• Fundamentals for Fun at Fifty-Five

    1. Dare to try new things

    2. Say yes to opportunities

    3. Relax, smile, dance away your worries

    4. If not now, when?

    5. Just do it (you can analyze later)

  • Discounts for Fifty-Five +

    Golden Griddle Restaurant - 10% discount (excluding alcohol)
    Shoppers Drug Mart - 20% discount on Thursdays
    Zellers - 20% discount first Monday of month
    Thrifty Rental - 5% off time and mileage
    Best Western - 10% off room rates
    Sandman Hotels - 25% off room rates
    Howard Johnson Hotels - 10% off room rates

  • Fifty-Five is …

    fabulous, fanciful, fancy-free, fantastic, far-out, fashionable, fearless, feisty, fiery, fine, flamboyant, flashy, flattering, flirtatious, folksy, forthright, fortunate, foxy, frank, free, fresh, friendly, frivolous, fulsome, fun, funky, funny

Meryl and Me … or Fab Fifty-Five in Film

Since November, I’ve been looking at the world through a “Fab Fifty-Five” lens. Not rose-coloured glasses or a magnifying glass. More like a wide-angled camera lens that seems to capture moments of life in new ways. I respond to different ads and commercials now, find amusement in the many physical signs that I’m ageing, prefer certain movies (with characters “of a certain age”) and books (my childhood faves).

One of my favourite Fab Fifty-Five films is Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep. I know the main character is supposed to be her daughter, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s really about an older woman coming into her own. And I so identify with the many emotions and transformations she goes through!

There’s the whole “letting-go-of-your-daughter” theme. I cry every time I hear them sing about the little girl growing up. I know it’s coming (I must have watched the movie a dozen times or more) but still I have to reach for a tissue. It makes me think of my little girl (and my little boy), all grow’d up and living on the other side of the world.

Then there’s the BFF theme with Meryl and her two best friends from the girl band cavorting on the dock, singing, dancing, leaping into the water like they’re 7 years old again. I sigh and smile in recognition, thinking of my BFF and our endless conversations whenever we manage to get together.

Of course, there are men in the film. Of all ages marital status. And the will-they/won’t-they question about possible relationships.

But the best scene of all, for me, is the one where Meryl’s friends tease her about having become an old stick-in-the-mud. How she used to be the life of the party and is now b-o-r-i-n-g. This is when they begin to sing “Dancing Queen” and prance around the bed in weird and wonderful costumes until Meryl finally lets loose, leaps up and bounces up and down on the bed in unrestrained delight.

I cry then too, because I recognize myself as someone who, for many years, forgot how to have fun. My heart frolics with them as they skip down to the water, gathering women as they go. Their sense of freedom is enchanting and contagious, their joy is effervescent, and their playfulness knows no bounds. Meryl’s perfect cannonball off the dock captures the essence of fun – and what Fab Fifty-Five is all about!

If you haven’t watched Mamma Mia lately, run (or skip) to the nearest library and get it out. And let me know what other films fit into the Fab Fifty-Five category for you!

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  • Julie Wise is …

    a writer, author (Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease), life/relationship coach and an intuitive healer by day. By night, she dances flamenco, thrives on chocolate and good red wine (shiraz will do!) She secretly plots to change the world, one dream at a time.
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