Pause for Thought…

I heard this on the radio whilst sitting in the car a few months ago, and I can’t believe I had never heard it before and the lyrics made me think. It is based on “The Sunscreen Speech”, an essay titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997.

If you don’t want to watch the clip (it’s quite long) I have added the words below.

Baz Luhrmann – Everybodys free ( to wear sunscreen)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99
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 nevermind; 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 can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re 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.


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 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.


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 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 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 never know when they’ll 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 and 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.


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 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…

Well I sing ,it always lifts my spirits, and I warble on pottering around the house, and on ocassion even in public, much to the disdain and embarassment of my children. I dance (often in my living room), I stretch. I floss.
I love the line about jealousy ” the race is long and in the end it’s only with yourself”.
Some of the things It mentions I know I should do more… Oh and I do wear sunscreen 🙂


11 thoughts on “Pause for Thought…

  1. You're right – nothing like singing to lift the spirits. I'm sure I cause my boy much embarrassment with my warbling. I wish I'd known how fleeting youth is – and how much time is wasted worrying about stuff that doesn't matter! Hope I can pass this down to the next generation…A great post, Suzanne. xx

  2. George's Mum: hope next week is better xaudreyhorne: I know, whoever said "youth is wasted on the young" had a good point. Sometimes when your young it's hard to see the bigger picture, but that has it's blessings as well I guess.x

  3. oh thank you this is wonderful and bought a smile to my face. Having not seen the sun in so long I have forgotten what sunscreen is virtually! ;)Out it comes along with the bank statements etc etc. Time to sing, dance, make and enjoy – thank you.I have also put a youtube video up today, but no words! do opop over if you have a mo – I love it!Amelia.x

  4. Hello! brilliant post. I love this song. really very wise words of advice!I found your blog after you found mine, and im really glad you did! I read through tons of your blog. i really like it! its nice to read a 'mummy blog; with teenage kids, you seem like a wicked mum too!

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