Everybody’s Free (good advice and a tip for the Summer)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

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 4 p.m. 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. Travel.

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.


*From Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich’s column on June 1, 1997 and adapted into a song ”Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann on his album ”Presents Something for Everybody”

Om Asta

Välkommen hit vare sig du varit här förut eller inte. Jag som skriver här är en kvinna i medelåldern får man väl säga nu för tiden, och jag heter inte Asta i verkligheten, men jag heter Asta här. Jag bor med min man och två hundar i Småland. I ett hus från början av förra sekelskiftet som vi roar oss med att renovera. Våra erfarenheter där är att man hinner aldrig så mycket som man vill och att allting tar alltid längre tid än man tror. Min blogg har funnits i några år och startades mest för mig själv egentligen. Jag har inget budskap och jag har inte något speciellt spännande liv. Men dels tycker jag det är kul att bygga lite på websidor och dels är det ett bra sätt att föra en logg på vad man gör. Framförallt nu när vi har hus. Att det hittar hit en del människor är naturligtvis en bonus. Jag har en genmutation som gör att jag har hemokromatos, något som det finns lite information om här på sidan. I övrigt så tycker jag om att fixa och dona. Att snickra och att göra allt möjligt annat pyssel som jag kommer på. Älskar att lära mig nya saker och det är viktigt att alltid ha ett projekt på gång. Den som vill skicka mig ett mail kan göra det på adressen


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