Twenty Seven Ways to Kick this Week’s Ass.

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In 1999, film maker Baz Luhrmann released Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen), originally written by Mary Schmich, and it reached the top of the charts. I believe it’s one of the most simple, yet beautiful and inspirational spoken word pieces out there. I initially planned on only taking seven tips from this piece, but the entire song is lovely, so I had to keep it all. Please, take every single bit of this to heart.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 99…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 have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you cant grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. Your 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 bubblegum. 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 everyday that scares you.
  • Sing.
  • Don’t be reckless with other peoples hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
  • Floss.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Stretch.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what 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 theyre gone.
  • Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you wont. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. What ever 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 what other people think of it, its the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
  • Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own 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’ll never know when theyll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
  • Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew 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.
  • Travel.
  • Accept certain inalienable truths. Price 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 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 its 40, it will look 85.
  • Be careful who 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 its worth.
  • But trust me on the sunscreen.” 

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One response »

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

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