Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wear Sunscreen

 I stumbled upon this last week, and thought it was just too good not to share.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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.

Mary Schmich


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I have always loved these words, but I haven't thought about them in a very long time. They were exactly what I needed at the end of a very stressful week. Thank you.

  3. Oh man I'm so old. I remember when this first came out -- as a song on the radio! Full of great advice

  4. Loved your post, thought I'd share one I did last week on skin cancer. Warning: Graphic pics.

  5. I loved this! Made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

  6. This is so wonderful. It's just what I need right now.

  7. Thank you for this! I remember my mom sent me a link to someone saying this in a video, and it was said at a graduation. Graduation from high school is in a week for me, so I'm glad you put it down so I can read it, and really absorb what it says.

  8. Check! I've lived in New York City and am now currently living in San Francisco (northern california). I love them both.

  9. and I wear sunscreen everyday.


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