Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter. A.D.D & A Tanning Booth...

It's been a long while since I've blogged. As much as I've missed sharing with ya'll... I just can't seem to get out of my funk long enough to focus on writing anything worthy of reading. (I DO have a ton to share tho!) Anyone who knows me or judging by my past blogs it's safe to say I'm NOT a winter person. I'm not a snow bunny. I'm the one tip toeing and cursing my way through my drive way swatting the snow flakes away from my face. Kids behind me happily catching snowflakes with their tongue.

I absolutely envy those who seem so in tune with the seasons here. Which right now seems to be everyone but me. It was a huge step in my adjustment to New England weather to have been sucked in by the beauty and wonder of Autumn. And while I've absolutely fallen in love with the scenery, the smells in the air and the ever changing colors...

I STILL. CANNOT STAND. WINTER.


Third year here. Still can't stand it. Love the season. Hate the weather. I attempted living in Pennsylvania between the ages of 19 and 22. I never left my apartment. I'm 30 now. My bones, muscles and MIND can't take it.

Where most people associate the sight of bells and candy canes with the "happiest season of all"... I now associate them it with a deep longing for sunlight, relentless aches and pains, sunset at 4:30 pm, and the strong urge to take a baseball bat to any speaker that dare blast their cheerful Christmas songs as you squander away your life savings on toys and giant bottles of Aleve. (Except for Mariah Carey's, All I Want For Christmas... I like that song.)

No. I'm not an ungrateful person. Yes. I'm extremely blessed. No. I'm not unlovable. Yes. I could be unpleasant to be around when I'm miserable. But I swear... in a few months I'll be dancing with the birds among the trees and kissing butterflies.


It's just that... the Floridian in me, associates "winter" with Christmas Day. Not the whole dang season. Once that one day is done and the presents are ripped apart and all the excitement of breaking the bank is over, that's it! I'm ready to ditch my Santa hat and scarf (worn mostly for shits and giggles) for sunblock and flip flops. I mean.. we DO get a winter. Temperatures drop to 12 degrees and I've dealt with a little frost here and there and even that was pushing it. I'd pull out my credit card, scrape the frost off my glass (feeling a little cheated at the fact that I even HAD to do that living in Florida) and I went about my business.


I can't do that here in Connecticut. The credit card or the flip flops thing. Well... I could but I like having all ten toes. It's also a big ol' fashion no-no. Even worse than wearing the hubs' bleach stained sweatpants to Target. (Which I may, or may not have done.) But that's not what we're discussing right now...

"So... Go back where you came from." You may say. Maybe someday, we will. But it ain't gonna be today.

SO. I'm determined to battle this thingy.

It might be needless to say, but I'll confess it anyway... I struggle a bit with depression and anxiety. I don't take medications. Mostly by choice. That said... I didn't realize until after my move up North just how much I relied on the sun, (yes, the sun) to keep my spirits up. So after last years long bout of the winter blues... I decided to get a gym membership. It had nothing to do with maintaining my Baywatch figure or as an addition to my new strict diet. You try and take and my goodies away you can expect to lose a finger. (Or two.)

And since we don't have the space or funds to convert a room in our house into a light box (used to treat the winter blues... you gotta google it)... it's a good thing my gym membership includes use of their tanning booth. Which I'd read some time last winter that being under the lights of a tanning bed could serve as an instant mood lifter because the rays produce a certain type of effect in the body releasing "feel good" hormones and what not. 

Now, I'll beat most of ya'll to the punch by saying... I know. I too associate the use of tanning booths to skin cancer. I swore no matter how well this works... I absolutely wouldn't use the tanning booth for more than a few minutes once every couple weeks IF that. What's worse, I'm a hypochondriac. A hypochondriac with freckles. I'm almost certain every chest pain, numbness, twinge and new freckle is a sign of impending doom. Yeah... Laugh now!


However... on this particular morning... I was desperate. 

I rolled out of bed at 8 am but from the looks of it, it resembled sun down. It was grey. It was cold. It was ugly. I had to go where I've never gone before to get me out of this funk.

So I walk into my gym that morning and approach the nice lady at the front counter. My fear of sounding like a complete dumb ass for not knowing how to use a tanning booth cause SURELY I was the only person in the northern hemisphere to never use one went out the window. My anxiety over being enclosed in a tiny space, clumsy as I am and surrounded by fragile light bulbs was put on the back burner...

Hello. I need some light. How do I do this thingy? I was getting down to business ya'll.

The nice lady was patient enough to walk me through the steps a little more than once. I asked her to repeat herself in order to ensure the instructions stuck and I wouldn't accidentally fry myself. She assured me the lights will automatically turn off in 3 minutes. 

I step in to the booth... make sure my door is locked... get nakey... and stepped through the chamber door into this little light capsule.

This massive, loud fan starts up above my head. And because I'm 250% sure I have some sort of adult A.D.D... The thoughts in my head went a little something like this...

Sounds like it's gonna suck me right outta here. I shoulda googled this before I did it. But what would I have searched? 'What to expect when tanning'? 'Tanning booth 101'? 'tanning booth parts'? If my hair were down... would that fan suck it up into those blades??? Is that even possible. 3 minutes... Ok 3 minutes... 

The blinding lights come on...

Should I be looking into these bulbs? Should I be wearing something over my eyes? Shouldn't the lady have TOLD me that I should wear some sorta SOMETHING on my eyes??? I mean... you should never look directly at the sun right? So is that what I'm doing now? Looking into the sun. 

I look down at my toes. I look up. I turn about 180 degrees...

Should I turn? For an even tan you need to turn. But I'm SURROUNDED by lights! Gosh Jess are you kiddin me... I laugh at myself a little.

Yup. Just me and the lights. Just me and the lights and I'm naked. I'm standing naked freakishly close to the front desk at the gym. I swear I should be wearing something over my eyes. Close your eyes, Jess... DUH! Get it together... You got 3 minutes of this to go... 3 minutes is a long time... right? Close my eyes, I gotta close my eyes. 

But before I close my eyes... I notice handles up over my head...

Is that an escape route?! Wait... it couldn't be. Could it? Let's say I get locked in this thing and I need to escape... I'd be trapped in the ceiling... so it CAN'T be an escape door. Wait... the lady said there was no way of getting locked in here. *sigh of relief*

I reach up and grab the handles...

I bet these handles are here to avoid tan lines huh? Yup. I bet they are. So do I hold on to them for the whole 3 minutes? But I'm naked. I'm naked with my arms up holding these handles. Omg... did I lock the door?! (Double check the door...) Dude OMG... that woulda sucked!!! Has anyone ever walked in on anyone standing in buck naked holding on the these handles like this *chuckle* Glad it ain't gonna be me... Okay, Okay... 3 minutes of this is nice... I can do this for 3 minutes...

Just as I start to feel that all too familiar toastiness on my skin that I normally get from the sun...

Aah yes... I could feel them happiness chemicals running through my veins now. Smiles to self...

Is it... a little... TOO warm in here? Is that normal? If I've only been standing here about a minute, does that mean people sweat in here standing for 10 minutes?! From light bulbs??? That can't be good. I hope this floor was cleaned right. What's TOO warm tho??? Seriously... it's freezing out but it's warm in here it's WEIRD. Jess... relax. Enjoy it. You get these 3 minutes to relax and enjoy the lights... *relaxing*

I got this. Okay... This actually feels kinda nice. I can do this for 3 minutes EVERYDAY! Okay Jess... shut your brain up and relax. You have 3 minutes...

And just as I got the hang of this whole tanning thing...

The lights turn off.

Dangit! Has it been 3 minutes already!?

I walked out of the gym that day feeling like a brand new woman.

I went home and googled 'Tanning booth without goggles'....

"You should NEVER enter a tanning booth without eye gear!!!"

"You'll go blind!"

"You can burn your cornea and damage your sight!"

"NEVER. NEVER. NEVER."

"Closing your eyes won't help! You'll burn your eye lids!"

"Good luck with your new cancer!"

Oh shit. Wait a minute... My vision HAS been a little blurry come to think of it...

Omg, Omg... I'M GONNA GO BLIND!!!












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