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Edition 113 – Celebration

Monday 26th just passed was a milestone for me. In cricketing terms, I waved my bat to the crowd to celebrate reaching my half century. Looking back over the innings so far, it is more akin to a steady, yet solid test match knock rather than the bash and crash of Twenty 20 cricket. 

I’ve always called the “9” years the thinking years and 49 has been no exception. As individuals, we set personal, professional, financial and life goals based on where we expect we will be at a certain period of our lives – with those data points often being the milestone “0” years.

For me, it all started in Auckland, New Zealand. My parents, each Australians, met whilst they were on working holidays in the place where, if you wanted to head overseas in the 60’s, yet couldn’t afford the passage to England, then NZ was the next best option.

The Moody Blues had released Nights in White Satin just a few short months before I was born (and still is, in my opinion, a far superior song than Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven), and our Prime Minister, Harold Holt disappeared off Cheviot Beach in Victoria 9 days before Christmas, whilst my mother was heavily pregnant. The year I was born was the year Holden first won at Bathurst, an event they seem to now call their own even though the company itself is no longer “Australia’s own”.

This period of reflection of the “9” year has had me be grateful for so many things:

  1. To continue to enjoy excellent health.
  2. To have been married to my wife, Trish, for 26 years.
  3. To have raised, along with Trish, our two young sons – with Fraser now 18 and Callum shortly 22.
  4. To have had the opportunities in business over such a long period of time.
  5. To have been invited into the lives of so many people – sometimes as friends, sometimes as their key advisor, and watched them and their families as they too have grown.
  6. To be living in Australia which offers unbounded opportunity, a wonderful climate and the chance to do what I do, with whom I want to do it with.
  7. To have had the chance to complete tertiary education and turn that experience into a significant positive throughout my life.
  8. To have enjoyed the love and companionship of so many people over the years, who sadly have now passed away, but whose memory remains strong.
  9. To continue to learn new things and new ways – and in the process, disprove the theory that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  10. To have continued to indulge my passion of motor sport and met some of the greatest names that Australian motor racing has produced from Brock and Johnson all the way through to Winterbottom and Whincup.
  11. To have maintained my interest in politics over such a long period of time, participated in it from time to time, and had the opportunity to meet not one but four Prime Ministers.
  12. To have enjoyed every dog that has come into our life – and be equally as thankful that no cats have ever graced our door step.

Some people regret turning older. The receding hairline, the growing waistline and the lament of times past forces some people to focus negatively. I, on the other hand, am grateful for the privilege to have arrived at this age and lived the experiences that I have lived. Life is great and I look forward to the years ahead with the same wonder and positivity that I have embraced each other milestone birthday that I have enjoyed to date.

This Week’s Tip

“Reflection should not just be about the journey so far – it should also be about the journey ahead and the road you choose to take.”