Musings of the ASA Director Emeritus
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Posted By Randall D. Isaac, Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Retirement! One of the fond hopes of retirement is to finally have the time to do so many things that fall in the “I’ll do that when I retire” category. I had been warned that this was just a fantasy and indeed so far it is. The long list of books I planned to read and tasks to do still loom as something for which I have no time.

One of the unexpected effects so far has been the impact of a change in routine. For 60 years my life has been governed by someone else’s schedule. School hours for 21 years and office hours for 40. Little did I realize the extent to which it governed my life. From meal times to when and where to go grocery shopping to dietary habits, everything revolved around the infrastructure of a schedule imposed on me by circumstances. The first reaction in retirement is to keep the same schedule. Pretend that important tasks need to be done on the same timetable and keep those hours. But that seems pointless. What’s the use of being retired then? So a new routine needs to be invented. And coordinated with my wife’s whose life has now been rudely interrupted. I suspect it will take a good deal of trial and error to work it out. The freedom is enjoyable—at least for now.

I was most grateful for the outpouring of expressions of love and appreciation by so many ASA members through email and at the retirement events earlier this month. The book of memories I was given was extraordinary and an incredible treasure. Many people saw the live streaming of the event and others can see it in the recording at My comments at that meeting include some thoughts that I’d like to pursue in these musings to come. But for now, my brain just needs a little relaxation.

Tags:  retirement 

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Comments on this post...

Alice C. Linsley says...
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Randy, Thank you for the years of labor that you invested in the American Scientific Affiliation. You have been a blessing! I am confident that the Lord Jesus will continue to work in you and through you in the years ahead.
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Sara J. Miles says...
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I understand what your transition requires. For me it was helped by moving so that church services were at a different time, family we saw only "on vacation" or "at holiday time" were around all of the time, etc., so the routine schedule was "rearranged" by others and we had to adapt. These things helped me:
1. Catch up on your sleep--the first 10 months of retirement I slept 10-11 hours a night. I refused to set the alarm except on Sundays (for the earlier time for church service).
2. Except for family, do not say "yes" immediately to anything. I would talk with my husband about whether there was something at that time or would involve a conflict with something we wanted to do. This helped me prioritize and learn to say "no."
3. Make deliberate changes in your schedule. Grocery shopping is Thursday afternoon? Go Wednesday morning. Hair cuts on Saturday? Try Thursday night.
4. Practice spontaneity. At least once a week decide to do something unplanned. Lunch is over? Let's go to a movie. It's a beautiful spring day? Let's take a ride to ... (someplace where the flowers are starting to bloom).
5. Don't let these practices become your new schedule!
I read someplace that "busy" is the new "fine." "How are you?" "Busy!" So find your "fine" again. And if you ever come to the Chicago-Milwaukee area, I'd be fine showing you around Kenosha!

As I've said before, I appreciate all you've done for ASA and for ASA members (including me). But now I want you to take time for yourself and your family. Relax, do what you want to do (without asking anyone for permission), and learn to slow down.
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Leland H. Williams Sr. says...
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Well, Randy, too late for my standard advice to retirees -- get all your projects done before you retire because you will not have time for them after you retire. But, you will figure it out in consultation with your wife and God and all will be well. Thank you for your devoted service to our Lord through your service and commitment to ASA, Hope to see you at Azusa Pacific. -- Leland
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John W. Burgeson says...
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016
My advice (after 22 years of retirement) is DO SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.

And keep doing it.

Everyone is different of course. Just to stir your brain cells, here is part of mine,

Took a month long vacation to Colorado.
Bought a cabin up there.
Moved up there for what turned out to be an 11 year vacation.
Studied for the Stephen Ministry. Served as one for two years.
Took up jeeping over the mountains.
Supported friend wife for 3 years as she attended Iliff Seminary. This meant selling the cabin and moving to a school dorm. While there I became very active in the Denver H4H group.
Supported friend wife as she was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and served two churches in Durango and Rice, Colorado.
Lived for 2+ years in Rico where the altitude is 9,000 feet and the common January temperature every morning is -30.
Moved to Houston after Carol retired. Now in the resort town of Lago Vista, Texas, where things have quieted down a bit. Play a lot with grandchildren and, now, three great grands. Life is good.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Friday, April 29, 2016
Thanks for all your sage advice based on experience. Looks like this will require a very personalized approach. I've already acquired a couple of "The Great Courses" to listen to and hope to get to more Harvard and MIT lectures. Too bad the Celtics lost last night so I can't get an NBA playoff game this season. And the Bruins are done for the season. But the Red Sox are off to a halfway decent start so a few games should be in order.
I'm already seeing a key difference. I'm more the spontaneous type, let's see what I feel like doing today, while my wife is more the "let's plan everything several days in advance" type. This will be an interesting dynamic to figure out.
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John W. Burgeson says...
Posted Monday, May 2, 2016
Possibly the most fulfilling thing I;ve found about retirement is the opportunity to study and write. Finally, time enough to do this!
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2016
My postings on this blog have been rather erratic. Part of the reason is that I'm enjoying retirement too much! I can't get everything done. I'm particularly enjoying my hobby of growing roses. The flowers seem to appreciate the extra attention too.
My wife took me to the Newport Flower Show at Rosecliffe in Rhode Island for my birthday. It was good but we came back to enjoy our own roses even more.
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Randall D. Isaac says...
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2016
Turns out photos can be added to posts but not to comments. So I added a panorama photo of my front yard. Is it too big to download? I thought the system would resize it. If you have trouble with it, let me know and I'll replace it with a smaller version.
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