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Norma, I'm home - for good!

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  • Norma, I'm home - for good!

    So, the effect of the coronavirus has finally pushed me into retirement, albeit a little earlier this year than I had planned.

    My California based employer decided to not renew my contract as part of a massive downsizing program after being hit especially hard by the effects of this pandemic. Fully understandable since in order to fulfill my role as a global quality manager I need to be able to frequently travel internationally, something which looks like being out of the question for at least 3 - 4 months and maybe longer. I will be parting on the best of terms and hold no rancor over their decision to let me go.

    As I start to look back at 54 years of employment since I started work as an incredibly shy and introverted 16 years old junior laboratory assistant in a local ceramic tableware factory in the UK the one thing that I can say for sure about my career is that its been interesting, always challenging and I've never stopped learning new things and rarely been bored with my work. Its been at times a crazy roller coaster ride containing a high number of high spots along with a few very low ones and the one thing I know for sure is that for the most part its been an incredible experience.

    When I officially finish my current job on April 15th, coincidentally my 70th birthday I guess my first thought will be ' 'Sh*t, I'm finally retired! Now what?
    One thing I am sure I won't be doing is dragging a rocking chair out onto my small patio to spend the day lazing in the sun. I've got too many things buzzing around in my gray matter vying to occupy my time, and if I do run short of ideas my darling wife has a to do list as long as my arm that she has been begging me to take care of for years.

    Highest task on the agenda will be to give Norma some relief dealing with some of the household chores once she gets back to work including taking over control of our kitchen. Its been a good while since I threw away my cook's apron during which time Norma's culinary skills have improved dramatically but I'm looking forward to creating some different dishes. No, no fried scorpions, baked maguey grubs, roasted water snake and squirrels, porcupine stew and stir-fried sliced bull's penis, which have all cropped up during my travels over the past few years!

    Hot on the heels of this is the necessity to cleanup and throw out loads of stuff I've been hoarding for years starting with attacking my workshop and outdoor storage room and moving on to cupboards full of boxes of personal items which haven't seen the light of day for not just years but decades!. On this last point I remember the words of a very good artist craft-person friend of mine who passed away a few years back. He lived a somewhat minimalist life style and his philosophy was that if something stays in a sealed box for more than 6 months then you don't really need it and you should get rid! I don't thing I can fully subscribe to his way of thinking but I can probably meet him halfway.

    At the same time I'll be seriously thinking of ways to bring in some money during my retirement to fund a few bucket list wishes I want to tick off before I part company with this world. These include; buying and converting an older property to turn into student living accommodation to rent out to fund our son's university education over the next 3 - 4 years; opening up my woodshop as a small home based carpentry business to design and sell small novelty items with a modern look such as shelving, storage units, picture frames, coffee tables, collapsible chairs and the like, possibly combining ceramic tiles into some of the designs; and continuing to offer my career based services as a on-line phone in freelance consultant. On top of this I want to be able to take some time out adventuring and touring on my newly purchased dual sport motorbike and at the same further develop and improve my photography skills.

    This is pretty big hit list of ideas but the most important aspect of all of these ventures is to keep my brain active, give me new challenges and, above all, thoroughly enjoy what I am doing for as long as I am able to do so.

    One plus point to my situation is that I'll finally be able to spend more time visiting this forum and renewing acquaintances with old friends and hopefully meeting some new ones. So folks be prepared for a few 'War and Peace' novel style posts written with a good dose of black humor. I may even get to post some scroll saw projects! 😉

    Wish me luck!

    Jim in Mexico
    Last edited by jim_mex; 03-27-2020, 06:35 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Hope you do all that you dreamed about doing. Congrats Stay healthy and Enjoy your new life.


    • #3
      Well Jim happy retirement. That is quite a list. You will have no problem staying busy. Cooking? What is on the menu?
      ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN


      • #4


        Congratulations! I am glad to hear that you are moving on. I realize that retirement for some is a giant step. For me it was the absolutely the best decision I could have ever made.

        I must say I often wonder how I ever found time for work.

        Looking forward to your return to the forum.
        aka Fibber
        Producer of fancy firewood​


        • #5
          Retirement is something to get used to. I have been retired for twenty years now and spend 5-6 Hours a day, seven days a week, in my workshop making sawdust. Welcome to the club!
          Hegner Polymax- 3,Hegner Multimax-3,
          "No PHD, just a DD 214"


          • #6
            I will wish you all the luck in the world however knowing your skills and tenacity, and knowing what you have accomplished to date, I suspect that luck is just another word for success and from you we expect that.


            • #7
              Welcome to the wonderful world of retirement!. I went out at 67.5, a voluntary layoff. I was going at 68 anyway.
              You do have quite the list, good luck with that. After 4 years I am just starting to get to my list. Doing the things that give me the most joy. The main thing is to stay healthy and be happy! Be glad you are no longer traveling for work.

              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


              • #8
                Well Jim,

                I hope you enjoy your retirement. I still have a 4 years to go yet before I can start to convince my better half that I've had enough.

                As far as the cooking goes I have been to numerous Rocky Mountain Oyster feeds (deep fried Bulls nuts) here in South Dakota and I still like them. The first time I tried them nobody told me what they actually were until I had eaten some and by then I was hooked.

                My mother in law was German born and raised. She was a **** good cook. I would eat anything she made and placed in front of me. I remember telling her one year that I loved the Christmas cookies she had made. I can't remember what they were called and I probably wouldn't spell it right anyway. From that point on she made them every year just for me until her passing. The only thing I drew the line at was "Noodles and Prunes" I told her that just the name was enough to make me wonder and I probably wouldn't try them. My wife still tells me that it tasted good. Still don't want to try it.

                Cooking is a good past time. I usually do most of the cooking here at my house. Plus, I spent several years working part time at a restaurant here in town. This works out for the both of us because my wife really does not like to cook. I am however a little remiss in passing this on to our son. When he first started college, he was doing his own cooking for the first time. He called one night and said that he didn't feel very good. After talking with him, I figured out what the issue was. He had bought a big package of hamburger, froze it, then would take it out, thaw it, take enough off the package for his supper and then refreeze it. I finally convinced him that you can't do that.

                Anyway, Good Luck on the future.



                • #9
                  Happy retirement. I'm sure you'll enjoy it although the first few months might not be all that you hoped for.
                  There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                  (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                  • #10
                    Best of wishes on retirement! Have not regretted one minute of retirement in 10 years.
                    Keeping busy won't be your problem, setting priorities will be your biggest issues.
                    Look forward to your posts.
                    "Time to Give Back"


                    • #11
                      As I remember, you are also a fabulous photographer. Maybe post some pics of your travels on your bike. Bruce felt like he had to look for a job for about 3 months after he retired. He has settled in quite nicely. Enjoy!!!

                      "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital


                      • #12
                        Jim, welcome to unemployment. You loved what you were doing, and now there are other things to love doing. Made that transition 25 years ago, and still find every day a fun challenge. Best wishes.
                        Got Moose?


                        • #13
                          Take it from a semi workaholic, retirement is the best job I ever had. Congrats. Praying you will have many years to work on your wish list.
                          Creator of fine designer sawdust.


                          • #14
                            Thanks to all for the kind words and wishes. They are really appreciated

                            As I start my last full week of official work with my current employer before I finish for good on the15th I suppose like many of you I'm holed up in my home because of this pandemic situation which is just beginning to appear here in Mexico.

                            A few weeks of quarantine at home will likely turn out to be a blessing in disguise as I'll have no excuse to not clean out my workshop and store room, which btw I started this weekend. Once this is done I intend to get back into some scrollsaw work and find out just how capable I am in following pattern lines since I lost my left eye last year. Issues with close up depth of vision continue to challenge me but I am confident I'll work around this and if not at least I'll have a darn good excuse for not cutting as accurately as most on this forum!

                            I´m looking forward to participating more frequently on the forum and sharing with you guys and gals.

                            Wishing all stay safe and healthy and keep thinking positive thoughts as we work our way through this virus situation .
                            Jim in Mexico

                            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                            - Albert Einstein


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