This Is Me
Putting Things Together

What Comes Next

"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.



Pat Clark

Yay!! Good for you and so well deserved! To the person, everyone I know who has retired is deliriously happy. You will be no exception because you have so many interests. And your home sounds idyllic. So happy for you. Was great to catch up with you in the intersection (LOL) in Seattle - not nearly long enough tho!

Eleanor Cook

T.Scott, it sounds so right. You have made tremendous progress after your health challenges. It also reminds me that I am really not ready to retire yet but I know it's coming.

Jim Bothmer

Congratulations Scott. I am sure you won't let the grass grow under you. Good luck in your future endeavors and God Speed on your journey.
Jim Bothmer

Tom Singarella

I think you will enjoy retirement. But are you sure you want to pick up that extra night of kitchen cleanup?

T Scott

Tom -- actually, it's worse then that. I'm picking up one extra evening of cooking, which I'll enjoy, but I'm going to do cleanup every night. And Lynn can be a very messy cook. But it's only fair. These last few years she's had to take over almost all of the household chores which has interfered with her own retirement. So I need to take on some of the things that I can manage.

Pat Thibodeau

Congratulations Scott! Enjoy your continuing as well as new ventures. I am finding retirement to be wonderful, and applaud you for having some ideas about what you want to do but staying open to other opportunities or different pathways. Retirement should be about exploration and fun and not all about schedules and goals. All the best to you and Lynn.

Nancy Woelfl

Scott - sorry I missed you and Lynn in Seattle. I'm so glad to hear the exercise is paying off and starting to restore your mobility. That's the best thing I've heard In quite awhile. Re: retirement - with all your interests, you'll have the best of both worlds - continued connections with your professional colleagues but the freedom to come and go as you and Lynn please. I'm four years into it and loving every minute. My best to you both and look forward to seeing you both again. Fondly, Nancy

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