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life overall, what next ???, at a crossroad in my life !

July 2, 2011

I believe I’m at a crossroad of my life, having to choose between two optional roads/tracks for my future life ! a luxury problem in one way, a very difficult one in another way, since it is difficult to change road at this point of life, so here you have two photos of me, me as gardener in our garden at our farmhouse, and one as professor in University working on big experimental projects ! well, in both cases, I’ll wear overalls, but apart from that things will be very different. In one scenario, I’m withdrawing from big projects slowly, but steady within the next 2 years and retire in 2014, and devote my full time to gardening, getting really dirty overalls by making things in garden and on the house, all together with my wife, writing articles, writing libretti, plays, drawing, playing alto recorder, hiking, traveling, playing with our grandson etc. In the other scenario I continue to try to set up an international research center in Denmark based on my work in world opera in order to develop an exciting environment for experimental research in the arts and human interaction in general within a networked world. In that situation, I would work hard in many hours for many years and have the privilege of having a wonderful wife, a fantastic house, but only helping my wife when I have time to help her with the garden etc. etc. but also enjoying the benefits of many years collaboration with a lot of people worldwide. In this latter scenario, the risk for stress will be much higher than in the other scenario, but in the former scenario I might regret that I didn’t continue the research work ! it is a real irreversible choice to be made and as such of course a very difficult one to make ! any comments are welcome ! have a nice weekend, bibprofessor

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Roland permalink
    July 2, 2011 8:00 pm

    Hi Niels,

    my advice would be to choose whatever you enjoy most.
    If you think you would miss your job too much and feel that it would be too hard to life without it, then continue your research.
    If, on the other hand, it feels like you already spent enough years of your life in your job, then go ahead and do something different next, it could be very rewarding as well and you might experience new things that you would never be able to do when you continue in your job. Since I am doing research myself, I know that it easily consumes your whole life, so I would probably want to break out of it to see what else I could be doing. However, I also know that this is a big step and when you enjoy doing research and this was your life, then it is very difficult to stop and do something different. Tough decision in any case.
    Perhaps in the words of Mr. Spock at the end of the last Star Trek movie:
    “Put aside logic, do what feels right.”

    All the best and overalls greetings,

    • bibprofessor permalink*
      July 2, 2011 8:28 pm

      Hi Roland, thanks a lot for your thoughtful comment, after having sort of externalized my challenge, I believe the real problem is that I enjoy both, so I might try find a way of combining the two scenario anyway ! we will see ! I will tell on my blog later this year ! in any case, I enjoy my overalls šŸ™‚ overall best wishes Niels

  2. Laury Bourgeois permalink
    July 10, 2011 1:29 pm

    Hi Niels-I’ve been meaning to comment on this post, because I think it is something we all struggle with at some point in our careers and our lives. My vote is for following your heart-and if there is a way to do both…try to put it into place. As you wrote, I was thinking what about retiring, but consulting on a part-time or contract basis. Most organizations love that because it’s usually NO BENEFITS and more Bang for Their Bucks with someone who knows the ropes already. Keep me posted-Laury

  3. bibprofessor permalink*
    July 10, 2011 8:19 pm

    Hi Laury, thanks, I really don’t know where my heart is leaning, but much of it is depending on getting funding, so it might all be clarified within the next year or so and yes, If I can make a kind of combination like now for instance, it would of course be great !:) I’m always being dramatic about choices to be made ! (perhaps the reason why I love opera !) and regarding retirement, my brother worked in the World Bank and have retired now, but still make consulting work on contract basis. Apart from the advantage for the employer, you also have a kind of advantage, with a relatively higher degree of freedom, not have to make a career ! but in my own case, I have to work full time some more years in order to get the best retirement plan/payment ! and I plan to be at least as old as my mother did (96 years!) and I would like to afford to travel around and visit my overalls friends ! Niels

  4. August 26, 2011 7:55 am

    Hello most handsome chap. I live in Australia amidst the arrogant denizens. I found your blog via the lady *someone* and I too am at a fork in the road. I’m steering towards Sri the moment. The internet is wonderful to find new friends. šŸ˜‰

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