Posted 5/4/2015 7:38 AM (GMT -7)
Well congratulations, congratulations! Retirement is indeed a big event!
And since you and I have similar backgrounds (both of us academics having worked at the university level for a long time), I have a few particular words that might apply to your retirement situation.
Will you be getting Emeritus status from your university? As I'm sure you know, that usually means some continuing post-retirement faculty benefits, such as access to university libraries, computer facilities, university functions, etc., and even (last but not least) a faculty parking permit.
Has your department chair already brought all that up? Might be useful to check with him/her about that to see if that will be a possibility. Since I retired here at the University of Florida and got Emeritus status, I still have access (if I want it) to the things mentioned above as well as some of my old department functions, such as general emails, department social gatherings, etc. (but not anything to do with current operations). I also still have access to university research facilities (databases, apps, even pencils and paper, if needed) if I want to do any post-retirement research for publication using on-campus facilities.
Anyway, you get the picture. As a fellow academic who has "gone and done it" (retired), please do email me (I guess you still have my email address, as we have communicated before) if you have any specific questions involving retirement from academia, and I would be most happy to try and answer them.
Just a couple of other thoughts. When you said "It's time," I definitely related to that. In my own case, I just "knew," just "felt it in my bones" that the time had come for me to call it a career. If you too have had that feeling, then that's a pretty good sign that you're making the right call.
You said "… we have been beholden to the academic calendar." No more! Now your lives will be your own, and the empowerment which that brings is a wonderful feeling!
Florida or Arizona? Well, as you might suspect, I'm a little biased on that question, being a Sunshine State guy, but I'm sure either place would be a great place to be! (Why not visit both, if that's possible, and then decide? Plus you get to see a lot of the other states in between while traveling to each!)
Mel, I think you're going to love retirement. And now I'll add one more thing about how the PCa elephant in the room works into all this. And that is, and maybe it’s just me, but I soon realized after I retired that, now feeling less pressured about everything, that seemed to extend also to PCa (and health in general) worries. Okay, granted, my G6 numbers maybe aren't all that bad, but PCa is still the elephant in the room for all of us, and is never entirely out of one's mind, regardless of one's status. Again, maybe it's just me, but, by golly, when I retired, the stress graph in all areas of my life, including PCa, most definitely dipped down. See if that happens for you. The beast is still there, but I found that when the rest of one's life becomes less stressed and more comfortable, the presence of the beast doesn't seem quite so ominous.
But for now best of luck, Mel, and do let me know if you have any retirement-from-academia type questions.
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): <0.1