Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm leaving for Amsterdam next week, and I doubt I'll be writing till I get back to NY in the beginning of October. Most of you know I am going over for a friends wedding, I'm very excited for him and also for myself, it will be nice to be in Amsterdam . This time I just want to hang, relax and live like a native. I am switching apartments, that will also be interesting.

My partner is going through some really troublesome drama on the job, it might mean having to look for another job. Naturally I just want to drop in there and fix it, but at least I realize that I can't do that. I'm just very uneasy for JMP, he's been through alot lately, and really this is all out of his control. I have to beleive that it will work out and that he will probably end up with something better than he already has.

How's retirement? I am not sure, right now I feel like I'm on vacation, ask me again after I'm back from Amsterdam. I did go away for an orientation weekend, and had to remind myself that I was no longer "in charge" but only an hourly, letting go has never been easy. One thing I have learned and that's that I dopn't want to schedule anything before noon, that is my time exclusively for myself, and I have been enjoying it. But my life is indeed different. Sadie the cat is happy to have me around(I think).

Monday, September 8, 2008


Just back from a weekend in Tarrytown New York, an orientation for new students, who I will be working with part time. I needed to remind myslf I was an hourly employee and not the Director, it wasn't my show. This is something I have to keep in mind. My colleagues have been wonderful, supportive and loving, I am one lucky man. My partner was supposed to fly in, but illness kept him away, I know I would have had a better time if he was there.

In I week I go to Amsterdam for two weeks, and that will be great fun. A good friend of mine will be married, it will be quite special to be there at this time to witness the occasion.

I have to remember what a colleague told me this weekend and that is that I must remain H J F, translation Happy, Joyous and Free. How does retirement feel, not sure yet, it still feels like I am on vacation, and I really have been enjoying it. Pink cloud or not, I don't care.

When I get back to NY i"ll fly up to Buffalo to help my partnet with his long anticipated move into his new apartment. I know he can't wait to have his own place, his is a model of patience. When that is done then I'll really start my retirement schedule, but all of this activity has been an excellent beginning. I need also to remember that I decide how I feel and how I react to situations, that is perhaps the lesson of a lifetime for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Free at last......

It's been too much time since my last post, but I've had so much trouble logging on previously. My "Dad" reminded me that I haven't written and it was time.

Well I am RETIRED. I was given a lunch at school and a private party for some colleagues and good friends off campus. After the luncheon on Friday, I came home, laid down on the floor and cried, to say I was depressed would be an understatement. I told my partner that I didn't want to go to the party on Saturday night, but he encouraged me to go. I had a gin and tonic and that helped me over the rough spot so to speak. I was overwhelmed with the the general tone of love and warmth, I really felt enveloped by it. Even the food was good and up to my lofty standards.

I received a few gifts and a beautiful Tiffany cock from my colleagues, with this inscription "From the Office of ....,Great Colleague, Better Friend, Happy Retirement.
I was more than touched. For someone who has felt "less then" for most of his life, this was really an amazing thing to happen, peopole validating me, and expressing their love.

We went to Providence for the weekend, just to get away, and we had a great time. Lately any time I spend with my partner seems too be just about perfect. I guess we are kind of yin and yang with each other.

I acknowledged publically at the dinner about being a lucky man, having my partner in my life, being cancer free for 3 years, and having the love and support of all my friends.

Surprise, so far I have ben enjoying my unstructured time. Running in the a.m., coffee with friends, off to the gym for a workout, steam and shower and then to the New York Times...what a great way to start an unhurried day. I decided any apointments that I have to make will be after noon !!!! That is a change. My partner if he's reading this is probably laughing to himself about what a "Bad" influence he has been.

I promise to write more shortly. I always assume no one reads this and am so surprised when someone comments on it.

Leaving this wknd for Tarrytoiwn for a student orientation all wknd, I'm doing this so the students will get to know me and I them. These are the people that I'll be working with on Saturday's.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I was reminded today of something I have taken for granted, my friends. I am blessed with having them. My life would not be complete nor happy without them. I got this awareness today when I was talking with my friend D.C., I don't know where or when he got so smart, but he always amazes me with his insight and his love. I remember very clearly the day I met him and actually said hello, I was scared out of my mind. Hmmm fear could have kept me from knowing this friend/angel/mentor, what a loss it would have been for me. There's a lesson here, something about walking through your fear and witholding judgement. Sometimes I think of him as a father or an older brother(he is actually younger). He is the type of friend that knows and accepts me for who I am. There are times that I am stunned that we can be so alike. As I said I am blessed. It's hard for me to hear positive things about myself, I hope he can hear this !

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Papers please....

Yesterday I submitted my paperwork for retirement, so this is no longer a fantasy of mine, it's actually for real. I was surprised at the amount of emtion that I felt when I was talking with the Dean about this. I guess after 40 years there is real attachment. I sent an e mail to selected colleagues telling them about the retirement and I was quite blown away by the responses I received. Some people called and left voice messages, where they were actually crying. Some people thought I was joking and others took the time to write me and tell me how much they would miss me. I was surprised that I had that much influence on so many people, it was touching and also very sad for me. I am actually I got through the day, although I was near tears all day. This processing will go on, but I am fortunate to realize that this is a process. Sadly I know people that haven't a clue at all about themselves or even how they feel.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

letting go.....or trying to...

I'm embarrassed that it's taken me so long to get back to this blog, but it's only evidence that I have been a busy little bee with the upcoming retirement. I plan to give my notice next week on the 15th. With all the planning and preparation I have to admit, when it comes right down to actually doing the deed, it's gets a little scary. Putting one foot ahead of the other I am just moving ahead.

The museum where I'll be doing docent work has issued me an ID card, that's pretty exciting. I was surprised to learn that museums have reciprocity with museums all over the country and the world, so I'll now be able to get in without paying admission, something I will enjoy.

The meditation is moving along and I have really been enjoying Sharon Saltzberg, she gave her last lecture last night so I'll probably see her again in September when she comes back to New York. Letting go has never been easy for me, but I think it will be come easier.

Two individuals from my past that I haven't had contact with for at least five years, I originally cut the relationships off. I reached out to both men. The relationships were powerful for me both in the good register and the bad register. I am pleased that they both responded favorably to meeting for a coffee or lunch . I feel that I have grown, hopefully they have grown too ! It really is not easy to let go of friendships with people that you have history with and that you actually liked. The trick is for me NOT to pick up where we left off but to get beyond that. I met with C.F. for lunch yesterday it went well and I was able to not lose myself or my identity. This is a very good thing, I knew if I couldn't keep my balance, it would be the last time we would have met. I am really glad he now has a partner, who btw I actually met that night at the Sharon Salzberg lecture.(Yes what a small world). I do miss J.P. After my little retirement dinner on August 29th we'll take a weekend together in Providence R.I., it should be fun and a nice change as well as a great way to start my new life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 1 already.....

It's July already and I'm leaving the job on August 29th, time is really beginning to move fast. I did a meditation workshop again last night with Sharon Salzberg. I really like her alot, she works hard at getting us to relax and just remove judgement and meditate. I am getting quite sensitive, there was a man sitting next to me, that just was throwing off so much negative energy. During the meditation I said to myself he is going to run out of here at the break, and sure enough he did. One great benefit from group meditation is the shared energy.

Mt BF flew in for the weekend and it was so good to connect. People continually ask me to define or explain our relationship, and I just can't. For me that is a good thing....I am always ready to label and name, when I can't do that I consider it progress.

I've been trying to learn about Buddhism, it's really a very tough path to follow after being indoctrinated in obtaining possessions and creating attachments. I know I don't have to do it perfectly.(remember you head that here )

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What wrinkles ?

There has been so much going on lately and I am pretty happy that I have taken a number of steps to help me with the upcoming retirement. I just know intuitively the meditation is going to be such a help. The experience with Sharon Salzberg was great. I found her to be very down to earth and she made the process of meditation very accessable, pulling away so much of what I like to think of as the "hokus pokus" of it. Basically, just sit and be quiet and meditate. I don't need special robes, or candles nor do I need to sit in any special position, I'm just calming my mind. I always think of the brain as having all of these indentations on it's surface, and when I am meditating it's almost like a smooth surface, with all the wrinkles gone. Hmmm I wonder if it also takes the wrinkles off of one's face, I would bet that it does to a degree. (BTW it is Sharon Salzberg, somehow I managed to get the wrong name in my last post)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Docent who meditates?

I've been wanting to make an entry for days, but was really waiting for things to settle in my mind a bit. Had a difficult session with my therapist last week, I cried(something new and difficult) and thought after the session I would return to normal, but it took about two days of introspection to get my balance back. I'm ok and I'm more focused than before.

I had my second interview at the museum last week and they will take me on as a docent. I am quit overwhelmed at the knowledge that I have to asimilate, but then again I should have a great deal of time to do this. I am particurlary happy with the young (brillant)woman who will be mentoring me, there was an immediate connection.

Reading up on Budhism, and I am naturally pulled there. My good friend T.H. suggested I take a mediation wotkshop tomorrow with this woman named Janet Saltzman. She comes to NY on Tuesdays and I will give it a go. The meditation idea is not new, but it is oh
so centering when I remember to do it (Gee I coulda had a V8).

(This feels a bit like throwing thoughts into the wind, now I know whey bloggers like comments.) Jeff is coming in this wknd, it will be really good to see him. I miss him alot.

August 29th will be my last day, and it's fast approaching, just getting a little nervous, but I know only good will come out of this move. (although being re-born can be a bit uncomfortable at times)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tell me again, and again....

It's been quite a couple of days lots of stuff coming up for me. I'm fortunate in having some people I can talk to, and get their perspective. Many times I feel I am too close to the situation and don't always see clearly. We all have a unique "process" and mine is to talk with people. Strange, I was thinking about the museum the other day, I went on 2 tours this weekend and was overwhelmed by the knowledge of the two different tour docents. Naturally,(for me) I went to that place where I tell myself that I can't do it. I was a little overwhelmed. My learning style is that I do better hearing material than just reading it, and sometimes I have to hear it quite a few times before I get it. Interesting that it's probably the same with the process around retirement for me. I have to acknowledge that we all have different learning styles, that's something relatively new for me to acknowledge that. Usually I just go to that place where I panic and run away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Change = Sadness rant

I keep being told to sit through my sadness and let it pass, I find this so hard to do. A friend mentioned that I might have some unresolved anger from childhood left over, and boy did that hit a button. I have lots of unresolved anger from childhood, that I was never allowed to express, now what do I do? I don't have any room for a punching bag in my apartment.

I know I'm going through changes with retirement approaching, let me count the ways:

1. I'm invisable to the gay community
2. I will become somewhat invisable to society as a whole when I retire
3. Loss of structure in my life
4. Facing the idea that I have 20 more years left on this earth, or maybe 25
5. Facing the challenges of setting up a new life for myself, until then I am in a sort of life/limbo.
6. Wondering what my exit is going to be like?
7. I'm coming to terms with my sexuality later in life than most, now that I'm really ready to jump in there isn't anyone to jump in with
8. My x partner/ now best friend has moved hundreds of miles away
9. Letting go of control, or what I thought was control

I was asked what my "ideal" life would look like, and I'll be reporting on that, after I give it some serious thought.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I am still figuring out the mechanics of posting a blog, today it was a bit frustrating but patience won out, thankfully.

Yesterday I ran with my old running group(Front Runners)in Central Park. The park itself was beautiful. The run itself was miserable, hard, sweaty, too many hills and really too much of a challenge physically. I did finish, but was not happy. I noticed a group of men, about 7-10 who were walking the route. When I got back to the church where we go for coffee and fellowship afterwards, I saw the walking group. I found out that they walk the 6 mile outer loup rather than run it. Aerobically it's the same benefit, but I thought hmmm if they walk, they must talk, so what a great way to get to know some other men.

In casual conversation someone mentioned a web site where one could meet up with other groups that shared a common interest. I went online later that day and found a number of groups that I was happy to catch up with.(mystery book discussion group, Gay Buddhist discussion group, etc)

I went to the Rubin Museum of Art, I will be doing some volunteer work there as a docent, shortly. I was lucky to catch a tour that was just beginning. All of the art in the museum is religious relating to either Buddhism or Hinduism. I thought hmmm, maybe I should learn something about Buddhisim to understand the art a little better. I leafed through a few books in the gift shop on Buddhism and found that I had stumbled on something that I had been searching for. This is just what I needed at this particular point in my life. I plan to do some more reading and perhaps get to meet some groups to discuss some issues that are important to me.

I have such a new respect for Synchronisity ( did I spell that right?). Just yesterday I wrote a blog on sadness, and then read one that a friend wrote of the importance of groups in his life, that led to running in Central Park and on and on.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I have a great friend overseas who manages to blog every day, I am beginning to have a new respect for that effort.  I'm still dealing with some mechanical problems but am trying  to resolve them  That's different for me, usually  I just throw my hands up and declare defeat...hmmm

I' hosting a guest from Texas today and taking her around a bit, she wants to go to the World Trade Center site, it's a pretty emotional spot for many people, I wonder how she will react.  I'll probably take her over to Century 21(a fabulous discount department store in NYC) for a little retail therapy afterwards.

Yesterday, I learned that it was hard for me to sit with sad feelings I'd rather do anything than that. Shopping, sex, sleep, food, drinking, work or cleaning a closet have always helped me run away from those feelings.  Someone asked me why was I afraid to sit with them, what did I think would happen.  Not sure, but I was always brought up to seek the sunshine and not dwell on unhappiness.  No one ever said it was ok to feel that stuff and that it wouldn't kill me.  I have to admit a certain bit of sadness with retirement and just growing older, when that dreaded sadness hits me again, I'm going to try to ride through it, hopefully without judgement.  I don't want to spend the next part of my life walking around with sadness.  I'm not even sure sadness is the right word.

I hope to spend  a few weeks in Amsterdam in the Fall(more on this later), but I have to admit being "alone" in another culture for an extended period of time will probably afford me a great deal of alone time.  I hope that I'll be able to handle this.  I do have friends there, but this may be a really challenging experience for me.  Perhaps it will be easier in another culture to drop that script I always carry around from childhood.  This is a script that I am trying to lose, and create a new one.  I continually marvel at my friend in Amsterdam, that he was able to change cultures and thrive.  I often wonder how he handles the alone time, how he deals with feeling sadness in a foreign place.  How does anyone deal with sadness?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


After many attempts I have finally been able to set this blog up. This was not an easy task for a luddite like me.

I'm a 62 year old gay man from New York City, (yes we do exist after 30), who is about to begin his life all over again.

After a career of 40 years in academia, I will be retiring this August. I really hate that word, that's why I like to focus "on beginning". The reality is that I will be beginning a new life, and part of that new life will probably be this blog. I don't really consider myself a writer, if you are patient I'll take you on this journey, I'm about to depart on, maybe share some wisdom, a few laughs, some growth and some intimacy.

I've been full of feelings lately, and I hope I don't edit out the good stuff(that's probably the stuff I'm uncomfortable about sharing with you).

Well, this is a start.