Thursday, January 1, 2015

Why Retirement 2.0?

This is the first time I have retired, so why, asked Tony, is the blog called Retirement 2.0?  I'm not altogether sure, except that it sounds kind of catchy.  Also, I am still in the process of figuring out what retirement will actually look like, so I see the blog as a kind of work in progress--away from traditional notions of retirement (whatever that means) towards something more personally engaging.

To retire means, of course, to attain a certain age and to  leave one's employment.  (Retirement 1.0?)  But the word retire also means to withdraw from a particular place.  I have withdrawn from my office in the English Department at UofL.  But I haven't withdrawn from the University entire.  Last fall, I gave a series of workshops at UofL's Delphi Center on Building a Writing Assignment.  I attended graduation in December and hooded a doctoral student and continue to serve on doctoral committees.  I meet my former colleagues at parties and other gatherins and hear about what's happening on campus.  So I have not completely withdrawn from UofL (and don't really want to). But the challenge is how (and how much) do I want to stay connected with the particular place where I worked for 26 years?

Part of the academic environment in which I lived also included scholarship: publishing peer-reviewed articles and books.  A big question is whether I want to do that scholarship post-retirement, And if I do, what form will it take? I think I may (or may not) be done with publishing 1.0 (the traditional kind that earned me tenure and promotin).  But there may other kinds of scholarship 2.0 that would be fun to try.  I don't have a lot to say about this topic yet.

The circumstances of my retirement 1.0 have have allowed Tony and me to travel more.  This spring we are spending three months in Budapest Hungary.  We first came to love Budapest when we had Fulbrights in Romania, and it remains one of our favorite cities.  It is an architectural jewel: someplace where the city itself is as much or more a work of art than art enclosed in its museums.  We are going to live in Budapest: learn our neighborhood, go to the market, find our jazz club, and so much more.  We are also going to do some short trips--to Romania, Vienna and Salzburg, Bratislava and Brno.  Plus maybe a few overnight to close town.

Retirement 1.0 also means more time in Michigan.  Life in Michigan is definitely Retirement 2.0 because it's completely different from life in Louisville.  In Michigan, I have a small beautiful house, a set of established gardens, a life outdoors, friends who live in close proximity (like almost next door).  There is no tv and the pace is completely different.  I cook more.  I exercise more.  And I read a lot more books.   Michigan also allows us to share part of our lives with friends and relatives.  And being able to stay through November gives us the chance to see the seasons change.

So far this is retirement 2.0:  .

  • some connection with an academic community 
  • more travelling (somewhere abroad every year, even if it can't be for three months every year)
  • more time at Lake Medora
  • more time to read books on whatever I want to read about
  • sell our house and buy a condo we can turn the key on and leave without worrying (this is for next year)

In this blog, I am going to document how this works out.  Most of the blog will be pictures.  I hope you enjoy, and I hope you will consider connecting me here.


  1. Love it. I have another friend who blogs mostly on her winters in Guanajuato Mexico. The secret is good photos and good writing. You have both - and so does my other friend.

  2. Love that I finally am able to catch up on these blog posts, but love even more that they are rich with adventure, introspection, and a sense of new beginnings. What a wonderful endeavor!

  3. Patrick, thank you so much! It's great to have you as a reader.