Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 27, 2012

Monday, 23rd January 2012 – a ‘new life’

Not feeling 100% healthy or fit this morning, and certainly the knowledge of a session at the gymnasium this morning was not quite as appealing as it should have been!  It was a hot morning, and the normal peacefulness of this neighbourhood was going to be disturbed over the next few days by a series of road-works in our Court. Not exactly sure what they are doing, but has been going on in this area generally since before Christmas!

Anyway, despite the heat and ‘imagined’ physical difficulties, we got to the gymnasium, and managed without problems to get through an hour of exercises and activities. With most Australians now living longer and stronger, the aim after retirement is to get a new life, or perhaps, a better extension of what is gone in the past  –  so that stage, they tell us should be the new name for what was formally called  ‘retirement’.  So perhaps that should be my attitude from hereon – I’m not retired, I’m at the early stages of a ‘new life’  – it’s 23 days late, but maybe I should make that my 2012 resolution, i.e., to simply keep that attitude in mind at all times!! I’m advised that there are no magic new names for the post-work stage, but it’s definitely not the old-style retirement of ‘cardigan and slippers’!!  However, like most changes in life, these things don’t necessarily all happen at once – things like planning, readiness for change, and of course, resource availability [have I got enough money behind me] to help those changes actually happen.

On that subject, the recent edition of the Centrelink LifeChoices magazine had an interesting article about retirement planning guides, and while much of it was related to pre-planning before your actually get to that stage [too late for me], there were a number of useful bits of advice included there. However most of the issues revolved about the important aspects of financial and investment considerations, as distinct from the pure ‘survival’ aspects of retiring within the confines of government pensions and/or superannuation payments, etc, and the actual lifestyle choices to be made. I might come back to this subject on future occasions, especially with regard to progress on my ‘late’ resolution.

Not long before I finished my show tonight, it was obvious from the TV scene in front of me, that there would be no tennis left by the time I got home – our Lleyton was on the way to defeat, against World No. 1 Novak Jokovic,  down 2 sets and 0-3 in the third set. That was a gross misjudgement of Hewitt’s fighting capacity, and refusal to never accept defeat until it is here. I reached home, in time to see him get ‘up off the floor’ and win that third set, and create for the most optimistic of us, a bit of hope that ‘maybe’ he could still win the match.  It wasn’t to be, but that was quite an emotional 4th set which ended around 1am, when Jokovic was still forced to fight to which that final serve game, as with defeat staring him in the face, Hewitt still refused to concede until the inevitable final point was scored.  If it wasn’t already high, I think Hewitt’s estimation in the eyes of the Australian public went up a further notch tonight, certainly in my admiration, it did.  But whether we will see him on Melbourne Park again for next year’s Open, probably doubtful, as the veteran’s role as our leader in tennis looks set to be taken over by the 19 year old Bernard Tomic in the years ahead.  The scores in tonight’s match saw Novak Djokovic defeat Lleyton Newitt  6/1, 6/3, 4/6, 6/3

Quite a few emotional and surprising results in today’s matches.  I was personally not unhappy to see Serena Williams knocked out of the tournament by a Russian opponent, but was  little disappointed that last year’s Final rematch between Li Na [China] and Kim Clijsters [yesterday] saw the Chinese girl defeated. However much admiration for the fighting qualities of Clijsters who came back from certain defeat after the first set [when she injured her ankle] to eventually get up and win that match.  While the opportunities to watch the tennis [outside of games involving the Australians] have been limited by choice, I must admit that I have enjoyed this time watching some of the overseas players, though I cannot find much favouritism for the women who continually screech and grown throughout their games  – as brother Robert indicated in an email yesterday  [I] “Do find the women’s games mostly boring and all that grunting or shrieking a complete turnoff”.

Meantime, I was on the radio for three hours tonight, so missed most of the Hewitt game, but enjoyed presenting a program of music especially chosen for Australia Day [coming up next Thursday], and featuring singers and musicians, and their stories from both the ‘European’ [white Australian] point of view, and that of the Indigenous people. I wanted to give both sides equal airing, because while we might celebrate the 26th January, as the date in 1788 when ‘European’ settlement formally commenced, it should never be forgotten that the ancestors of the Aboriginal people who were already here on that date, had in fact occupied the land of Australia for between 30,000 to perhaps 60,000 years previously. So tonight, I had a bit of everything, and changed the format of the  program to cater for this particular anniversary acknowledgement. 

Whilst I was doing the show tonight, I sent a little text greeting to Heather, down in Ballarat – her reply was quite interesting – ‘Hi Bill, glad you are enjoying your program. Very hot here!! I have just come home from a fantastic night listening to Peter Roberts, who is Australia’s only music thanatologist. He plays prescriptive harp music to terminally ill and also to prem babies. Fantastic! Take care.H”.  After that, when I got back home, I just  had to look up the precise definition of a music thanatologist  –    in Peter Robert’s own words – ‘A certified Music-thanatologist is trained to offer live, prescriptively played music (harp and voice) at the bedside of patients facing the end of their lives. Over the years I have broadened the application of my music to include recovering patients as well, but the focus of the training in music-thanatology was entirely for palliative care. An essential component to this offering involves bringing an attitude of compassion, and an attentive, loving presence that is expressed through the music. I know this may sound a bit mushy to those with a cynical disposition but it is nonetheless very real. The effect is profound.  Musical sessions usually culminate in a comfortable deep silence’.  Incidentally, that message from Heather was the only communication I received tonight, a little disappointing again!!  I put a lot of preparation into all of my shows, and particularly a special program such as tonight – an occasional piece of feedback is always very welcome [ a little like these blog contributions actually, be nice to hear from an occasional reader!]

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