You know what my favorite thing about summer is? The almost daily occurrence of scattered thunderstorms. I find the roar of thunder chilling. The flash of lightning is beautiful. Most of all, the dark skies allow me to feel less guilty about being outside. I hate that I get it, but I am unable to turn it off. Bright skies? Even fully slathered with sunblock and protective clothing I feel guilty. How can you enjoy life if you’re constantly thinking about what not to do?
While my doctors are amazing and I’m sure they know what they’re talking about, sometimes when one tells me to hide indoors for the duration of my life I stare un-moving for what seems like an eternity. Why would I waste my life away indoors? Everyone will die at some point right? I’d rather live everyday like it’s my last. Inhale the freshly cleaned air while I can. Stare out my rain streaked window while the Gods throw rods at the earth. This is what I live for and this is what I will fight to enjoy. Be it indoors or out.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t have. Sometimes, you just gotta grab life by the horns. Trust me, Lupus can wait.
Now that it’s officially summer the list of outdoor events lined up for the coming weekends is growing by the day, at least here in Baltimore. After a winter like this past one it’s nice to finally walk outside without a thousand layers of clothing. When I look around and see women in their short shorts and summer dresses I gotta admit, I get a tad bit jealous. I look at my milk chocolate skin and think, you are designed for this! Your skin can take it. And it’s true, I don’t burn. My skin I can take it, but Lupus can’t. I want to wear some daisy dukes and not give a %$@#, but I have to care. Doesn’t make it suck any less but it could be worse.
This past Saturday I went to a festival in Annapolis which was really fun. Wine and art, what’s not to love? I wore a long maxi dress that was wasn’t really form-fitting so it kept me somewhat cool. I then tied a decorative scarf across the cleavage area to reduce the amount of skin I could potentially show. I topped it off with some funky wedges, a denim jacket, and a large brimmed hat. This look is basically my summer uniform. Maxi dresses which hit the floor cover practically every inch of your body and what isn’t covered you can fix with a light jacket or cardigan. It may have been a bit too warm for the denim but I managed to make it the entire day without taking it off–which, believe it or not, made me really happy!
While in line for one of the tastings I looked up at the sky and was like “hmm, it’s kinda hot!” There was a woman next to us and she looked at me as if to say “just take off the jacket,” so I responded quite honestly (to her imaginary question, mind you). “I would take off my jacket but I have Lupus and the sun = no bueno for me.” She quickly explained how she knew all about the sun as her mom has Lupus and literally passes out whenever she’s in the sun. What the what! We chatted for a bit and turns out her mom’s sun blackouts is the only reason a Lupus diagnosis exists. Crazy, huh?!
I guess in retrospect, having to wear my jacket wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. At least I could be outside enjoying the event and my friends. Sometimes you just have to count your blessings.
P.S. Despite my love of what I wore, I realized (after the fact) that I only took one group pic and don’t have any real proof of the aforementioned outfit. The picture above is the dress I wore but taken a week or so earlier while on vacation. I will need to capture this lovely sun protecting outfit soon for you all. If, that is, you want to see it. haha.
I love a nice day trip; it’s nice to get away and explore someplace else. Summertime means more day trips and unfortunately, for me at least, more sun exposure. While planning a wardrobe around work (if you’re at a desk all day) is easy, a day trip usually means you will be walking, exploring, and ultimately spending more time outdoors than an average day during the week.
What does this mean if you’re sun sensitive? You plan ahead. I’ll be the first to admit I never excelled at planning but now that my health depends on it, I make do. Planning means thinking about everything your day will likely include and what that means for your clothing and accessory options. How much sunscreen to pack, what clothes are both cool and breezy but also protect you.
Always check the weather, and try (if possible) to plan your outdoor activities at the earliest and latest times of the day. Activities such as museums, shopping, eating, or shows are the safest bets during peak-sun hours. Once you determine the weather you can begin the process of picking out the appropriate clothing.
Large brim hats, sunglasses, and good walking shoes are a must. The makeup and moisturizer I use also use always contain sunscreen. Currently I’m in love with SUPERGOOP! City Sunscreen Serum with an spf of 30. I’ll talk more about my favorite sunscreens in another post! I’ve tried so many brands. Talk to your Dermatologist to determine what spf suits your needs.
Here is what I stay away from:
Tank tops, spaghetti straps, and or midriff baring tops