My only New Year’s resolution this year was to become more active locally. I decided it was time to bring more of the information and the important discussions we have here into my “real life.”
First I built a friendly relationship with a young reporter at my local newspaper, one whose specialty is non-profits, one who had written beautifully about our rising suicide rate, and how we can all help others.
After my new book came out in January, I suggested to her that a news story about midlife might be appropriate considering that most of the new people moving to my town are in the 50+ age group.
I told her: “I wrote this new book with the specific purpose of giving others new hope in midlife, so they would not succumb to depression or worse, take their own lives, like my brother John did. There is power in change, and no need to feel shameful about renovating old goals, ideas and dreams.”
Guess what happened? Nothing. Her editor told her to refer me to the “Soapbox” column. Who cares about those past 40? A similar response to the one I got a few years ago when I pitched a weekly column to them about midlife change.
So then I turned to my local public library. I have presented a number of programs for them in the past and thought they might like one on how normal and natural it is to experience important emotional changes in midlife.
The librarian in charge of programs told me that mine did not fit into their “programming needs.” Since I had no interest in trying to figure out what that meant, I inquired about their “needs.” It seems services to grades K-5 is their highest priority at this time.
Ageism anyone? I believe those of us over 40 are paying the lion’s share of property taxes that support our libraries. Why not have a program every now and then for them?
Considering the depression and ever increasing suicide rates among those in midlife, I assumed there might be a tiny bit of interest in my topic locally. Boy was I wrong! So much for bringing my research and information to my own town.