Remember Reminder #6: Wear Sunscreen


#rememberreminder: Wear Sunscreen

You can picture it: It’s the dog days of summer, and there you are, all suited up and ready to hit the pool. You grab your towel, goggles, and maybe even your Walkman (or maybe your Discman, your Zune, your iPod, or your iPhone — depending on what generation you grew up in) because a day at the pool isn’t complete without a splashin’ good set of tunes. You run out the front door to gather your friends, and just before it slams behind you, you hear your parents’ voices following not far behind: 

“Remember to wear sunscreen!”

There’s something so completely nostalgic about this simple piece of advice, this little reminder that, before you go and play, it would be best to be responsible — or else pay the price…

Source: GIPHY

(We bet all of our parents wish they would have had the wonder of animated GIFs to prove their point back when we were kids.)

It seems to us that most advice is like this simple reminder to wear sunscreen: sometimes you’re better off for listening to it and sometimes you’re not (well, you’re probably always better off wearing sunscreen). But regardless of whether or not you take dispensed advice to heart, you probably remember that piece of advice, whether it was good or bad, and who told it to you in the first place. Because, as a wise woman once said:

Advice is a form of nostalgia.

Funnily enough, this line was written by Mary Schmich, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, in her 1997 essay, Advice, like youth, probably wasted on the young. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this might: the essay, which Schmich wrote as a hypothetical commencement speech, starts out with the line, “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97: Wear sunscreen.” She goes on to dispense other advice and warnings in the hopes to help these fictional new graduates live happier lives and avoid common frustrations. Yet she keeps coming back to the simple one of wearing sunscreen, because as she says, “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.”

(And hey, we’re not scientists either, but hopefully the Remember Reminder advice we’ve been delivering to you every Friday here on the blog will provide you some simple, happy long-term benefits!)

Even if you don’t remember Schmich’s essay, you might remember the song that was inspired by it: Baz Luhrman’s 1999 hit, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen), which is also known as The Sunscreen Song.

So, really, if you didn’t take the advice from your parents growing up, or from Mary Schmich in her ’97 essay, perhaps we can can convince you to take our advice:

Remember to wear sunscreen.

Or don’t. It’s up to you. But if you don’t, you’ll probably end up looking like Stewie up there, red and raw, and we all know just how fun it is to look like a lobster.

Tell Us: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

We post our Remember Reminder series on the blog here every Friday morning, as well as on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Just search the hashtag #rememberreminder to find us! And if you have any of your own post-it note Remember Reminders that we should know about, make your own and use the hashtag so we can share the love!


At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


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21 thoughts on “Remember Reminder #6: Wear Sunscreen

  1. This made me giggle.Wear Sunscreen yes. I bought some tan spray once and sprayed it in before air show. Well it was spf 4 yeah that didnt work so well was a tad crispy!!!

  2. ‘Don’t bottle up your emotions.’

    My mum told me this when I was young after my granddad died, and for some reason it’s stuck with me ever since, and for the better. Great piece.

  3. Great advice! My grandma wears a floppy bucket hat, always has, always will. She preaches skin health to us ALL the time! She was the farmer, my grandpa worked construction and she ran the farm, tractors, livestock, hunting, butchering, gardening…she did it all! She may not have worried about pretty clothes or hair and makeup but she took care of her skin!

  4. ‘Walk a mile in their shoes.’ It’s so easy to take a look at someone’s life and/or choices and make a quick judgement. The thing is, we can’t see the reasons they have for doing what they did. Now if I catch myself judging others, I tell myself that I don’t know their life, and they could have a perfectly good reason for doing what they’re doing.

  5. We did not wear sunscreen as kids, but now, my kids always wear it! How times have changed.
    …hurts just thinking back…. 😉
    Nice post.

  6. We never used to wear sunscreen as kids and we used to relish in our crispy suntans after a day at the beach! I’m happy to say I do better for my kids now that we know better and hopefully save them a lot of sun damage!

  7. Oh the sunscreen battle! But man it is so important! I have a bunch of toe-headed babies so without it we would all be burnt to a crisp! Great post!

  8. My MIL has had a few cancerous spots on her face and arms the past couple of years and I promised her I would wear sunscreen when I go out. It’s good accountability because since I grew up at the beach, sometimes I wouldn’t wear sunscreen because I was a native (it’s just how natives tend to think where I grew up). But now that I made that promise it holds me accountable to stay true to my word, which keeps my skin safe.

  9. “Treat others as you’d want to be treated.”
    The other party might not always return the favor, but you can leave the exchange knowing you did your best to be kind, respectful, and your best self.

  10. Yes! This is probably the most constant and best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. I grew up in Florida so this was said a lot. My mom would also say, “Re-apply!” She knew that we would only get one layer on and then forget. haha

  11. Why do we ALWAYS forget this advice until we’re burnt to a crisp?! I don’t get color of any kind as easily as I did when I was younger, but that doesn’t negate wearing sunscreen!

  12. Yes! It’s finally feeling like spring here in Vancouver bc after we had a really cold winter! It’s so nice to finally feel the sun! Which means we need to be wearing our sunscreen! Today was the first day we finally put it on (my kids only). My skin is itchy, red and bumpy! I should have worn sunscreen!!

  13. Loved this post.

    I’ve heard a lot of great advice lately. Something that stuck with me is “Slow progress is progress.” (I’m part of the “turtle club” when it comes to weight loss! But hearing that mantra and piece of advice over and over has helped me!)

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