Well that’s done but it couldn’t have been done without the music or The future is Streaming!

20,000 words, an exam and oral presentation and this academic year is done! Maybe just as significant is the amount of music listened too.

Day after day, Spotify has continued to provide a seemingly endless stream of music, supported by Pandora and my substantial iTunes library.

Through this year many of my posts have highlighted a new love of country, a revisiting of Dylan, and how music has been an integral part of my day.

I have since my late primary school days had an insatiable desire to buy Singles, LPs, and CDs. That is until now.

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My purchasing habit led to a brief foray into importing records. For a couple of years a close friend of mine and I started to import records for our friends, less for profit and more to bring down the price of our own purchases. It lasted until the local post office told us that we would be considered a business if we continued,

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A daily occurrence – the best of times, the worst of times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

For me this is a daily occurrence as planning for retirement or transition brings these emotions on a very regular basis.

I often describe my days as a roller coaster of mixed emotions, moving through a cycle of euphoria ( “the best of times”) to ambivalence and then to panic ( “the worst of times”). During a day I find myself excited about my future, a period post retirement from my firm, relaxed that I’ll be able to fill my days with gainful activity and then frightened that I am not properly prepared or ready.

In those times when I am looking forward to the next phase, it can be the best of times. No more time sheets, budgets, and relentless pressure to grow the business. My excitement also comes from the opportunities I have before me.

University the opportunity to learn, complete my Honours, start a PHD, research and teach. These are all things that over the last 12 months I have come to enjoy. I feel confident that my network of contacts will engage with me in a way that neither they nor I have before, providing me new and exciting opportunities. I’ll have more time for travel and riding my bike.

I then cycle through feelings of ambivalence arising from the assumption that it will all work its way through and I’ll be OK.

But then there is the fear of the unknown, the worst of times. Sheer panic!

What happens if I don’t like it. I’m moving from the cocoon of a very large firm where I am relevant to perhaps being completely irrelevant. How will I feel about that? What happens if I can’t afford to live the way I want too? What happens if my planning simply doesn’t pay off? What happens if I don’t continue to enjoy my study, it’s too hard and I can’t make a success of teaching? What happens if I my network no longer engages with me after I no longer have my Partner badge? It’s very scary!

So yes on a daily basis I experience both the best and worst of times.

Daily Prompt – Extreme Tale

The world is a bad place… a terrible place

Just on twelve months ago I wrote a post <a href=”http://www.browney237.com/reflections-of-my-life/“>Reflections of my Life</a>. It was inspired both by The Marmalade’s song of the same name and a visit to Berlin’s Topography of Terror. However, the last week coupe of weeks have caused me to reflect again on the two lines which were the central theme of that post

<em>The world is a bad place, a bad place

A terrible place to live, oh but I don’t wanna die.</em>.

In recent weeks we  have had reports of the terrible happenings in Iraq, the continued and seemingly never ending challenges around Israel and The Palestinians whilst in Australia, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-unravelling-of-harriet-wran-20140816-104xfb.html“>the sad report about the daughter of a former state Premier facing murder and attempted murder charges </a> which are allegedly linked with her need to fill her drug habit.

These are all awful. Each in their own different ways.

What have the “run of the mill” people of Iraq, Israel or the Palestinians done to deserve this? How can it be that a young, apparently intelligent women brought up in a well to do family find herself allegedly involved in such a mess?

What is becoming of our world? We simply seem to be unable to learn from the past. For heavens sake, it’s 100 hundred years since millions of people lost their lives for the “war to end all wars” so ironically now known as the First World War.

It’s just all so sad.

Relevance deficit syndrome – the road to retirement

My last week or so have been interesting to say the least. Whilst there has been no secret about my retiring from my firm, it’s now common knowledge amongst my staff, partners, clients and associates. No hiding anymore and no denial!

At one level it’s liberating. My replacement is intact and as he takes over the reigns I am not feeling the slightest resentful but it’s certainly different. As one of my friends, and more importantly a major influence on my career said, it’s coming to terms with your lack of relevance which is the challenge. He’s definitely right on that one. No one is coming to me to make the decision, it’s the new breed’s role. My advice is being sought on occasions but it’s all happening around me.

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Well that’s Semester One Done

As if work running into 30 June isn’t hectic enough for an accountant I’ve combined it with an exam and an assignment!

Over the last four months I’ve attended 13 workshops, 13 seminars, 9 presentations, completed 5 assignments and sat one exam, whilst working full-time. It certainly has been a challenge.

From a work perspective it has also seen one of the busiest periods we have seen for a while. Plenty of good and challenging work as I completed my second last year of professional practice.

From a study perspective, the word count is about 11,000 words submitted and countless others edited out. Numerous journal articles carefully read to extract the gems needed to support my work. Then there is the exacting task of referencing, something which after 5 assignments now seems quite straight forward – it certainly wasn’t back in March!

So what have I learnt? I know that I’m still not good at statistics, although compared to what I knew on the 1st of March I am an expert! I’ve learnt about the inductive and deductive approach. I know that method and methodology aren’t the same thing and lots more. I’ve found that writing every day does work better; that “snack writing” actually works and writing early in the day is a productive use if my time as against sleeping (which is definitely over rated)! What however is more important is that I now realise I am thinking differently and that this is not just helping my study but also work.

I’m a quarter the way through my Honours program with still many thousands of words to write and much to learn. Whilst the last few months have been challenging I’m still enjoying it.

So now a few weeks before saddling up again. Time to take in the balance of The World Cup and Tour de France on TV.