2018 will be my year because… I will retire

The time around the new year is a moment in which many look to the future. Resource asked several students and staff members why 2018 is going to be their year. Paul Torfs tells why his retirement will define his 2018.
Liza van Kapel

Paul Torfs, Assistant Professor at Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management, will retire in 2018.

‘A year ago, I dreaded retirement. It is a major change, comparable to entering secondary school: you have absolutely no idea what to expect. I always say that “I will retire for the first time”. What I really want to avoid is that mandatory enjoyment that people seek upon retiring. Some pick up a new hobby, but I just don’t see myself herding goats in the Alps. And after reading a book for two weeks, I’m done with that as well.

I have the luck that I came across many things on my path. I will work as a guest lecturer for the water education in Utrecht, and I’m still involved with Van Hall Larenstein. This was made possible by the fact that I have a part-time employment contract with the university. I want to gradually diminish my activities. There will be a time when a visit to the barber will be the sole point on a week’s agenda. As you become older, time passes in a different way – and you should give yourself that possibility, but it’s nice not to suddenly have to make that change. I’m not usually this optimistic, by the way, but I’m not seeing the future as a big, gaping black hole anymore. However, I will miss that warm feeling of being at home in Wageningen, with the various chair groups and the students. My farewell reception ended up in a sort of huge reunion. That really gave me the warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas among family members.

What I notice increasingly often is just how much has been well-arranged for the elderly. It used to be very different: you had to make a full 180-degree turn at a glance. Other facilities have incredibly improved as well, like the bike lanes, for example. But I even approach that in my own way. I will not suddenly put on a spandex suit and join a touring club.’

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