I dreaded it. For months. Now it’s here. I’m … g-a-g-sputter-choke … wait for it … f-f-fifty. It snuck up on me before I was even ready, dirty rotter! Trying to find some way to accept my fate, my cheesy-ness resorted to coining a unique phrase for my new ‘situation’.
These tumbled through my head and it quickly rejected all of them:
- Nifty fifty
- Fit ‘n fifty (although this is a noble consideration)
- Fifty ‘n fabulous
- Fun ‘n fifty
- Fifty’s the new forty
Determined individual that I am, I refused to give up on my wacky quest and coined the only-for-me-phrase:
FOOTLOOSE at 50!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I saw the original movie in the theatre at the ripe old age of 19 and that it’s been my theme thread throughout the decades. It was a defining moment for me, one I’ll get to in a bit. Footloose has been one of my most loved songs and the message behind the movie – at least the one in my head – resonates with me to this day. When the remake came out I couldn’t imagine it shining a candle to the 1984 version, but I was SO stoked that someone thought highly enough of the movie that it was worthy of an anniversary re-creation!
So what’s the message in the movie that keeps me coming back for more? There are so many layers to it from grief to rebel causes to love, acceptance and forgiveness; you name the messes we get ourselves into as humans, it addresses a good many of them.
Grief | When someone we love dies or disappears out of our lives for any reason, we react. We’re designed for connection so when that connection is taken from us, we lash out in ways we may never have thought possible. It’s a natural part of the grief process. When teens lose their lives due to a car accident, the dad of one of those teens who also happened to be the preacher, unleashed his pain on the rest of the people and used his power to dictate behavior.
Rebel Causes | If a decision is made out of hurt and anger that affects the masses, challenging that decision-making process can be considered rebellious. Ren wasn’t about to accept the reasoning behind the decision to not allow dancing in the town so risked his reputation, his own emotions and his entire being to take the town to task, to challenge them to think.
Judgmentalism | It’s in all of us in one way or another, not just in religious circles. Seriously. Be honest with yourself. Name it and face it (my name is Shandra and I am your friend). Projecting our own beliefs or expectations on others and gasping in horror if they don’t reign in to our way of thinking is nothing less than mean-spirited. At my core I do not want to be a judgmental human being. I’ve come a long way, I’ll tell you that much, but even at 50 (YIKES I’m verbalizing it!) I know I have a long way to go. To me, love is the opposite of judgmental, and we all know the world could use a whole lotta love. The preacher, the mayor and the city councilors all own the market on this one in the movie.
Love | It’s so clear to me that love is not what was operating in the town after the loss of their teens. Fear basically ruled. To love is to let go of fear. A girl’s love for her dad and wanting his approval, the love of parents for their lost kids, the love that develops out of really getting to know someone instead of making assumptions about their lifestyle or character, there are so many aspects to consider when watching the dynamics of relationship. Love always wins, even if the outcome isn’t what you expected that outcome to be.
Acceptance | The townspeople learned to accept the fact that they’d been harsh, had reacted out of fear and were in fact, crushing the spirits of those teenagers left behind to ‘live’ after the accident. Life doesn’t always play fair so when we’re hit with tragedy or negativity, there comes a point in the healing that requires acceptance of the circumstances before we can truly move on. Forget? No.
Forgiveness | SO much forgiving needed to, and finally did, happen in this tragedy-turned-triumph story. I can’t even begin to describe all the varied relationships that were impacted by the events involved, but what I can tell you is that ultimately forgiveness facilitated the change desperately needed for this town to regain its livelihood, and begin to thrive again. Hmmm let me try to pinpoint some forgiving moments. Reverend Moore with his daughter, Ariel. Ren and the preacher, the teens with their parents, the parents with their loss, the list goes on.
Fun | Fun is not bad or wrong. Laughter is the best medicine so why withhold it or put outlandish rules on it? How can you govern such things?
If you’re stuck in some area of your life, consider where there may be an element of unforgiveness, anger or resentment. Notice what part it plays in your relationships, decision making, health and your ability to truly have fun.
Are there more messages in this life-altering movie? You bet, but these are just a few that I ponder, that mean something to me.
Now that I’ve got that over with, I leave you with the part of me that I have learned to embrace – my quirky cheeseball ways. Here are 50 words I will try to incorporate this next year, to make what I initially dreaded into a life of awesomeness, acceptance and anticipation for all things wonderful, those things I encourage others in my life to live fully. Live now. Never wait.
- FOOTLOOSE | of course
- Fixated | on the good stuff in life
- Fit | I do want this to happen
- Flood | of love
- Funky | monkey
- Fanciful | imaginative
- Fanatical | about living fully
- Financially | abundant
- Flavorful |not boring
- Flickering | igniting the light
- Footed | grounded
- Follower | of my heart
- Fortress | protector for my kids
- Founder | of my future
- Fountain | of youth?! … or courage … or hope … or any other good thing
- Full | of life
- Foster | healthy living emotionally, physically, mentally, financially
- Frolic | playful
- Foxy | 🙂
- Forgetful | of that which causes me to spiral
- Fluid | like a stream
- Folder | of my children’s clothes | less annoying than wrinkles
- Fanner | of the flame that is the message of my life
- Fixer | of my own ‘stuff’