Me and Mine

Life, Family and Ancestors

Life in the 80s

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No, not the 1980s, my 80s!

I just had my eightieth birthday so I’m thinking about what I want my 80s to be like in general. How I’ll live, how I’ll spend my time. This is pretty high level but I’ll add a few specific projects I may want to undertake as examples.

As I write this, I am contrasting the life I want from the life I’ve had most recently. That life, under the influence of the COVID pandemic, has been more isolated and sedentary than it was in the past. Time now for some change!


Be More Active

As stated, my life under COVID has been extremely sedentary. But I know that I’m healthiest and happiest when I get more physical activity. Lately I’ve gotten pretty serious about doing Tai Chi and I plan to keep that up and hopefully expand it when more classes are available. I want to get out and walk more, especially in nature, and to do some strength-building, especially in the muscles that support my joints. I need to see what’s available in the local athletic clubs.

Have More Community

Connections are important. I want to spend more time with family and friends. I’d like to meet more people by getting involved in groups. My Tai Chi classes provide some of that in addition to the physical exercise. Many things I want to do can involve participation with other people. As a particular focus, I’m hoping that Phyllis and I can discover more things we are able to do together.

Live a Simpler Life With Less Clutter

We’ve done a fantastic job of simplifying our lives, esp.ecially when we sold the house and reduced our possessions to the contents of a 10x20 storage unit so we could travel in Europe. I want to go a bit further, making things even simpler (and smaller) and allowing us to live in a smaller space or even put it all into a 10x10 space while we do another extended trip.

Do Less Programming

I have large responsibilities in the NUnit Project. I would like to leave those behind before the end of the year. I still expect to work in Open Source but to focus more on my own stuff, particularly TestCentric. I may get involved with one of the Open Source projects doing genealogical software.

Do More Genealogy

Genealogical research seems to give me some of the same opportunities for exercising my problem-solving skills that programming does, so I want to increase my focus there. This fits in with some other areas as well: genealogy-oriented travel, taking classes, etc. By the end of my 80s, I’d like to have a really good picture of my family, in all its branches, back to the 18th century or even further.

Do More Writing

I want to write Me and Mine, a book about my life and my ancestors, or two separate books if it turns out that way. At the moment, I’m not very motivated to write anything technical but I can also see doing some blogging about life in general, politics, etc. as well as about my genealogical research.

Do More Travel (Again)

Right before COVID, we did our year-long trip to Europe. We thought we would come home for a while, find a place to settle and then do more trips. It hasn’t happened yet but I want to get back to it during my 80s. No need to list every place we may want to go here, but Italy, France, Portugal and Ireland are prominent along with anyplace where we have friends or family. Also, as previously mentioned, genealogy-related travel to places as diverse as New York City and Poland.

Settle Down Somewhere

It may seem contradictory, but I’d like to settle down as well as travel. That could mean buying a place or renting but would involve a decision that a particular community is where we will find our community for the foreseeable future. That could be here in Washington or in some other state or country. We’ll just need to figure out where.

Learn New Things

Actually, I find it hard to live without learning new things, which come up all the time. But I can see spending some time focused on specific learning activities. Ideas that have come to mind so far include learning another language, studying astronomy, attending a foreign university, studying history or literature. I’ll probably think of others as I go.