The other day, my lovely co-worker sent me a link to Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen’. It was honestly the sweetest thing in the world given that I was having a pretty rough day at work. Oh and he sweetened it up even more by buying me a hot chocolate as well (thank you Alex!!!).
The reason why I was having a rough day was because I was filled with self-doubt about my career choice and my ability to do my job well. I guess I wasn’t getting much job satisfaction lately because I wasn’t involved in as many projects as I’d like to be and the projects that I was on were all placed on hold.
Anyways, Alex took me out for hot chocolate, listened to me moan about my first world problems and when I came back from lunch, the link was waiting for me in my inbox. It really put a smile on my dial because it put things in perspective for me and it was pretty inspirational. I sent the link to my sister and my friend and her response was “oh I remember this from high school or something… funny how it’s actually relevant now and makes sense”. Pretty accurate.
To be fair, if I read the essay or watched the video in high school it probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much as it does now. It makes a lot of sense… especially being kind to your knees because I know for a fact that I’d miss them when they’re gone!
So what is this ‘wear sunscreen’ anyways? It’s an essay originally titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” (how relevant!) and columnist Mary Schmich writes it like a commencement speech. It was published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.
There are many elements of the essay that’s relatable to all of us. Sometimes I feel like we’re all strung up in the rat race of adult life and we start feeling weak and lose our purpose but the thing is, we shouldn’t lose purpose. Failure is part of life; success comes from learning from these failures. If you keep making the same mistakes, it’s time to sit down, breathe and work out what it is that’s driving you to make those mistakes over and over again.
And then there’s worrying. I’m a stickler for worrying about EVERYTHING… right down to the minuscule detail. But it’s true what the essay says… “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum”. I accept it’s true and I’m getting better at worrying less so I can declutter le brain.
So what I’m saying is, when life gets hard and you feel like you’ve had enough, do as Alex says… just remember sunscreen.
Yes, I went to work the next day and he left me a bubba bottle of sunscreen with a wee reminder. I have that reminder taped to my computer monitor and it has actually helped when the going gets tough at work 🙂 Thanks Alex.
Also, if you’ve succeeded in remembering compliments and forgetting insults, please share how you do this. For real.