Wear Sunscreen

In addition to Saving and Swimming, I am also passionate about Music. From the day Baby SoS was born we have been listening, dancing, and falling asleep to the Digitally Imported Chill & Tropical House channel. Last night, a track played as she drifted to sleep and I thought that it was worth sharing. Click the orange play button below, listen to the track and read the lyrics to see if you agree. After the lyrics, I have something else to share, so go ahead, click play, and begin reading.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 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.

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 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 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, for as 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…

My thoughts…

When I first heard the track a year or so ago, it caught my attention, but it was not until the third or fourth time that I heard it that I recognized the wisdom it imparted. We take for granted the warmth and assistance in vitamin D creation that big gas ball in the sky gives us, but do not always take care to protect ourselves from it. Likewise, we know we should take care of ourselves, be kind to others, and save our money, but these do not always happen, either.

Dr. SoS always things it is humorously clever when I come up with my own lyrics when I cannot remember the words to a song. When it comes to Wear Sunscreen, these would be my lyrics.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Save Your Money!

If I could offer you one tip for the future, saving your money would be it. The long-term benefits of saving money were proved by Albert Einstein, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than the faults I made with saving mine.

Enjoy the power of youth and the benefits it grants to compound interest. Trust me, in 20 years, you will look back at your beginning investment balance and marvel at how adding small amounts each paycheck turned it into a massive sum.

Don’t worry about the future of the stock market. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to predict it. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, like your water heater going out or dropping the transmission in your car. Luckily, you will have a fully funded emergency fund to take care of these things to ease your mind.

Do one thing every day that scares you, like going another day without spending a dime.

Do not be reckless with your money and definitely do not let others do it for you.

Save!

Don’t waste your time on jealousy of what other people have. Know that you can live with less and be happier because of it.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults and instead compliment others.

Keep your old love letters and seven years of tax returns. Shred your old bank statements.

Stretch every dollar!

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The great thing about life is that you can work multiple jobs at the same time, save and invest even more money, and use that knowledge to figure out what you want to do with it.

Calculate your net worth. Understanding where you money goes will help you understand why it’s gone.

Maybe you’ll make a ton of money, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have a million dollars, maybe you won’t. Maybe you will retire at 40, maybe you will enjoy working until after your 75th birthday and celebrate by dancing the funky chicken. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are your own. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your mind. Use it every way you can. Don’t ever stop learning or let people tell you what you can or cannot do. It is the greatest instrument you will ever own.

Save even more!

Even if you only do it in an online high interest savings account.

Read personal finance blogs, even if you don’t follow them. Do not read local news. It will only make you depressed.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good and you will need to know how to handle their estate. Be nice to your siblings. If there is an inheritance, you will want to be able to share it with them.

Understand that companies come and go, but with a precious few stocks you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in knowledge and investments, for as the older you get, the more you need the knowledge you obtained since you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you too poor. Live in Northern California once, but leave before you become a beach bum.

Travel!

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will mess with the interest rates. 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 or when you might lose your job.

Don’t mess too much with your investments or by the time you are 80 they will still look like they did when you were 40.

Be careful and do not buy anyone’s advice, but be patient with those who supply it for free. Personal finance blogging is a form of advice. Dispensing it is a way of reading the work of others, applying it to your experiences, updating it to fit your style, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on saving your money…

Mr. SoS


Bonus – Track History

“Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, commonly known by the title “Wear Sunscreen”, is an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, originally published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune. The essay, giving various pieces of advice on how to live a happier life and avoid common frustrations, spread massively via viral email, often erroneously described as a commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut at MIT.

In 1998, the text of the Mary Schmich piece was turned into a “spoken voice” recording featuring the voice of Australian actor Lee Perry. It was released by Baz Luhrmann, titled “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen,” also known as “The Sunscreen Song”, immediately became a cult hit in Australia, and by early 1999 the “song” was taking America by storm.

In 2014, the tropical and tribal producer, Mau Kilauea, updated this 90’s Australian hit. Despite the Hawaiian inspired name, Mau Kilauea is British DJ and producer Thomas Beaufoy. He offers his remix of the song as a free download on his SoundCloud page.

In 2017, the personal finance blogger, Mr. SoS, updated the lyrics to the tropical remix and created his own version called, Save Your Money!