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The Important Things In Life Are Not Things.

The important things in life are not things.

The important things in life are not things.

I am writing this blog whilst at home recovering from major surgery just over 2 months ago.  As someone who, over my working life has rarely been sick or away from work for an extended period of time, this has been a new experience for me.

I can report good news for me to start 2016.  My health and wellbeing have improved and I have now started the next stage of my treatment.  I hope to be able to report a full recovery and a clear bill of health by mid-year 2016.

My time at home recovering has meant that I had to slowdown and do as little as possible, to allow my body to heal so I could re-build my strength.  This time away from the hustle and bustle of full time work allowed me some extra time to think about the important things in my life, hence this blog on re-evaluating the important things.

The three key things that have become clear to me over this period are the importance of your health, your relationships with family and the importance of friendship;

  • A renewed focus on health was a given after coming through a major health scare. Being busy at work and living an active social life we sometimes forget the importance of focusing on our health.  Busy people believe we have so many important things to do, that we often put a higher priority on achieving our goals above the importance of good health.

Looking after your health needs to be one of your key personal and business goals each and every day of the year.  Don’t make looking after your health a low priority in your daily work schedule, always keep it top of mind and relevant on a regular basis.

  • Having the help and support of a close family has been invaluable to me during this time. Without them being there for me it would have been so much more difficult for me to get through this emotional time in my life.  Make sure you value all of your close family relationships.  Be active and present in being part of a supporting family group, the benefits to you and all concerned in good health, and not so good health, are truly amazing.
  • The friendship and support from long term friends over this time provided me with a reality check about what are some of the important things in my life. Yes work is important and ensuring I was achieving my goals, but just  being there for someone, or providing positive thoughts when you are down and vulnerable is a true test of friendship / mateship.  My first non-family visitor in hospital after my operation was a school friend of 45 years.  He was aware of my situation and came to visit me on the way home from having his regular 3 weekly Chemo treatment.  He was there for me wanting to know how I was going, what I had been through and what I was doing to get back to full heath.  It was important to him as he valued our friendship and saw it as an important part of his and my life.  Thanks for that Grant, you are a true mate.

2016 is a new year.  I’m the same person I was in 2015, just a little wiser and more understanding of the important things in my life.  I will continue to work hard to get back to full health and you will definitely be seeing me around the Hamilton office and Newcastle town on a regular basis.

I would like to acknowledge and thank Melanie and all of the Hamilton Taggart team for the help they have provided to me during this time.  They have been true champions and continue the tradition of providing quality accounting and tax advice from a family business in Newcastle and the Hunter Region.

This Post Has 38 Comments
  1. Hello Ross, my apology I didn’t know you had had a huge health scare , but glad to hear you are on the road to recovery.-
    Great idea writing about your health , as men we far to often forget that we are human and don’t easily act promptly with any health issue.

    All the very best. with your recovery –

  2. Gad to hear things are progressing well Ross. Everything you say is right and makes perfect sense. As you day business life often distracts one from the important things you talk about.

    1. Ross, You sound very wise and reflective. I am just back from New York. I was told that people only live or work in New York to make money. What a waste as there is so much more to life as you have stated. Your office is doing a wonderful job in covering you and they are all very talented personnel. You must be a good mentor.

  3. Hi Ross, I was unaware of your illness and I hope you are up and running around ASAP.

    I agree with your sentiments and it is something I have made a priority most of my working life having a close family relationship with all the family is not always easy, but it is most rewarding especially the one with my wife.
    Unlike many of my contemporaries I work very hard at work, but do not socialise that much (I have other priorities – exercise, friends, holidays and family) I have a good and happy life, not as wealthy as I would like, but positive change in this area is always expected and will always be welcomed – this week’s lotto would be good.

    Good luck with your recovery, a full one at that and hope to see you around very soon

  4. Ross,

    Thanks for the update and I am glad all is on track. Thanks for the life tips. I need a reality check as well. See you soon Hoggy.

  5. Hi Ross,

    Judy and I wish you well for 2016.

    I look forward to catching up with you at Mayfield pool.

    I was impressed by your thoughts regarding the important things in life.

    Kind regards,
    Scott Williamson

  6. Hi Ross, this came as a surprise to me…the old contacts must be getting a bit rusty!
    A great example to all us males who don’t “share” their thoughts enough.
    Stay strong!

  7. Great to hear from you Ross. Sobering thoughts so thanks.

    Yes your health is so crucial and there is a hell of a lot of knowledge available now. I am never perfect on caring for mine but I continue to reflect whenever I return home. Smile more often and surf even more.

  8. Hi Ross
    I had heard that you had not been well. Glad to hear that things are going well for you and you are on your way back to full health.
    I completely understand the re evaluation of life that you have experienced. My husband Bill was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer in August 2014 and despite major surgeries and radiation and chemo, he succumbed to the dreaded disease in August 2015, 3 days short of 12 months from diagnosis. So just 6 months down the track from losing him, I am slowly rebuilding my life with a whole set of new priorities.
    Take care and I wish you continued good health.
    Rhonda White

  9. Hi Ross,

    Ray and I wish you well for your recovery in 2016. Really enjoyed reading your article. Have been checking on your progress with the
    girls in the office. Hope to see you soon.



  10. Hi Ross,
    Best wishes during your recovery and agree with your sentiments; health, family and friends are our earthly joys.
    Further, the level of medical science we enjoy is also missed by some. Having had a medical association with family
    all of my life I am grateful that it was 2015 when I suffered my serious condition and not 1955.
    Best of health
    Trevor Wark.

  11. Ross

    Glad to hear your treatment is going well and you are in good spirits. Some great energy in your update.

    I’m looking forward to running into you again soon at the beach or down at Townsend at the rugby.

    Best wishes,


  12. Dear Ross,

    I was not aware of your health scare and wish you all the very best in your recovery. Your words are very poignant but all too often neglected by most of us until we confront issues ourselves. Thank you for sharing your story and trust you are on track for your clean bill of health by mid year.

    Best Regards Justin Enright

  13. Hi Ross, like many others I did not know you had been ill. Like your dad I have always admired your dedication as an accountant and happy disposition. I look forward to your full recovery and meeting up with you in the near future.
    Best regards, Warren

  14. Pleased to hear you are progressing well Ross – you certainly have the right attitude. It is at the difficult times in life when you truly appreciate the family and friends you have – I’m sure RT has been a tower of strength. Best wishes.

  15. Hi Ross,
    I’m sorry I was not aware of your health scare.
    I wish you all the best in your recovery back to the active life you previously enjoyed.

    I look forward to seeing the ‘full of life’ Ross we are all used to.



  16. Hi Ross I was not aware you had been below mate. My best wishes for a speedy and full recovery and I enjoyed reading your blog.

    John Mayo

  17. Well said uncle Ross I need to take a leaf out of your book and follow your advice less work more family. Keep getting better and looking after yourself. Liv

  18. Ross, I understand your sentiments regarding the important things in life. I
    knew you were going thru a lot health wise and it is such a challenge.. Thank you for sharing, take care,

  19. Great words Ross, so easy to get caught up and not always have the priorities in the correct sequence.
    Thank you for the reminder, good to hear that your health is on the improve.
    Look forward to catching up shortly, our thoughts are with you.
    Ken & Kim

  20. Well done Ross. Thanks for sharing. I like your comment of being active and present. My dad said to me that there are places in your life where you have to be and others where you want to be. He said that it is important to be aware where you are. See you around the club.

  21. All the best ROSS you are strong and sa good fighter the main thing in life is enjoy everything as the government is going to screw every one in who is trying to get a head in life

  22. Mate
    So good to see you are doing well and congratulations on a courageous BLOG. Scott and I wish you the quickest and deepest of recoveries. You have a gem in Mel and your team. Shivani x

  23. Hi Ross, I hope your health is on the mend. I did not know that you had been ill. Life can sometimes deal a testing handout. All the best and regards Dennis.

  24. Hi Ross,
    Cheryl & Bob P forwarded your blog onto us. It was good to see you before Christmas and hope to enjoy another night out together soon
    Thinking of you as you continue your road to recovery.
    Dick & Di

  25. Hi Ross,
    Glad to hear you are on the mend and thank you for sharing your story.
    Hope to see you back out and about again soon.
    Regards to you and family.
    James and Gillian Mee

  26. Just a quick thank you to everyone who has left a comment about my progress and the important things in life. Your comments & well wishes were much appreciated it has definitely added to my recovery process.
    There is a lot of life left in the “Old Dog” and I will definitely be catching up with all concerned during 2016. Thanks again and I hope my thoughts on this topic have been of value to you.

  27. Hi Ross

    So glad your blog was sent to my email – it is such a relief to read that you are progressing well with your treatment and will be back on deck again in the near future. A positive mind works wonders as well as all the love and support from your family, friends and work associates.

    You have passed the endurance test and are now on the road to recovery!!

    Stay positive and keep smiling

    Our Sincere best wishes To you and your family. Chris and Darrel Parmenter

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