’ve spent countless hours of countless days of the past 25 summers engaging in our favorite pastime – lounging on an air mattresses on any available body of water with the hot sun baking our skin to a dark brown hue. Affectionately known to us as Float-n-Bloat (heat plus humidity equals water retention), we tried to soak up as much sunshine and we possibly could, futilely hoping to somehow store it for the long winter months.
It may have been fun and satisfying in our youth, when our bodies could conceal the damage. Now we’re paying the piper and it’s a hefty fee. Even so, I know any chance I get to feel that satisfying heat on my parchrd skin, to squint my blurry eyes against its glare, to lie in a stupor of heady satisfaction while I bake and flake, I will take it.
I’ve already missed the window to “Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse,” so I may as well go to my grave all wrinkled and warm with a smile on my face.
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