Last working day of 2016 is over. The two remaining days of the year can now be spent in blissful preparations to the New Year’s Eve. This time we will celebrate in a company of our good friends in a tiny little town called Groveland, located right next to Yosemite National Park. We’ve rented a cozy cabin near a small lake surrounded by tall pine forest. I’m really looking forward to our stay there with lots of hiking and, of course, lots of barbecuing! But before we begin packing, I wanted to continue my tradition and write this little reflection on all the goodness of the passing year.
The year 2016 began for us as we were running on the streets of San Francisco, trying to catch the last glimpses of the fireworks at Embarcadero. In Ukraine they say that the way you meet the new year is the way you will spend it. We took it to mean that we would probably do a lot of travel. And so it happened: we travelled quite a bit within the United States, visited Ukraine twice, and celebrated our wedding anniversary in Hawaii. I also went to Poland on a business trip, and my wife Olga did a whole mini-tour of Europe with her mom, visiting four countries.
In 2016 we officially became permanent residents of the United States after getting our green cards. We marked this event with two spring mini-vacations: one in Las Vegas (with the visit to Grand Canyon) and the other one at Yosemite. In addition, we did many more local trips for camping, hiking, cycling, all while continuing to further fall in love with California’s nature and weather.
At work, 2016 was a good year too. GlobalLogic continued its nice growth, giving me plenty of opportunities to learn many new things and expand my areas of responsibility. And Olga has advanced in her studies, adding two more semesters of US education under her belt. She is now only one semester away from getting her American educational credentials in Finance & Accounting.
On self-development side, I achieved my 2016 reading resolution of one book per month, and I also completed an interesting online course in Corporate Finance from NYU Stern. All my sports goals for 2016 were completed too. I ran, swam, and played soccer regularly. I learned more about my roots in 2016. Thanks to the DNA test from 23andme, I got to know a few surprising facts about my ancestry. We also did not forget about culture in 2016. We visited several good museums and attended several concerts, including one of my favorite “must see them playing live” bands — Coldplay.
One funny thing that made 2016 truly unique for me was my intimate acquaintance with Varicella Zoster virus, a.k.a. chickenpox. Somehow I didn’t manage to get it in my childhood and the time came only at 31. I had the pleasure of confirming first-hand that kids’ diseases are quite ruthless on adults. But in retrospective it was not as bad. I had almost three weeks of “mind purification” all to myself, during which I could truly disconnect from everything and re-charge my mental batteries.
Overall, I feel like 2016 has made us better, happier, stronger, and smarter. Thanks, 2016. And that is what I wish for 2017 too. Happy New Year, friends!