Anyway, catching up here will cross off at least two inches of that to-do list, so let’s start.
The big news is that I retired from my job, effective October 1st. This has been my intent for a long time, since I started working for my company long enough ago that I was eligible for my full pension at a relatively young age. I wasn’t unhappy with work, per se, but I have a lot of other things I want to do. It is decidedly nice not setting an alarm clock, though I finding there are disadvantages to that, too. It is easy for me to revert to extreme night owl tendencies. Well, not quite as bad as when I was in grad school and there were, apparently,, rumors that I was a vampire. But I have seen a lot of nights go past midnight over the past month.
I had a retirement party over Microsoft Teams, which was very weird, but it was better than not having anything at all. Several people spoke - mostly bosses (both corporate and government customer), but also various colleagues. The thing I found most interesting was that several people said things about my being calm in dealing with difficult people. The other things people mentioned were more obvious, e.g. my interesting travels.
A few days later, I sent out this email, with the title “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish:”
On New Year's Day 2002, I was on a small ship in the Galapagos and we encountered a pod of hundreds of dolphins. It was an unexpected experience and an excellent way to start the year.
Hence, the subject line of this email, which (for those who haven't read all of Douglas Adams) is the message the dolphins leave behind when they escape the earth.
Aerospace hasn't been anything like a doomed planet to me, although I have had occasion to learn a little about the threat from asteroids! If you'd asked me back in 1985 if I would still be here in just under 35 years, I'd have laughed at you. But there's been interesting and meaningful work and lots of opportunities to satisfy my short attention span. And, most
importantly, there has been the pleasure of working with great people,within Aerospace, other FFRDCs, Government, and SETAs.
This email address will be going away some time tomorrow or the next day as I move
into retirement. People keep asking what I am going to do with my time.
Well, here's a few things:
- Read more of the couple of thousand books I inherited from my parents (and the couple of hundred I've bought myself
- Knit and crochet and make books
- Take long walks, including the ridiculous idea of walking everystreet and footpath here in Vienna, Virginia
- Despite the current problems of travel, take shorter trips, including National Parks and interesting little towns. (I have never been to Chincoteague or to Cape May, for example.)
- Catch up on writing the last 10 years or so of travelogues, since my website xenophilia.net is more like a cobweb site right now.
- Continue storytelling
- Do lots of puzzles
I’ve had an interesting career, but I am ready for the next phase of life. This entry was originally posted at https://fauxklore.dreamwidth.org/475753.html. Please comment there using OpenID.