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A Year of “Retirement” - Fri, 24 Nov 2017

One year ago today, I celebrated my 60th birthday and on the same day I retired from my job of 41 years. Since then, it’s been quite a year. I wonder how I ever had time for a day job.

I recently got back from my 4th genealogy conference of the year. In February, I was at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, July at IAJGS at Disney World Florida, October at the Great Canadian Genealogical Summit in Halifax and I just returned from FTDNA’s Genetic Genealogy Conference in Houston.

Add into that two vacations, one a Western Caribbean cruise with my wife following RootsTech in February, and the second was a two-week family trip to Disney World Florida in June with my wife and older daughter while my younger daughter was working at Disney World for the summer.

The year started off with a “bang” after I had torn my peroneal tendon away from my right ankle while playing squash. I had the operation to reattach it on December 30. The next 5 weeks were on crutches and the 5 weeks following were in a walking boot, which I wore to RootsTech and on my cruise.

That marked the end of my 30 years of playing squash. I quit football at 30, running at 40, tennis at 50, and squash at 60. If I could last at biking until 70, swimming until 80 and walking until 90, I’ll have done pretty well.

I’ve been wearing the FitBit my work-people bought me for my retirement for a full year now. I average 6 hours of sleep a night, not counting about 1 hour awake a night, which I was surprised to learn is less than normal – according to FitBit, the average man my age is awake 15-31% of the night. I also learned that 10,000 steps a day is a really good goal and is not always easy to achieve. At 1,000 steps in 10 minutes, that’s 100 minutes. I learned that a day at a genealogy conference is in excess of 10,000 steps, and a day at Disney World is more than 20,000 steps. I have a few “FitBit Friends”, but it’s Carole Steers from England who I met at RootsTech who blows me away in steps every day. I don’t know how she does it.

On the programming front, I came out with a minor version of Behold in January. I’ve made progress towards what will be the last release before I add editing, and I’m close but haven’t yet had the time to finish it off.

One of the reasons for Behold’s slowdown is Double Match Triangulator. My highlight of the year was having the program win 3rd place in the RootsTech Innovator Showdown. In March I created a website for DMT and started selling it. I’ve released 5 updates to DMT in the past year and I’m currently working on a major update to be released very soon.

DNA analysis is so interesting and there is so much you can do with the data that nobody’s even thought about yet. I’ve done lots of analysis, written many blogs posts, given talks, and tried everything to confirm my genealogical relationship with even some of my DNA relatives (still unsuccessful, but it will eventually happen). Also enjoyed my first Twitter #genchatDNA a week ago. One of my tweets summarizes everything: 

I’ve also got a bit more active on some of the genealogy DNA Facebook groups, which have become very popular with tens of thousands of participants including many of the experts.

And let me thank several dozens of my Facebook friends who wished me a happy birthday on my Facebook timeline today, and also my Australian friends who who used their time-zone advantage to start the party early.

Quite a year. Still lots more to look forward to in the years ahead.

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  1. Best of the Genea-Blogs - 19 to 25 November 2017 - Randy Seaver - Genea-Musings : Mon, 27 Nov 2017
    *  A Year of "Retirement" by Louis Kessler on the Behold Genealogy blog.

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