Wednesday 15 May 2013

Day 15 - Life's A Lesson

Day 15 of rosalilium’s 'blog every day in May' challenge
Life's A Lesson
(What is the single most important lesson you have ever had?)

Hands up if you remember this song...

Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) - The Sunscreen Song (Class of '99) by Baz Luhrmann

The lyrics were first published as a column in the Chicago Tribune in 1997, then used by film director Baz Luhrmann on his 1998 album 'Something for Everybody' and released as a single in 1999 reaching number 1 in June that year.

It was definately one of those love it or hate it 'marmite songs'.

I was part of the 'class of '99'.
My secondary school had no sixth form so for us it really was the end with everyone heading their separate ways to different schools, colleges and workplaces.

It might be full of cliches and cheesy lines but it's been 14 years since it was released; I'm 30 now and many of the life lessons in the lyrics have rung scarily true.

Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) - The Sunscreen Song (Class of '99) by Baz Luhrmann

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 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 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 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. 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.
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…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, 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…

The best life lessons I wish I'd listened to?

You are not as fat as you imagine - I look back at photos of myself from 10 years ago and wonder why I ever thought I was fat.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life - It wasn't until after I'd graduated I discovered which career direction I should be heading in.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone - 5+ years of kneeling to shelve novels onto dusty bookshelves has made my knees creak at the age of 30!

So, no single life lesson but plenty of good advice and as always, don't forget the sunscreen.



  1. I had totally forgotten about that song! It really is a brilliant life lesson x

    1. It really is! I think it's one everyone forgets about but when you listen to it again you realise how good (and how true) it all is! :-) x

  2. "You are not as fat as you imagine". So true. I totally do that thing of looking back at photos and thinking, "why did I ever dislike the way I looked- I look amazing!"

    1. Yep, completely agree! I wonder if in another 10 years we'll look back and think the same again? x

  3. We chose the same song! :D I posted this as part of my Life is a lesson post today. It's such a great song. The odd line still pops into my head every now and then.

    1. Haha, great minds think alike as they say! :-) x

  4. I definitely (sort of) agree with the 'you're not as fat as you think you are': I look back at photos of myself in my early twenties and wonder what was going on in my head that I thought that I was fat! But I think it's something that only works retrospectively, because I can't look at myself in the mirror now and think "You're not as fat as you think you are!"

    1. That's very true - even if I look in the mirror now and say "you're not fat" there's still a bit of me that never quite believes it! x


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