Two years after “retirement”

Internet service was restored yesterday. Turns out the problem was a malfunctioning cable amp in the attic; took about a minute to fix once the technician found it.

What’s really on my mind this morning is how wrong I was about retirement. After working for 40 years, I couldn’t imagine much beyond the daily commute and meeting-filled corporate life. Work hard for five days, then try to pack some combination of rest and fun in for two days. Repeat 50 times per year.

As I left the full-time workforce in late 2018 I imagined all my time taken by golf, travel, reading and maybe writing. For the first year or so that was mostly true – we traveled HARD in 2019. I managed to fit a lot of other things in, but travel was the focus.

And then 2020 hit. I suppose what has happened since then is a bit of a regression back toward employment, but it’s been useful given the difficulty in traveling. Combining my part-time gigs of 2019 and 2020, it seems that filling one’s time after full employment hasn’t been a challenge at all. I’ve stayed busy with a diverse set of projects, including:

  • Paid phone consultations with companies in the US, India and Europe, typically on how IT works in energy companies. these are typically 1-2 hours and pay quite well.
  • A multi-month consulting gig advising a German company on software for bioreactors.
  • Growing Board responsibilities at 211 San Diego. We’re leading a great nonprofit organization, one that is very needed in this shitshow of a year.
  • Publishing one or two technology analyst reports for an advisory services company. My most recent one from 2019 was on artificial intelligence and automation.
  • Filling a part-time role as COO for a growing company. That one is very recent, and it remains to be seen how long that gig will last. But it’s challenging.
  • Writing my first real novel, a work still in progress but getting closer to complete.
  • Serving as a Board member for a rapidly-growing for-profit technology services company.

So when I look back at that list, I’m amazed at all that’s happened, all that I’ve been able to do post-retirement. I conclude that being semi-employed, self-directed and self-employed is much better than the full-time corporate life I had adopted. Who knew?

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