Mr President

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There is only one topic tonight – the election of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States.  Like many others, I am draped in a cloak of disbelief.  How could this happen?

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I am not a great fan of Hilary Clinton but even a shred of decency should have been enough to drive people away from Trump in droves.

However, the decision has been made and unfortunately we are all going to have to live with it.  The ramifications of a Trump presidency have the potential to be far-reaching and affect people far beyond the boundaries of the United States.

So, what does this mean for Australia?  According to early media speculation, an increasingly isolationist America would almost certainly impact on trade, defence and foreign policy.  Strategic alliances with Indonesia, our populous Muslim neighbour, relations with China and the problems in the South China Sea and of course trade agreements are all at risk.

Closer to home, this election victory has given Mr Trump’s Australian surrogates such as Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, One Nation senator Pauline Hanson and the LNP’s George Christensen, the opportunity to claim an endorsement of their own views on topics as diverse as immigration, refugees and climate change.

I am fearful of what this means for our future but I am also hopeful that commonsense and decency will prevail.

Retirement Plans

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No, we are not about to retire, although today is GMan’s birthday and it is a reminder that the time when we are no longer in paid employment is edging inexorably closer.

2015-08-06 01It is strange how thoughts seem to align.  A friend posed the question on Facebook today, “What are your retirement plans?”  The answers varied but an overarching theme seemed to be travel and writing which may have something to do with her particular group of Facebook friends.  However, I was blown away when one respondent stated, “I’m hoping to simply make it to retirement age!!”  That really put it into perspective because although we all risk not making it her odds are definitely not as good as most of us.

I also saw my own plans with a great deal more clarity.  I realised that my retirement  plans are very similar to the reality of my life today and while some could view that as rather boring I can see that I am living my life as I choose here and now, today and every day.  I don’t want to sound morbid but if anything happened that I did not reach the age at which I intend to retire I would still have done and seen much of want I want to do and see.

We need to create a balance in our lives but I would implore you to savour each and every day as well as planning for the future.