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.