"Are you moving?"
It's a common question when I tell people I'm retiring from UAB this fall.
I explain that we moved into Lynn's dreamhouse 17 years ago, that it's stuffed with artwork and books, perched up above a pretty little lake with swans and great blue herons, that Marian and Josie live just 20 minutes away, and that for all of our state's flaws, we're very happy in Alabama. Plus, Lynn just installed a touch-action faucet in the kitchen. She's quite giddy about it.
So no, we're not moving.
"What are you going to do?"
That's the other obvious question. I point out that I'm retiring from UAB, but not from the rest of my life. I'm still on the editorial boards of several journals and I enjoy that quite a bit. I'll be able to spend more time on OSI. There's the steering committee for Metadata 2020, a project that I think is very important. I'll keep pushing for open data and a more open, affordable and transparent scholarly communication ecosystem. I'm not going to go looking for consulting gigs, but if some interesting projects came my way, I'd certainly be open to them.
I hope to do more writing, both professional and personal, starting with posting on the blog more often. And see what else develops.
I'll gradually increase my daily exercising. I'm very consistently doing 25-30 minutes a day of stretching and leg strengthening and it makes a tremendous difference. I'd like to increase that to an hour. My goal is to walk with confidence for two to three blocks using only the walking stick for support. That won't happen soon, but there's no reason to think I can't get there eventually. "Neuroplasticity." My favorite word.
I'll have more time for guitar and harmonica. I can awkwardly strum my way through Helpless and Bird On A Wire now, although I wouldn't want to do it in public. That's another goal.
I'll pick up making dinner another night each week (I do two nights a week now) and I'll take over most of the kitchen cleanup. I still don't have enough touch sensitivity and hand dexterity to trust myself with the good glassware, but I can handle the rest and it's a chore that Lynn really hates.
All that being said, having watched a good number of my friends retire in the past few years the one constant seems to be that the reality is different from whatever it is they thought it would be. So I have plans -- I don't want to wake up one morning wondering, what now? But I'm not going to hold myself too tightly to any of them.
Except that I did promise Lynn about the dishes.