Sunday, November 27, 2016

The REAL Freedom 55


The title of this post will require a bit of context for my non-Canadian readers.  Freedom 55 was an ad campaign developed in 1989 by London Life Insurance Company that promoted the idea of early retirements (at 55, hence, Freedom 55).  The ad featured a man in a suit running for a bus, suddenly transported to a gorgeous beach, running next to an older version of himself (we are supposed to assume his 55 year old self).  He comments on the fact that his older self looks good, and wonders how he was able to afford such a great lifestyle - the answer, of course was Freedom 55.

Of course, the economy has changed since the ad was created, and very few people are able to retire at 55, but the phrase still remains a part of our culture, and has become more of a joke ("Freedom 85!")  than an achievable aspiration.   I knew that as my 55th Birthday was approaching there would certainly be no early retirement for me, but I did like the phrase "Freedom 55", and wondered what else it could mean.

So here is my version of Freedom 55 - the freedom to dress however I want, to proclaim my age without embarrassment or apology, to speak my mind in a respectful, civilized manner and not apologize for marching to the tune of my own orchestra (to hell with a drummer, I want a whole band).  Thanks to the wonderful staff at Old North Optometry (where I was shopping for new eyeglass frames) for letting me briefly take over their beautiful space for this photo.

I'm wearing:  knit and pleather moto jacket received as a gift for a blog post, a crinkled bubble mini skirt by Pink Tartan purchased secondhand, a splash of hot pink, and ribbon-laced Doc Martens purchased in New York

15 comments:

  1. Let freedom ring, yeah bay-bee!

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  2. I must be doing Freedom 61. I don't what to retire, I love my job

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  3. The optometrist's looks like a former church, what a lovely space. You are absolutely a fabulous fifty five!

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    1. You are absolutely right - it was a church

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  4. What a cool eye glass shop!

    I LOVE that you took the photo there : )

    I think you have a brilliant way of thinking about this. Positive vibes all around.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  5. My freedom is looking to be at 75, and even then I may still be working like a mad woman.

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  6. Yay to freedom! That photo is wonderful. You make me excited about turning 50 next week! xxx

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  7. Yay, Shelley!! You got it right. Nobody tells me when I can be free! We'll be free when we wanna be free. Hahaha. But what a great phrase to make fun of. Numbers paired with the concept of freedom are a highly incompatible concept. You look smashing! Love that shop! Can't wait to see what you walked out with...?

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  8. Happy Birthday, Shelley! I also think of "freedom 55" from Trailer Park Boys (I think they call it "freedom 35"?). I'm hoping to retire at 60 - 10 more years! Here's to doing your own thang!

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  9. happy birthday, dear lady!! your picture is like a joyful freedom statement and love love love it!!
    You rock whatever your age and love your attitude and style and personality!!!
    besos

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  10. Hope you had a lovely birthday! What a wonderful picture - joie de vivre, beautiful architecture, pink tights. It's good to appreciate all the freedoms we have at any age, and to have friendly people in your optometrist's office who let you take exuberant photos just because.

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  11. Freedom 55 and beyond, Shelley! With your attitude you'll lighten up every dark corner and brighten the world with your colour, enthusiasm and full out belief in yourself. Go girl! xx

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  12. You provide the perfect image of freedom at 55. The pink tights are the exclamation point to you joy. Looks like you're going to have a fabulous year!

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  13. Happy birthday, Shelley - and amen to freedom, at any age! xxx

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