Think it can't happen to you? Think again. Proof is in the American pudding that women (and men) over fifty, after divorce or widowhood end up standing alone, in droves, in the struggle of their lives, especially in this current administration. Recently, I read an article Unemployed, 55 and Faking Normal. I was shocked! Even I identified with much of its content, at some point in time, during my ten years divorced over forty, sometimes employed, sometimes not, sometimes contracted to write, sometimes not, sometimes well, sometimes ill, sometimes able, sometimes not. It's way too easy to do-- to become homeless and alone!
Well, I guess I should define "homeless" first.
- If it's not your own... you're posting up in someone's bedroom in their house and they are scowling at your situation... you're homeless.
- If you're on the streets, nowhere to lay your head, but the park bench... you're homeless.
- If you are penniless and shelter bound... you are homeless.
- If you have lost your home and are temporary parked on someone's sofa... you're homeless.
- If you are still employed, but come home from work to the sofa in the corner of the living room of someone else's home because you're temporarily displaced... you're as good as homeless.
I saw another heart-wrenching article called The Graying Of America's Homeless, and immediately thought, but that doesn't have to be! Who am I to judge, but it looked to me like they'd given up and resigned to homelessness. Struggle or not, at least in the struggle there's still a roof over your head, so don't resign! I couldn't understand a seventy-year-old woman on the streets after being evicted five years earlier. What I could understand was the threat of being evicted and having my faith in tact, and prayers in order, with my belief in tow that I would have a place to stay, and I did. So, the only thing I could offer was real-life advice on how to save oneself from becoming homeless. The potential is real.
In Single For The First Time, page 137, I wrote:
"A mature, newly divorced woman has her best days ahead of her, but she must know it, and breathe life into this fact. Statistically, an older dependent woman will live out her days on the meager side of life after a divorce, or the death of her husband. However, it is most unfortunate when that forty, fifty, even sixty-year old, unemployed, friendless, newly single woman believes that she must be lumped into these stats, feeling she's got nothing much to live for. That kind of woman could buy into this lie, and unwittingly walk herself into a dejected place that blinds her to her favorable future."
Stand Tall in Willpower - The struggle will kill you without willpower. No time to lay down, cower down, or sit down. Period.
Stand Tall with Your Words - When you've got nothing else, you've got your words.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do,"
"I don't want to bother my kids," or
"I guess I'll just…"
Listen, put away the notion that words don't matter. I PROMISE YOU… YOUR WORDS MATTER. They matter so much that when you speak them, things around you change. Things around you come in alignment with what you say, see (internally) and believe. You can literally speak and believe yourself into a better situation!
Stand Tall, Respect The Struggle - It is important to stay present; accept where you are, but see yourself where you want to be. Some people fall into fantasy and only see themselves living so far beyond where they are, that they lose focus on the work needed to literally get them in a more progressive place. Then others only see where they are. The struggle is not forever, it is only for now. You have the power to speed up, or slow down your pending change. Keep at it. It's coming!
Stand Up and Know That Money Is Everywhere - Get yours! Your grey top may scare away some would-be employers, but keep looking. Pride will cause permanent poverty, so find a job or solve a problem (start a business), quickly! You can get hired somewhere if you have the right countenance. OR, you can do your thing right from home. The day we live in makes it easy! Go to YouTube, for starters, and look up info on streams of income to earn right from home, or with your hands! Or, if someone wants to pay you to clean their 10, 000 sf area, do it! Sew, cook, crochet, knit, bake, babysit, become a Nanny. Become an influencer and offer great info and content. You have it because of your experience! Or, simply go to work somewhere until you can do better. Being homeless is unnecessary when you're still able-bodied.
Prayer - Worry will disjoint you. Choose prayer and meditation instead. Not complaining, just prayer. Not casting blame, prayer. It's true that you don't have to worry about anything at all, but in every single issue in your life, if you put your tears and anguish with prayer, and show thankfulness, make your requests known in prayer to God. Yes, I said God, not G-d. He is Life. He and we are actually ONE. So don't frustrate yourself by thinking that He's out there somewhere in the unreachable yonder. Quiet yourself and LISTEN within! He is as close to you as your very breath!