So long, 2019! Hello, 2020!

Hello and Happy New Year to one and all! This has been a fast-paced year for Quynh and I (didn’t we just celebrate 2019’s new year?) and 2020 doesn’t look any different. I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions, but I *do* believe in reflecting on the past year and making adjustments for the year upcoming. With that, here’s a reflection of our goings-on of the past year:

Jan 2019: First full year @ SIEMENS

I started working for Siemens in Jan 2018 not knowing at all what I’d gotten myself into. Am I an engineer? An electrician? An HVAC technician? This uncertainty had me wondering if I’d be a good fit. Two years later, this is the happiest I’ve been at any job and I can say for sure: it’s a good fit.

I’ve even made a hobby of finding Siemens branches and taking photos when vacationing overseas. OK, so it’s only happened in Hà Nội, but it has happened!

Feb 2019: My first Tét experience

Tết was once described in a movie as “…New Years, Christmas, and Thanksgiving all rolled into one.” I hadn’t experienced a real Tét in the States so I hadn’t any idea what to expect of the real deal. Well, the movie wasn’t wrong!

I learned how to chúc Tét (wishing a happy new year), and because Ong Hung is a neighborhood celebrity, got to practice with half of Mai Dịch.

I started this blog after visiting Ha Noi for Tét and I swear I will finish writing the series of posts from my travel journal soon!

Mar 2019: Mom has a medical emergency

Shortly after we got back to the US from Việt Nam, Viet Momma had a seizure on the way back from the market and ended up in hospital. We had for years surmised she’d developed adult-onset epilepsy. As it would happen, mom had a AVM on her brain that was bleeding and causing seizures.

Thanks to the generosity of her managers allowing her to work remotely, the kindness of her family for letting her couch surf, and the luck that we were financially prepared to help out; Q set off back to Ha Noi until momma got better.

Side Note: I didn’t starve and neither Noodle nor the house plants died while she was gone. I’d like to consider that a personal win.

Aug 2019: First full year with Noodle

We became Noodle’s staff (let’s be honest: cats own us, not the other way around) in August 2018. She had us from “Good Meow-ning” and we took her home that day. She has since converted me into a cat person, liberated our yard from invading feral cats, and climbed almost every surface in the house. She even comes when called!

Nov 2019: First visit to Nashville

We do, too!

With both of us having NO paid vacation remaining, we needed to rely on long holiday weekends to do any traveling. Though we would certainly catch Hell for it later, we skipped Thanksgiving with our family and drove our 18-year-old Toyota the 678 miles to Nashville.

Nashville has a lot to offer, but most of it was closed while we were there. We met great people, ate great food, and (best of all) tried something new.

“O that a man might know
The end of this day’s business ere it come!
But it sufficeth that the day will end
And then the end be known.”

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

Though we’re not much for resolutions, we do have a couple of things we’re looking forward to this year:

– Returning to Viet Nam sometime in April
– Restoring our weekly hike routine. We didn’t hike at all in 2019!
– Buckling down and blogging more consistently. I’ve got a lot to tell ya, and it isn’t getting done.

Work has occupied a lot of my time lately with long hours at the job site, a long commute, and the customary flotsam that comes about after hours. As such, I’ve been lax in keeping this blog updated. If you’re willing to spend the time to read this, I’m willing to be more consistent in the publishing.

What about you? How was 2019 and what’s in store for 2020?