Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Grateful B'day

Today is my 54th birthday.  And I am grateful

Fellow blogger Dale sent me a note sharing some of his story.  We're about the same age, but he has been out a long time.  It made me think of all the folk, younger, my age, older, and  gone before, who have helped change the world, making it a bit easier for me.  Slowly, but surely, we are making progress.

It could be easy to be envious of folk out so long.  And, it is easy to look at my life and regret that I didn't do this sooner, or beat myself up for not having figured this out decades ago.  But instead of all that, I will stick with being grateful.

I am so grateful to all you long out-of-the-closet folk because you have paved the way for me.  You've made is easier than it might have been.  You've given direction and advice, shown me the path, and taught me all kinds of new tricks.  (Goodness, me;)~

Tonight, my housemates are having dinner for me and some friends to celebrate my big day.  C has even made me a big chocolate cake.  I'm excited.  I never had parties as a child, so it's not a big "expectation" on my part.  But with my children off to college, I didn't want to be by myself, pretending it didn't matter.

Tomorrow, I'm off for a silent retreat.  Four days with no talking, a little thinking, and a lot of be-ing. Just being.  I'll be outside Atlanta for most of the week, but hope to make it into town on Thursday, and maybe Friday.  Or even a little bit of Saturday.  OMG!  It's Pride weekend in Atlanta!  What ever shall I do?

Thank you.  All.

31 comments:

Sean said...

Happy Birthday and many more!

Ultra Dave said...

Hope it is the best birthday ever and from here on out each one tops the last!

BentonQuest said...

Happy Birthday Joe! Hope you have a great time and I hope the retreat is a time of great renewal for you.

Michael Dodd said...

Happy birthday, Joe! I am coming up on 60 next spring, and recently one of Tom's adult sons (the one who is living with us for a year) joked that we had waited until we were too old to be gay. I know what he means, but it reminds me of a true story I heard in Spain twenty-five years ago.

An old nun who had been in a cloistered monastery for over fifty years announced that she wanted to leave. Everyone tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted.

Finally the bishop sent a representative, who asked her why at her advanced age she wanted to leave the life she had followed for so long, when she could not have many years left to her.

"A day is a day," she told him.

The priest who told me the story ended it by saying, "She was crazy, of course." Perhaps, but she spoke the truth. Many more happy days to you!

Neil said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dearest friend! I'm so happy that you're having the party and wish I was there. As far as paving the way, I hope you realize for how many guys you pave it. We are GRATEFUL to you, good man! And have a fruitful retreat.

Jim said...

Hope you had a great day! Happy Birthday Joe!

Jim xoxo

Birdie said...

Happy birthday, kiddo. (I just turned 56 a few days ago myself.) Turn your face to the light for the rest of your days. May you find the words you need in the silence of the upcoming retreat.

JC said...

Happy Birthday, what a wonderful view to contemplate your life.... It's easy to have regrets, but you are much wiser to see your past with gratefullness. You wouldn't have your kids if you had made other choices, and no matter how much they drive you crazy, you know you love them and can be the better part of your life.

jim said...

Happy Birthday Joe.

Your posting is a good reminder for me to do less boo hoo-ing and more being grateful for the blessing in my life.

I hope you had a great day.

-jim

Ur-spo said...

Indeed! MANY happy returns on this feast day of your nativity. I wish I was there; I would want to give you a hug and wish you the most bestest year coming up.

Lemuel said...

I hope your birthday continued to be a most happy day and your party a very special, very happy one! In a sense you are a newborn!

May your retreat bring you both inspiration and a deeper sense of inner peace.

And may Atlanta remind you that life is not mountain top experiences, but is also lived on the plain. ;)

Larry Ohio said...

Happy Birthday Joe! I'm glad everything has been looking so up for you lately. Wishing you the best.

Eric said...

Happy Birthday buddy! I wish you a year of good things. You already have beat swine flu and have come out at work; those are two accomplishments to be proud of!

Keep letting us know how you're doing.

Eric

manxxman said...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you.....I know I know that song has already been written. But I want you to have a happy one anyway.....

And enjoy Pride....with pride.

RG said...

Happy 24th anniversary of your 30th birthday!

If you ever make it to Boston, I have a belated present for you. ;)

Tobey said...

Sorry this is a day late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you had a great day.

You know all the stuff that's been going on with me coming out . . .but I have to say I am still glad that I came out. . .though someone seems contented to help me in that area. But still, it's better than hiding the fact I was gay. You saying that you are grateful is a great attitude. I think I will adapt that too.

Hope your party was fun! Enjoy your time in silence . . .the idea of that just feels so calming.

Happy Birthday again.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Happy Birthday ...

Jeremy

BadgerBear said...

Happy Birthday, daddy bear! Sorry I'm the last here to the party on this ... certainly not because I don't love you :-)

Cheers, beautiful. In partial answer to your question as to why you didn't come out earlier, it's because it needed to take the time that it did. You were incubating, perhaps, pupating, getting ready for your big debut as the gorgeous hunky butterfly we all know that you are. Would you have been ready before this?

Much love,
Raybob

Greg said...

Happy Belated birthday and enjoy your quiet time!!

Dale said...

Happy Birthday..think happy bear thought..be happy.
Dale

Breenlantern said...

Happy belated birthday. Don't look back and regret, just look forward and move ahead. You're life isn't what was, it's what will be. Best wishes for a great year, out loud and proud.

A Troll At Sea said...

Toasted One:

it's just my lot to come in last time after time. I even had your birthday on my schedule, and managed to not send my note off.

Consider yourself congratulated. At your age I was just figuring out that the only decent thing left to do [that I could live with] was leave home. Three and a half years on, I sometimes [like Bigg] feel I can't really remember the life I used to live--no, I remember it, but it seems to belong to some other life, which it does, of course. More that than a dream, anyway...

Just think of everything the next three years could bring YOU!

All the best to the Pig Demon,
T@C

MICK said...

HAPPIUS BIRTHDAYUS JOE!! That's about the extent of my latin.

Cheers and many more.

publius100 said...

You're 54? Jeez...I'd have thought more like 53, you're so youthful! But H. B'day, nonetheless. And once you get through with the silent treatment (just what kind of spa is THAT anyway, by all means boogie on into town & say hello.

Firnzy 86 said...
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Firnzy 86 said...
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Firnzy 86 said...
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Firnzy_86 said...

Hi again

I just had a thought now too, to go back through all your posts to see if i can answer any of my own questions. Now, maybe they are answered or not, but I'd still like to know your responses. I will however say: What you've done takes a lot of guts. And by posting this blog and being who you are, you're undoubtedly helping ppl out there that you may never know about. I've grown up in a world where it's easy for ppl to come out to their peers at 16, 17 years old, perhaps younger even, (not totally easy, but im sure it was a hell of a lot easier than for you, what with attitudes so long ago). So yeah, from the bottom of my heart, you treat yourself kindly, and don't linger on the past. Look to the present, coz u still got a lot of life left in you, and you should be really proud of the life you've had.

Thankyou.
Cheers

Richard said...

OK - I'm hoping I can butt in and play devil's advocate here. I have a big question for you. This is on my mind because I have a couple of college-aged kids as well. What is your plan if your "customers" are not accepting of you and you are let go from your job. Would your kids need to leave college or do you have a back-up plan to help them fund their education? If you don't have a plan, would it make more sense to put off this last coming-out until you do have a plan? I guess I feel that once we have kids that it is sometimes necessary to put their needs first. They are with us and needing us for such a relatively short period of time.

I think in this economy a lot of us are holding onto jobs where we don't feel perfectly at home or free to voice our opinions because there are so many ramifications to losing a job right now. Unless you are independently wealthy - are you ready to weather this storm? Even outside of the education factor, will your children still have a place to call home (can't remember if they live with you or not) if you are out of work? And are your children emotionally prepared for the possibilites of the changes this announcement may bring to their lives?

Certainly the coming out process is a time to look inside of self and to evaluate and make changes for the overall better of our own lives. Since I decided to get married and have kids, and now see that was not the path God wanted me to continue on, I just personally struggle with giving my kids the time to be settled and strong before I focus soley on myself.

I'm hoping sharing my own worries has not offended you.

Firnzy 86 said...
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Greg said...

Joe, I'm so sorry I haven't visited sooner! A B-lated birthday to you, my friend!!

It doesn't matter when you do things like coming out. We all work on our own schedules and I'm glad to hear you're giving yourself Gratitude as a gift this year!