I recently learned that leopard geckos shed their skin every one to two weeks, which is pretty brilliant, if you ask me.
I also recently learned that leopard geckos eat the skin they shed, which is both admirably efficient and really gross.
The lizard thing got me thinking about my own skin and how refreshing it would be to shed it every now and then, yank it off in the morning and start the day fresh.
But, the thing is, I can trace my history on my skin and I’m not sure I’m willing to give that up.
I earned a two-inch scar on my ankle 52 years ago when I was jumping on the couch and landed on a metal Tonka Truck our neighbor Matt parked there while I was mid-air.
I have a million freckles I’ve collected over the years on tennis courts, in swimming pools and during the one skin-thickening summer I spent on the baseball diamond as a teen-aged umpire.
I have fair skin and I try to be fair. I also have thin skin and I’m working on that. It’s starting to pool around my joints, and I still get my feelings hurt pretty easily, but I have hope and a nice set of barbells to help me out.
I have underbelly stretch marks from my first pregnancy. I didn’t even know they were there until I held that baby in my arms and happened to glance down. “When do those go away?” I asked. “They don’t,” my doctor replied. They’d be kind of a bummer if I were the bikini-wearing type, but I’m not and the reward for those bad boys? Well, they’re miraculous, all four of them.
I earned a couple of other large scars, one that stretches halfway up my left arm from the time I shattered my elbow and needed to have it rebuilt. The other is from the exact same tumor my friend Karen developed at almost the same time I did. Mine turned out to be benign, but Karen was not so lucky.
So, lucky is how I feel when I examine my skin, even though I’m not always thrilled by the aging face I see in the mirror. Most of my lines are from laughter and, though I’m not sure what to make of my brand new jowls, I’ve noticed that if I keep my chin up they melt away. That’s seems like a pretty good plan going forward.
I’m going to keep the skin I’m in because it tells the story of me and I’ve still got some chapters left to write.