Monday, June 2, 2008

Wear Sunscreen

I've collected quote, sayings, little anecdotes, for as long as I can remember now. I have a little book filled with them in fact - its what I use one of my personal journals for. Whenever I'm down or depressed I flip though it and let the inspirational words of some of the greatest minds in the world inspire me and lift my spirts. I've actually come to rely pretty heavily on my little book of quotes. I thought I'd share one of my favorites with you all courtesy of Mary Schmich circa 1997. - (In case you are unfamiliar with her, Mary Schmich is a journalist and a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.)

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Always In Style said...

Very true!

ElegantSnobbery said...

I have always (and by always, I mean for like, 11 years) loved that Wear Sunscreen bit! It is so fun! but ghastly when it was turned into a "song" and played on the radio 24 hours a day. The droning voice kinda took the fun out of that address.

Your inspirational quote book is a great idea. Here is my favorite quote of all times:

There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.

-- -Minnie Aumonier

ThisOldHenHouse said...

Ack, I know the song is terriable! But the quote itself is lovely!

Ooooh I like that one... I'll certainly have to include that in my book!!

Paul Sears Photography said...

Good words of wisdom!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing... there are so many words of wisdom there, I love them all!!

esque said...

Good advice indeed!

idyll hands said...

I remember when this was put to music... maybe around 1999? Before that? I can't remember but it was on the radio ALL the time.

Oh, someone already brought this up. I might not have been spectacular when put to music, but think of all of the people that heard it because of it!

Denise Felton said...

I love this, too!

One of my favorites has become a cliche, but I'm still dedicated to it:

Work like the money doesn't matter.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Love like you'll never be hurt.

And the guiding philosophy of my life:

The Universe is unfolding as it should.

casserole said...

Great advice! Particularly the bit about the sunscreen... (I say that as I look down at my pitiful sunburned feet. Luckily just the tops got burned!)

Gwennie said...

I love quotes as well, and I'd managed to forget about this amazing speech (I think that awful song made pushing it out of my conscious mandatory). The speech was wonderful though, and so wise.

I love Oscar Wilde quotes and usually try to read them when I need a lift. They make me laugh!