So You’re Struggling. Who cares?
To those of you that have kept close tabs on Leaping the Chasm (LTC), it will come as no surprise that we've taken a longer-than-expected break from posting content and have been quiet on social media. I'd like to tell you that there was a strategic reason for LTC’s absence, but there wasn't. It was completely unplanned and totally the result of the tough life transitions that I've been going through.
For those that know me, hearing that I'd been without a traditional income for longer than it takes to age a good sharp cheddar is old news. The financial hit from lost income had left me nearly penniless. Unemployment benefits ran out after six months. I quickly lost my savings, my daughter's savings, my investments. I eventually lost access to health insurance and, as a result, medical care. There was no money to meet even the most basic needs.
Worst of all, after the initial and awkward "we're so sorry to hear that" banalities, one by one, most of my friends and much of my family disappeared into their own lives, as people do. So, I've been largely on my own in this.
I think Winston Churchill said it best, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Why bring that up? Context.
My experience is not unique. It is incredibly frustrating to know the kind of simple solutions that are needed, and realize that they remain largely unavailable. Lack of solutions takes us away from our lives, our joyful endeavors, our friends and family.
LTC looks for ways to survive many of the issues that come from such stressful times so that other women can, too, but I have found very few solutions. As much as I want to be able to tell you to do A, B or C and you'll be fine, I can't do that. There is no magic formula. The help needed to weather such a deluge is not accessible and won't be until people, especially women, begin to step up.
Exactly. So what? Who cares? The hard answer is "I don't know." Those who might actually be of help take little or no notice, avoid being involved, or are blissfully unaware that a problem exists.
Sol Luckman said, “It takes money to make money, even begging. Humans are herd animals. If a stranger’s bleeding to death beside the road, most people won’t stop to offer a Band-Aid. But get the ball rolling with a couple Good Samaritans, and before you know it you’ve got more eager philanthropists than you know what to do with.”
For women in their 40's, 50's and beyond struggling with tough life transitions, it can definitely feel like we're bleeding unnoticed by the side of the road. In my case, I couldn't even draw gawker traffic! But, if Sol is to be believed, caring and solutions will come when those first few Good Samaritans are found.
But who are they and how do we find them?
They're closer than we think.
In my life, my Good Samaritans have been my amazing sister and her husband. If there's anything I've learned from them, it's that 'giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return' is motivating and healing for a woman in need.
Any of you can be a Good Samaritan and your compassion can be shared. Take interest in someone that needs it… not once, not twice, but continually. Good Samaritans give freely of themselves.
Financial advisers, employment recruiters, medical professionals, educators and their institutions, housing professionals, life and career coaches, fitness and nutrition experts, beauty professionals, caretakers and philanthropists all have the potential to be Good Samaritans to these women of an assured age. With enough Good Samaritans volunteering just a couple of hours of their time each month, LTC can connect women in need with real solutions from people who genuinely care.
Is that too much to ask? I really don’t think so.
What can you do right now?
Leaping the Chasm is asking women (and men) of all ages to help us understand their unique struggles and needs by answering ten anonymous questions. It's fast, it's easy and it's the first step toward developing lasting solutions.
If you have a tough life transition story and want to share your experience with others or are willing to be interviewed for a column, please contact us. If you are a solution or service provider and would like to partner with LTC or have your product/service reviewed, contact us to discuss.
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About Leaping the Chasm
Leaping the Chasm™ (LTC) provides candid conversations and social media engagement for women in their 40's, 50's and beyond who are undergoing the personal, physical, financial, education and employment transitions that often accompany mid-life. LTC shares experiences, transfers knowledge, improves outlook, connects people, and helps identify opportunities for this powerful demographic.