The Challenge of 2014

I am a planner. Through and through. When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2014, I felt like I had complete control of this year. I knew what goals I had to accomplish and was very content in many aspects of my life.

And then 2014 happened. Many things flipped upside down, new things came into my life, I longed for old things–all of this being very vague but the point is, I sit here today feeling very unsure.

That doesn’t settle well with me which probably means it’s good for me. There’s the quote out there that basically says if you stay in your comfort zone you never grow. Sometimes that comfort zone just feels so good though…and I was in it for so long.

This year I just had so many things I wanted to accomplish and the priorities keep changing. Many things in my life just changed.  Now I’m to the point where I look at my life and aside from a few important things….I just don’t know what is up. If that makes sense. Many things are just not in my control. And as a person who plans and tries to maintain organization, that’s definitely made me more anxious.

I’m not an overly anxious person. I don’t think. I get anxiety when people crowd around me, that’s something I say I get anxious about. But part of it is also being annoyed…a mix of the two…

So when I think of someone with anxiety, I never think of myself. I don’t feel I deserve to be able to say that because there are people in my life that I love so much and it’s a true struggle. But this year has tested my limits and with some of the information that is now coming out there in support of those suffering from anxiety and/or depression sadly from the death of Robin Williams, I’ve realized both happen on all levels, and at the end of the day we all have our own struggles. We all deal with life and changes differently.

Part of me feels I’m supposed to have this anxiety because it’ll push me and help me grow. Other times I just get really sad. This fluttered worry in my chest just sits there and I honestly can’t do much about many things right now.

We read this book at work earlier in the year about “being in your box.” We get into our box and don’t realize what others are going through or why they make the decisions they make. I honestly make an effort to get out of the box, but it doesn’t always happen. This year has really tested that for me.

I knew about mid-way through the year this year wasn’t going to go as I planned. I try to just take deep breaths and tell myself that I will one day be grateful for this year. It just doesn’t feel so great in the moment. I feel it’s the challenge of 2014, hoping it leads to a better 2015.

Beauty Review: What The Frizz?

I have flyaways. I have frizz. I have damaged hair thanks to all the heat I use. Mix that in with fine hair and sometimes it’s just a disaster. Here are a few of the products I use to try to manage it, please share your solutions in the comments!

John Freida Frizz-Ease

On the bottle, this products says it “instantly camouflages imperfections, leaves dull, dry hair shiny soft and supple. This is an item you use on dry hair. I use this to try to tame the top of my hair when I have a ton of little frizzes sticking up. I just rub it in my hands and put it on top to smooth everything out. Because of my fine hair, if I use too much I run the risk of it looking greasy, so I can only use a little bit. It tames them down, although they tend to pop back up after some time.

TRESemme Anti-Frizz Secret 

This is actually my husband’s but I steal it quite a bit. He uses it daily along with pomade and it keeps his hair frizz free and in place for the day. For me, I use it the same way as the Frizz-Ease. It’s a cream though, so it’s different than the frizz-ease. It’s not as thick and it’s a little smoother. I can put a little more of this in my hair and it keeps the frizzes down for a bit.

John Freida Full Repair® Touch-Up Flyaway Tamer

This product comes in a mascara-like bottle, has a brush, and is fantastic. I love this product so much and I use it quite a bit as you can see the label has scratched off. This one bottle has probably lasted a couple years, so I’m sure I should have replaced it by now, but I kept using it. This is perfect for those annoying flyways because you can fix them directly. I wouldn’t recommend using a bunch across several strands because then it makes it wet and hard to fix. But it is perfect to fix one or two stands here and there. I highly recommend keeping this handy.

It Pays to be Pale: Risks of Tanning

I remember the first time I went to a tanning salon. I believe I was 16 or 17 and my mom went with me to ask the salon about any risks as I have a birthmark on the back of my leg I always keep an eye on. Their response was that it was fine, just monitor it and  sent me on my way to get my first tan.

I probably tanned on and off occassionally until I was about 20 before I started to really learn about the risks through Cosmopolitan’s Safe Sun Campaign. This was started by Kate White, the magazines former editor-in-chief. From then I vowed to never use tanning beds again and try my best to be safe while in the sun. Especially as a person with very fair skin, or as many others say, pale.

Today, things are different. It is just like smoking, as the years go by and we learn more about it, we know there are risks.

Times Are A Changin’

The Surgeon General recently came out by saying skin cancer was a major health problem. In a USA Today article, they covered the announcement and many other details for this cause.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have now banned tanning beds for those under the age of 18, and 41 states regulate the use on minors.

The reason for these regulations is because tanning is linked to skin cancer, specifically melanoma one of the most dangerous kinds.

“Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills one person every 50 minutes,” the Melanoma Foundation reported on their website. “It is the second most common cancer for young adults aged 15-29 years old. Rates for melanoma are increasing faster than nearly all other cancers.”

We also live in a society that wants to keep a youthful look, yet tanning causes some of the issues many people pay a lot of money to remove or prevent.

“Every time you tan you increase your risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma. Indoor tanning also causes premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots, changes your skin texture, increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used,” the CDC said on their website.

I think a lot of people, especially young people, have the “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Having a tan is more popular than “being pale.” Or, stepping aside from tanning beds, people don’t realize the need to use sunscreen when stepping outside. What isn’t realized that I’ve learned over the years is anytime a person is exposed to the sun or goes into a tanning bed, we are actually damaging our skin.

tanning alternativeAlternatives

Thankfully businesses have created better solutions for spray tans and lotions much better than ever before. In the past they made a person almost orange and it they had a bad smell. Today we can get spray tans that are very natural and buy products that work.

Recently for a wedding I used Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs “leg makeup.” I’ve actually had this for a couple years but didn’t really use it. It went on really easily, wasn’t orange, and just overall had nice even color. I never got a single comment the entire night about my legs being pale (which is good for me, usually at least one person makes a snarky comment).

Overall I just encourage anyone to learn more about the risks and learn what to watch out for. Even if you don’t use tanning beds, you’re still being exposed to the sun daily. Know what to look out for and educate yourself.

What to Look For

Monitor your skin and monitor any moles or spots you may have. Consider annual trips to a dermatologist or even just ask your primary doctor to check out any concerns you have. The American Cancer Society has a great list of what to keep an eye our for, as well as the Skin Cancer Foundation. The link to the Skin Cancer Foundation includes the “ABCDEs of Melanoma” with visuals of what to look out for.

It’s helpful to discuss your current moles and spots with your doctor and have them tell you what to look for too. I had a couple spots I thought had changed when I had a regular physical last year. My doctor was super helpful, looked at all the spots and they all thankfully checked out okay. She also showed me some images of what to look for that were similar to mine and really eased my mind. It’s important to include skin checks into your health routine.