Friday, February 17, 2012


i know you are frustrated, but believe me, your frustration cannot hold a candle to mine! it is just that i have not known where to start, since so many of my plans have changed. even now, as i write, i do not know what the next word will be until it comes through my fingertips. but the funny thing is that, as a writer, i just KNOW the word, and then words, will come. just like they are now. one..and..then..another.

it has been months since my last posts about my trip to san francisco. let me fill in the holes a bit. at the end of september i stopped seeing clients in my psychotherapy internship as a way to give myself a break for the holidays, as well as a way to clear time to plan the BIG MOVE in 2013. for the first time in years, i had my evenings free after my workday. the evenings were my oyster! so what did i do with the time? nothing--in a nutshell. i spent my evenings doing basically nothing. nothing. nada. zip. zero. and it was marvelous. i came to realize that i have never spent evenings doing nothing--at least not that i can remember. i have always been doing something. for most of my life i have been busy pretty much all the time. little did i realize that when i gave myself a break from my internship, i was giving myself a break from busy-ness. i did stuff, mind you: i cooked, i watched movies, i read, i slept. i shopped. i sat. i sang. but the main difference with all of these things compared with all of the usual things that i do is that with these new things, i had to be with myself. it was an existential journey in the best and worst ways.

what i discovered is that a) i liked doing nothing. i liked it A LOT!; and b) i was not sure how i wanted to move forward with my plans. i began to think that i could leave whole foods at the beginning of november (avoiding the holidays!) and take the last two months of the year off, then spend january preparing to move in february. let me tell you, i LOVED this plan! but as excited as i got, i soon realized that there was no way that i would be able to finance this wonderful plan. you see, my goal is to work less once i move to the bay area, not more. if i were to go through with this plan, i would move without much money saved and would have to get a job right away to support myself. in addition, i would be completing my internship for another 6 months, then waiting an additional 6 months to get my hours approved, all the while toiling at who knows what kind of job. i would be back to 14 hour days, with no time to explore my new surroundings, and a rent payment to worry about on top of it.

so i came up with a new and improved plan. i decided that i will finish my hours here in los angeles (i can do this this year), and submit them to the BBS before the end of the year so the approval process can get started. i will then terminate my internship to give me the time to plan the move. i will shoot for moving in mid-2013. i will do a private practice internship in the bay area, even though i won't need the hours, simply because i will then have some clients to move into my practice once i pass the exam and receive my license. additionally, this timeline will give me more time to put money aside--hopefully at least enough to cover one year's rent, and possibly enough to cover my living expenses for a few months while i settle in. better plan!

so this year i am slowly taking back some clients, and in the process giving up more and more of my newly aquired free time. but i would rather work hard here, in a familiar and comfortable environment, than work hard in an unfamiliar environment. i am supported well here in los angeles, so it works for me. and there, folks, is the new plan. i tried to keep it interesting for you.

but the catch is that i am getting antsy. i feel sometimes like i am in a holding pattern--so close to finishing all this work, but not close enough to move to the next phase. but the feeling of a holding pattern is something i am working to dispel; it is an illusion in my head. because, as i always say to my clients, we are NEVER in a holding pattern. we are always moving, it may just not feel like it. but i would be lying to you if i did not tell you that i was in a bit of a pickle, emotionally, for a couple of months.

i am not completely out of the pickle, but at least i am writing again.


i will be 50 this year. i would like to think that the date will come and go, and i will just soldier on. but that would not be the truth. because for better or worse, i am enrolled in the same idea of age as we all are, and the age "50" represents something. in today's society, that "something" is becoming more and more fluid, but all the fluid in the world cannot wash away the giant "50" painted on the bottom of the pool! still, i was doing okay with it, until one night, as i was going to bed, i had the clearest thought that i can't be turning 50!!!!! i am not ready! i don't feel it!! i don't look it!! i don't want it!!! wah!!!

and this is the thing. i will be moving up north as a 50 year old man, and by the time i get up there, i will be close to turning 51. do you ever get the feeling that something means something to you, because you feel it does, but you are not sure what it is that it means? that is me right now. i wonder how those of you who are over 50 dealt with turning 50. i am sure everyone is different. i still have a few months to find out how i will deal with it. perhaps i should re-name this blog "leaving my youth". but honestly, i left my youth 15 years ago.

and yet it does not feel like it.


  1. Well this was a pleasant surprise to see a post by you. Have been wondering how you were doing with the BIG move plans.
    Your plan B sounds 'sound'(can you say that?). Makes sense to stay where you are to gain your 'status' and some financial security before you move on.
    Turning 50......I turned 50 13 years ago. Ron, my husband, had a big surprise (I knew about it, it was soooo obvious) party for me. We celebrated! How did I feel? I don't remember any anxiety about at all. I used to have a whole shtick about aging and dying....actually for most of my younger life. I 'worked' on that and actually have come to accept that there isn't much one can do about it. We are born, we grow up, we live, and then we all die. There was a time I wouldn't have been able to accept that.

    You couldn't live in a more self-obsessed city in the world and it is only natural that the fact that you are getting older can make a difference to a lot of people. I am sure you are aware that our 'western' culture has no room whatsoever for aging. There is no room for us because our society is driven by this commercial insane drive to remain youthful looking forever!

    It is a real fear for some of us. I remember when I turned 40 and I was beginning to notice that people were not 'looking' at me like they used to. It was a difficult transition period for me and that was when I noticed how driven our culture is to maintain a certain look. The superficiality of what is important hit me smack in the face! I got over it.
    Sounds like you had a 'shaky' period recently. I had a few myself. Someone (a psychotherapist by the way) recommended I read 'Pema Chodron'. It was what I needed....she goes right to the point and suggests what one could do. I continue to learn from her. (Am I not very subtlety suggesting a book to a psychotherapist?!) What the hell!
    Good to have you back and continued success in your plans.

  2. jim, thanks for reading and commenting! it has been a while, but hope to be more regular with this from here on out. i have lots to write about. i absolutely love your comment and appreciate what you share about getting older. it helps to hear "from the other side", even though we all have our individual experiences. the difficulty with me is that i am single, so i have been able to "get away" with "being young" far past my time. people actually seem offended and shocked when i tell them how old i am--seems that they just cannot accept it. fine with me! the other thing is that i am hesitant to put myself out there in the social online scene as a 50 year old man. my best bud does it so well, but don't know if it is for me. i have disabled all my online dating profiles at this time until i figure out things a bit.

    i am watching a doc about bill cunningham, a photographer in new york, who, at 83 years of age still rides a bike around the city taking pictures of people. ha! i get the sense that he is too busy doing his thing to think about age.

    i am thrilled that you recommended a book for me, and it is in no way unwelcome. i will check it out for sure. and lastly, you are right on the money about this city, and that is a prime reason that i want to get out. fortunately, i don't buy into it--no botox for me! thanks for writing-tony

  3. Soon after it will just seem like any other number - not really a big deal.

    1. well that is what happened when i turned 40, so will probably be the same...

  4. well that is what i figure is going to happen. i was talking with an older friend last night and i told her that i am not so much anxious about it as i am thinking about it, as in, who do i want to be in my 50's? not a whole personality change or anything, but how do i want to experience myself that may be different than the way i do now? thanks for commenting, "max journals". i have just found your blog and am looking forward to reading you. -tony

  5. I just saw your newest post pop-up and then saw this older one. I don't know how I missed it.
    I'm glad that you're back to writing. I knew you'd come back eventually.
    I'm a tad younger than you but I'd still like to weigh in on the getting older thing. So far, I've not minded it one bit. I did my childhood thing which was great. I did my bar thing in my 20s which was fabulous. And then hitting 30, I started the church thing which was good, at that time. And now I've been raising kids for almost 12 years now. Before I know it, I'll be an Empty Nester and who knows what that will bring. My hope is that we'll be blessed by lots of grandchildren to keep us busy. And although I bitch about keeping busy, it is what keeps me going and keeps me from thinking too much about my problems. Well, if I had any(wink)!
    I can tell you that although I don't mind getting older, I don't like those around me getting older. Maybe that's what gets to me most.
    Anyway, I'm glad that you are back.
    Your Friend, m.

  6. well for pete's sake, mark, try to keep up!! ha! you know, i think that when you have children they tend to serve as a "marker" of age to some extent. it is hard to believe that one is still young when you have grown children! so you may be at an advantage in that sense--you aren't still "competing" on some of the levels that i am. therefore, i have to create the markers myself. that is one of the reasons i went back to school--having a higher degree definitely makes me feel more like an adult! i also think it will help once i leave l.a. and the grocery business and have my own psychotherapy practice. we will see.

    my best friend is only one year older than i am, but the rest of my friends are generally younger than i, so maybe you should get some young friends so you never run out! good to read your comment. i appreciate it, and having only a few followers it makes it easy to reply!