Heeey! Sorry I’ve been absent. Been busy at work as the workload has increased with cutbacks in staffing. The agency I work for in the gub’ment has been offering early retirement and buyouts to help cut the federal budget, and people have been taking up the offers. The cubicles have been a ghost town where the only sound is the furious tap-tapping of keyboards from the remaining staff. Little time for blogging between that and rugby practice.
I played a little in our first match of the season yesterday. I would complain that I didn’t get enough game time but considering how sore I am today perhaps what little I did play may have been sufficient. Sleeping in and a few naps have regenerated me a little, but a back-intensive gardening session today wasn’t the best idea to top off the weekend. Grampaw Jimbo is sore.
But I managed to get out to one event for the Cherry party weekend here in DC. I shouldn’t have worn nice dress shoes and ironed shirt, as I have forgotten that you’ll just take your shirt off anyway it’s been so long that I’ve been to one of those events. The crowd has dwindled over the years but it was good to shake it for a bit. I went home after only an hour as my feet hurt from wearing cleats earlier in the day.
A story from The New York Times on the life and death of NY therapist Bob Bergeron stirred up some good discussion on the Facebooks this weekend. How could a therapist in his late forties who helped other gay men cope with aging gracefully have taken his life? He was about to finish a self-help book entitled “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.”
The book was never published, but I will admit I might have checked out that book from the library, and it has been a discussion between me and my shrink earlier this year. While I haven’t lived the glamorous Chelsea life vacationing in Mykonos and whatnot, I have noticed a change in me and my 40something friends. Friends pair up and move out to the ‘burbs, getting married in one way or another, and/or don’t go out with the frequency we used to. Coming into this age requires a lot of self-reflection and repositioning of priorities, and looking more into what makes you happy and keeping you fulfilled. At least I am somewhat aware that you can’t party and go out 3+ nights a week forever and I don’t. I simply don’t have the energy for that anymore.
Some cope with this age by diving into their careers. I don’t know if it’s just a reality here in DC and NYC, or a symptom of the economy to work more for less for fear of losing your job, but I’ve seen a lot of that focus with friends as well. And perhaps my perception is skewed due to my education at an undergraduate college that had a wellness program that drove the idea of work/life balance home at every opportunity. The wellness indoctrination I got there definitely had an effect on how I look at work and living. I look for workplaces that don’t just give lip service to the idea of work/life balance, but practice it too. A person should be free to go home to do whatever they do to be happy at a reasonable hour, regardless of whether it’s to pick up your kid from daycare or get to rugby practice. I see good practice of work/life balance in my current workplace. Most nights most of my managers tear outta there by 5:30 and that’s a good thing. None of this staying until 8 crap, which I experienced working closer to downtown. I will stay late to get a project done, but won’t do that on a regular basis. There will always be work to do, and you can put in the hours to get what you think must be done, but even after that work will still be there to be done.
Go home already. That’s a start on living in my opinion. I may not have the secrets to the rest of the mysteries on being gay in your 40s, but I have a guess that visualizing your life beyond your 20s and 30s is important as well. Many choose not to think about that. What will you be doing in your 40s? What do you want to accomplish? What are your options to things you used to do but no longer want to accomplish? These questions are still being answered in my mind but thinking about them is a start.