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Retirement – 5th Anniversary

October 31, 2022 marks the fifth anniversary of my “retirement.”  I put that in quotation marks because while it is the fifth anniversary since I retired from full-time work, I technically am still working part time.  Except for the first two months after I retired when I did pretty much whatever I wanted to do, I have remained active in my field—Analytical Chemistry & Stability—in the pharmaceutical industry teaching an adult professional level course on each topic and taking on an occasional consulting job.

After five years since I retired, I have found that I never really think about my old work job.  I do miss the interactions with so many fellow colleagues, but I have completely forgotten about the most painful parts of my job: establishing goals each year and conducting performance reviews for my direct reports.  These latter two activities were the bane of my existence, and I am so glad I will never have to do those again.

So, what has changed over the past year since my fourth anniversary update you might ask?  Well, as I posted just last week, I have come to the sad realization that I will no longer be teaching in person.  If you missed that post, what has transpired is that after three years of teaching virtually during the pandemic, the organization for which I teach has made the decision not to return to in-person training but rather only provide virtual training.  I know I will miss this along with the accompanying travel, as it was a most enjoyable activity for me outside my regular job for many years.

In addition, I plan to scale back the content of the two courses I do teach as I will not be teaching with the professional colleagues that I have taught with in the past.  They too have either retired or moved onto other jobs outside their previous areas of responsibility.  These scaled back courses will be recorded as virtual courses and then offered on-demand in the future, so once they are recorded, I won’t even be teaching virtually.

This significant cutback in my teaching activities has gotten me to thinking that maybe I should consider really retiring, that is, no longer putting it in quotation marks or as I sometimes refer to it, removing the prefix “semi-“ from “retired” when people ask me what I do.

The next question that may come to mind is what will I do if I don’t work part time?  Well, as I wrote last year, boredom or a lack of something to do has never happened to me so far.  But the thought of not working at all does sound enticing.  I suspect I will explore this possibility further in 2023 so stay tuned.

But interestingly, just as I am thinking to scale back these part-time work activities, I was contacted by my former company to do some consulting work for them.  Their goal is to see if I can help them improve their processes in Method Validation and Stability, the two areas in which I have spent my entire 35-year career.  Knowing that I had previously done just that at my Memphis site before it was closed, I readily accepted the opportunity and so am in a short-term consulting role with them now.

One activity that I really enjoy and know that I will fill my extra time with is building models.  Since late last fall, I have been building a balsa wood model airplane that is still a work in progress.

And over the year, my sister and I built a doll house for her grandchildren.

We had such a good time doing it, that we are in the process of building another doll house just like that one that will reside at my sister’s house.

In 2021, I also built my first boat model, a 1949 Chris Craft Runabout.

Now that the memory of some of the more painful steps involved in building that boat are receding in my mind, I may actually consider building another one as it turned out to be probably the most beautiful model I have ever built.

And I have decided to build another type of model kit that I have never purchased for myself before, a story you will hear more about sometime in the future.

Another activity for both me and my wife that has kept us busy in the past is travel.  However, this year, it has been rather sporadic.  At times it has been more like “feast or famine” with having almost back-to-back trips within a month and then in other months no travel at all.

As I stand and look back over my five years of “retirement,” I must say it has been most enjoyable.  I am so glad that the opportunity came up for me to retire early and I have absolutely no regrets about it.  Hopefully, I will be able to enjoy many more activities in the future as I embark on my “beyond year 5 of retirement” journey.

4 thoughts on “Retirement – 5th Anniversary Leave a comment

  1. Woohoo! I think I was the second happiest person when you retired—after you! So grateful for the extra time we’ve had together and all the fun you’ve had! That boat is seriously beautiful. Excited to hear what’s next on your docket!

    • Thanks! I have definitely enjoyed all the extra time we’ve had together and so no nice not to have it limited by just my vacation days available. My next project won’t appear until next year but it will be a first.

  2. Congratulations on your 5 year retirement mark! You certainly have made good use of the time – and you didn’t even mention having an outstanding blog as one of your accomplishments! I have been retired 5+ years, too. I do miss the camaraderie of working with good people on a meaningful task. But there are lots of things I don’t miss, too! One thing I really looked forward to when I retired was that I could use my time to be creative. This I love, as well as traveling. I enjoy reading your blog, while our interests are not entirely the same, the creativity vein runs through. And I get inspired by the preciseness by which you go about a project. Here’s to many more happy years of whatever kind of retirement you want!

    • Thank you again for your most kind words. By reading your blogs, I would certainly say you’ve move great use of your time too. I appreciate your perception of our common creativity. Here’s to many more years for both of us!

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