The Battle Has Been Lost

Published November 1, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

After all these months of fighting to stay in my apartment, pay my bills, and keep my car; all the things that come with being an adult living on your own, I have lost the battle. I have managed to stay put with help of friends, and a little luck here and there.

But now, the house of cards has fallen in and I have no way to continue as I have been.

My paychecks will come too late. They won’t cover the bills I have coming due. Even if I end up having enough, the rent will be late, and late fees will be charged. I will be perpetually behind, racking up late fees as I go, getting further and further behind.

Understand, I am not ‘living large’. I have rent, cheap internet, a car payment, a cell phone and one credit card with a low balance due and that is not used. Beyond that is food for me and my remaining dog (I lost my older dog to kidney failure last week).

I shop carefully. I rarely buy extras or rent movies. I don’t have cable.

I have the next two days off. They will be spent packing, sorting and looking for a storage unit for the few things I will keep. I will also have to draft a letter to my landlord explaining the situation and hope he is willing to not charge me the late fee, and, perhaps be a little understanding. I have no intention of stiffing him, but the money will be late.

I will sell almost all of my furniture, and anything else I don’t need and that can be replaced at a later date. Some things I will donate to the mission or food pantry (they also have household items to offer). The rest will be packed up and stored. A few things will go in my car for the trip north.

I have a friend who is willing to share what little she has with me. I won’t have to live in my car. I won’t have to be alone. I won’t have to struggle every minuet of every day wondering how to survive. I will homeless, but sheltered. I will be one of the lucky ones.

I will also become a statistic. I will be one of thousands of older women who is homeless. I will be one of thousands who are employed and are yet homeless.

I am not eligible for social security for 12 years.

So for the next 12 years, and most likely beyond, I must find a way to survive in a country with housing costs that do not match the current wages. I must work to find employment in a world that seems to believe anyone over 50 can not do a job as well as someone younger. I see more and more older people working at fast food restaurants and Wal Mart type stores. Why? Because we are ‘over qualified’ to do clerical work. Because employers want a ‘long term’ employee, even though employees stays at any given job for an average of just 4 years. Because the economy forced too many people back into the workforce to make ends meet.

I will do what I must, and hope things will improve. I will have friendship and sharing. We will both learn to live in small quarters and look out for each other.

Two older women learning anew how to live in a throw away world.




4 comments on “The Battle Has Been Lost

  • Best of I luck to you. Keep positive. I know it sounds pathetic of me to say that 50 years old I found myself going through a divorce. I literally lost my home. I lost everything. To this day I am still stunned that I had the strength to pull through a very bad depression. With two teenaged kids at home and one away at college it was an awful time. Slowly things got better. I was blessed to have great friends. I was lucky to find a small job to make ends meet. I was luckier to meet a man (not that I needed another man but it happened when I least expected it) who ended up staying with me through all my baggage. I now have a nice job, a beautiful home that is mine..and my kids survived it all and are incredibly successful in their careers. I am pushing for you!!!

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