Jobless After 50? Start a Resilience Circle

When I lost my job three years ago, one friend proved to be my touchstone and sanity refuge. Like me, she was a former high earner dealing with a major work gap and an unstable income. We used to play this crazy game called “Top This” to get relief from the stress.

I would share that my cell phone was about to be disconnected for nonpayment. She would counter that her water had been turned off. It was the crisis sweepstakes. The person with the worst situation won.

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1 Comment
  1. AngstInTheUpperMidwest 3 years ago

    I am 56, live in the upper midwest, have a college degree and am a licensed health professional. I am responsible, intelligent, experienced, and have a strong work ethic. Yet my income, along with others in my field, has not budged in well over a dozen years. I terminated my cable service years ago. I dropped my land line two years ago and just carry a low monthly fee cell phone in its place. I drive a 14 year old vehicle I paid cash for a few years ago. I have been purchasing my clothing at thrift shops for at least three years now. The Dollar Store has become my friend. I did everything I was supposed to do and always lived well within my means. I am close now, due to an injury and being off work, to losing everything I worked my entire life for.
    People either forget, or chose not to remember, that women our age faced the first brunt of social/employment changes without a safety net. We were expected to work outside the hoe, yet at wages lower than men, with the added costs of daycare for our children, when daycare was still difficult to find. I had employers ask me if I was married, if I was on birth control, if I was pregnant, what my “daycare situation” was like. I had an employer tell me I was expected to attend unpaid after work meetings even if they conflicted with my having to pick up a child-and was literally told ” you can chose what’s more important, this job or your kids”. This manager wasn’t joking.
    People forget we were the first generation to have pensions yanked from us, and told we had to self fund our own retirements-even though we still didn’t earn as much as men and many struggled to make ends meet simply with daily living expenses. People forget we were the generation that was told we were self-sufficient enough that we no longer needed alimony after a divorce-even though we still didn’t earn as much as men. That child support should be 50-50, even though we didn’t earn as much as men. People forget that colleges still denied women entry into programs in the 1970’s because we were women, that we needed a man to co-sign for credit cards, that banks often refused to offer us mortgages.
    We were expected to be everywhere, doing everything, for everyone, and do it all perfectly. And now, in our hour of need, we seem forgotten. We need to stand together, and with voices unified, make ourselves heard.

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