Retirement: “What are you going to do now?”

Bald man in swim trunks jumping off cliff - pencil sketch
(Actual artist pudgier than shown)

Now that I’m retired from the University, about a hundred people have asked; “What are you going to do now? Are you going to travel?”

The question is so consistent it would be easy to believe they got together and agreed on what it should be. But really it’s just a nice way of showing interest.

We do have a couple trips in mind for next year, but there’s a lot that has to be done first. In the meantime, I plan to pursue creative interests that have long been pushed aside while I was busy making a living and supporting a family.

As a kid I wanted to be an artist. But, I showed no special talent, and was repeatedly informed that artists only starve and then die alone in poverty in a dark apartment with rain leaking in the ceiling and a rat staring malevolently from the corner.

Of course I also have physical therapy to do, and home repairs to do, and a few other things. But my goal is to launch an online comic strip in January. That gives me five months to work on development. Tentatively it will be two strips a week, and be coupled with other artistic activities.

Other activity questions I’ve received include volunteer technology work (probably some), cycling (of course), photography (yes) but the lion’s share of effort goes to developing ability and workflow in cartooning. And there you have it. Watch this space!


Art supplies given as retirement gift from friends
My co-workers and my former boss (who is also an artist) pitched in to give me some art supplies!
  • What does Diane want to do? You’ll have to ask her, but for the most part she’s pretty much been doing it – with the exception of the two trips we have in mind.
  • Yes, I have actually jumped off physical cliffs before, and even rode a bike off one once. Which seemed like an apt visual metaphor for retirement, given that I’ve been working since Richard Nixon’s first term.
  • I have played a minor role in some volunteer capacity before, and will probably build on that.
  • Many friends have suggested meeting for coffee, and heck yeah.
  • In addition to home repairs, I have several bikes to build and repair. Time to do them has been lacking

Published by


Older technology guy with photography and history background