Sooner or later


I went to the dermatologist yesterday.

I have an age spot.

At least, I’m calling it an age spot.  The doctor called it a “sun freckle,” and I was like, lady, I’LL SHOW YOU A SUN FRECKLE.  This spot is 5mm by 4mm – much larger than I am comfortable chalking up to just a “sun freckle.”

(To be fair, let’s remember that I have a flair for the drama when it comes to physical woes.)

I wanted her to burn it off, but she said no.  (Why does no one ever indulge my desire for the quick fix?  *pout*)  Instead, she gave me some bleaching cream to use twice a day for 3 weeks.  If it doesn’t help, then I’m supposed to stop using it because if I use it for too long, it could cause paradoxical darkening.

“What’s paradoxical darkening?” I asked, doe-eyed and naïve.

Well, Annie, paradoxical darkening turns out to be exactly what it sounds like.  The cream is supposed to fade the spot – but if you use it for too long, it can have the opposite effect and make it worse.  Get it?  Paradoxical darkening?  Get it?

In any case, it made me think of one of my favorite quotes – one that I’ve written about before, but surfaces frequently enough in my thoughts that it’s worth mentioning again:

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”
-C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair)

Indulging my feelings is all well and good for a moment or two.  Everyone needs a good cry.  Everyone needs the freedom to acknowledge when they feel left out, or left behind, or unwanted, or unseen, or just tired and sad.  But at some point, it’s time to decide what to do – otherwise, the very thing that was supposed to make you feel better only winds up making you feel worse.

I’m making a plan.

And in the meantime, I am bleaching the devil out of this spot.



  1. Emily on October 6, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Oh I love Chronicles of Narnia quotes. Who knew a children’s story could be so profound? I can’t wait to hear your plan.

  2. Laura on October 6, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Wow, LOVE that quote. That C.S. Lewis, he’s one smart cookie.

  3. Alissa on October 6, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    I think you almost have to give Earl Palmer second credit on that quote. He used it so often, that it is seared in my memory – and an abolutely necessary statement to remember as we navigate life. A Sun Freckle does have a charming sound, though, doesn’t it?

  4. Tad on October 6, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    That’s my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis line. It sounds even better in a super-sophisticated British accent like his.

    Go kick @$$ and take names!

    PS, There’s an audio version of Lewis’ “The Four Loves” on CD that is Lewis himself delivering the talks that became the book. It really fun to listen to him.

  5. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams on October 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    That quote is definitely powerful. I hope your plan involves joyful things. :)

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