Have You Been Faking ‘Normal’?

Last week I had the great honor of meeting Elizabeth White, author of  the book, Fifty-five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal


Here’s an excerpt:

You know her.

She is in your friendship circle, hidden in plain sight.

She is 55, broke and tired of trying to keep up appearances. Faking normal is wearing her out.

To look at her, you wouldn’t know that her electricity was cut off last week for non-payment or that she meets the eligibility requirements for food stamps. Her clothes are still impeccable, bought in the good times when she was still making money.

I first learned of Lizzy when I read her essay of the same title on PBS’s Next Avenue.   I was elated when I found out she lives here in DC.  So, I emailed her to tell her how much I loved her article and how excited I was about her book.  We agreed to meet for coffee at Potter’s House (highly recommend!) and talked about her experiences, her book, and the “new normal”.  Lizzy has tapped into something of a groundswell here and we anticipate a growing interest as more and more people come out of the shadows to talk about their new reality.

You should also look for a two part series about Lizzy and her book on PBS over the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, here’s a talk she gave recently on the topic at the Institute for Career Transitions:

I am pleased to announce that Fifty Five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal will be the OWL Network’s Book Club inaugural selection!  Lizzy has graciously offered a 15% discount for members of the Book Club.  Sign up here to join the club and receive the discount code and link to purchase the book.  We will meet next month to discuss the book and meet the esteemed author herself! (details to follow).


Jodi L. Ochstein,

Founder, OWL Network

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