As we near the end of what has been a year like no other, with the continuing threat of COVID-19, it is good to reflect on the annual traditions that we continue to recognise.
In November each year, we honour and acknowledge all those who died or suffered in wars or armed conflicts. This Remembrance Day marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It is humbling to recognise the sacrifices made by those who came before us.
We have been fortunate to enjoy those quintessentially Australian pastimes of the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, the Melbourne Cup and the Christmas Pageant, which looked near impossible back in April.
Living in the ‘lucky country’, one of the greatest gifts that we have been given is time. Now as we reach retirement age, with good health and a bit of luck, we can expect to live a few more decades. But what are we going to do with all of this time?
When we are young, we dream of all of the things that we want to achieve in life. Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility. During our formative years, we are faced with reality that to be successful we must devote our hard work and time. Naturally, we invest our efforts in the things we are good at, or that we have some likelihood of proficiency. Perhaps retirement might be just the opportunity to start enjoying some of these pastimes for the simple pleasure of taking part.
Age is no barrier and I have been inspired by the people that I meet. One gentleman stands out for me, who during the isolation of COVID-19 begun decorating his bedroom walls with a giant panorama, which he constructed one A4 page at a time. I recently heard from a man who took up community radio, having had an interest in it his entire life. Another inspiring group of budding artists created a beautiful table top mosaic, while others knitted poppies for Remembrance Day.
For some their passion might be finally learning to play a musical instrument or writing a personal memoir. Perhaps even swimming with the sharks or skydiving!
So maybe as we head towards the end of a year that has truly tested our resilience, our New Year’s resolution for 2021 could be to dust off the old bucket list and do something new.