My 2022

Here is what happened to me in 2022

Books

I read 16 books in 2022 and reviewed some of them:

Blog

I published 112 entries this year, the lowest since 2019, and gained about 50 more followers, despite virtually no advertising. Next year, I’ll resolve to write more.

Fitness

In terms of fitness, I’ll give myself an F grade in 2022. Here are some data points according to my Fitness and Health app:

  • I set my daily goals of 11 stand hours, 600 calorie move goal and 50 mins of exercise for 2022. I closed all three rings only one every two days so far this year
  • 681 active calorie on average
  • 41 minutes of exercise
  • 14 hours of standing
  • 6,032 steps every day
  • 1,000 Apple Fitness+ workouts, including 250+ Yoga and 100+ HIIT

Another F grade in 12 months is NOT an option.

Diet

I spent half a year on a Mediterranean diet and the other half consuming more carbs than I should. Plus, I am a snack lover. My friends and wife never waste a chance to remind me that I snack too much. The goal next year is to limit the amount of carbs & to snack more healthily.

Immigration

I went back to Vietnam for my wedding. As a result, I had to get an H1B visa from the Consulate. Back to the US, I had to extend my H1B status while continuing my Permanent Residence process.

My wife got a tourist visa to visit my back in February. Then, she had to get an H4 visa to relocate to the US. As my spouse, she is also participating in the PR process while trying to secure an H4-based work permit.

All of those paperworks are time-consuming, expensive and frustrating. But we know we are lucky enough to even have an opportunity. I just hope that it will be over next year and we can share our experience with whoever needs it.

Self-improvement

Mentoring

I love mentoring people at work. Apart from the good feeling of know that I helped others, I benefit from being a mentor myself in multiple ways. First of all, I must make sure I don’t embarrass myself and I don’t give bad advice. As a result, I am motivated to validate what I know and deepen my knowledge at work even further. Second, I improve as a communicator as well. No matter how technically good you are, none of that matters if you can’t communicate. It’s a challenge to break down complex and technical issues in layman’s terms. I still have a long way to go, but I am better at it than I was in 2021. Last but not least, I learn what I am terrible at. Patience and occasionally control of my emotions. One of my interns candidly told me that he knew I was demanding and I didn’t do it on purpose, but I was harsh to him a couple of times. I took that feedback to heart and am working on it.

I have worked with 4 interns and a colleague this year. There are successes, but there are also failures. Personally, I learned a great deal from mentoring folks and am thankful for that.

“Just start”

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a staple of my exercise routine. HIIT helps burn a lot of calorie in a short amount of time. Very useful to people that want to stay healthy yet are short on time. At the end of each HIIT session, I am satisfied and proud of myself after enduring physical challenge for about 10-30 mins. But it’s not mentally easy to press the “Start” button. No matter how much I practice HIIT, I still feel deterred and intimidated when I think of tired quads and short breaths half way through a session. Overcoming that fear personally is more difficult than the physical strain I put on my body. But once I get going, my body responds to the challenge and adapts accordingly. The key is to just get started and see how it goes.

I have struggled to blog as much this year as I did in the past. Much as I like to use work and taking care of my family as excuses, the main reason is that I was lazy. I am not a native speaker nor am I a great writer. But I often find it easier to complete a blog entry when I sit down and just get cracking. There will often be silly words, awkward sentences and raw ideas at first before major editing, but once words flow, it gets much easier to continue and finish. All I need to do is to sit down and type.

Gratitude

My wife and I have been in the process of getting permanent residence in the US for almost two years. There has been a lot of paperwork and even a greater deal of frustration. You’d think that someone with two STEM Master’s degrees that is a law-abiding citizen with not so much of a parking ticket should be rewarded with a more permanent status. But life is anything but fair. On a few occasions, I regretted the decision to move to the US. Had I gone to Canada to study and work, I would have got PR by now. Thankfully, talking to my Indian coworkers, I was reminded that they would have to wait for years to get a Green Card. In fact, a teammate of mine only received her status a few months ago and she applied for it back in 2012. Who am I to complain?

Last week saw some of the coldest days I have ever had in Omaha since I came here in 2016. The temperature dropped to -25 Celsius degrees and wind chills were as low as -39. As tough as it was for me, such a harsh condition was even tougher for my wife who is so used to the hot climate in Vietnam and just has her first ever winter this year. But on more than one occasion, we just looked at each other and were thankful that we got a roof on our head, hot soup to warm ourselves and warm clothes to wear. Not so many people even have that luxury.

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