2016 Retrospective

Looking at previous posts, it looks like I haven’t gotten any better at updating.  The last one was in January of 2016, I guess with this current post, I’m effectively doubling my post count for the year! Hurray!

2016 has been a very mixed year for many, and mine is no exception.  It was my first full year at a real job (outside of consulting), with many things as I expected but many more being different.  Working at Twitch has been very.. interesting, shall we say.  A fast growing company trying to mature and scale processes/technology in order to support more growth down the road, you inevitably run into many conflicts and not all of them are easy to solve.  Fortunately most of the folks that work there are genuinely interested in the space, and are more than willing to roll up their sleeves to get things done right.

Having left my jet-setting lifestyle behind in 2015,  the only trips I took in 2016 were of course family related, to Toronto and to China, both of them with my wife and Matthew.  For a first timer flier, Matthew performed exceptionally well on the plane – the only hard part was adjusting to the jetlag when he doesn’t want to go to bed until 2am…

The trip to China was equally uneventful on the plane.  He slept quite a bit, and was generally very playful and easy to handle when he was awake.  We got all of our luggage and made it to my aunt’s house with very little trouble.

China itself was quite the cluster though.  Shanghai was ridiculously warm even in September, and the air quality wasn’t great.  Although it didn’t get quite as bad as the winter time in Beijing as some of the more recent news articles coming out of China shows, I did start coughing a lot more and we pulled more black stuff out of Matthew’s nostrils during his baths every day.  Compared to Shenyang though, Shanghai was a walk in the park – Shenyang used to be one of the major heavy industrial cities in China, and as such the air was noticeably worse than Shanghai.  However, I did have the best 羊肉串 and 鸡肉串 there, so I won’t complain too much.  The pollution combined with the ever-present smokers/second hand smoke, I’m quite glad that my parents left China some twenty years ago so that my son can grow up in a smoke-free environment with clean air.

Looking back, there are only a few things I regret about 2016.  One is the fact that I  didn’t fully utilize the time I got back from not traveling so much.  Instead of spending 15-20 hours traveling a week, I grinded League and Clash Royale instead, sometimes into the wee hours of the night.  And I have nothing to show for it except for a Gold Border and some screenshots of my 4K trophy achievements.  Without the hotel room service and the ease of access to a gym, my workout routine has diminished to the very very occasional hike and badminton with friends.  Both of these combined with sitting lots at work led to some undesired health issues, something that I aim to address in 2017.  The other, being related to time, is that I didn’t connect with my friends nearly as often as I wanted.  I feel like the only occasions when I was able to meet up with friends were at our friends’ weddings.  Now that Matthew is older and we can reason with him (somewhat), I’d love to take him out to meet/re-meet all of my friends, whether they have kids or not.  There are just way too many friends in the Bay Area that I don’t see nearly enough and it’s time to put an end to that!

So, in conclusion, 2016 was a pretty good year, but 2017 should be much better because I will force myself to utilize my time better.  I’ve uninstalled Clash Royale (gasp!) and haven’t touched it for a few weeks, hoping that it will stay that way.  Now that I’ve grinded to Gold 5 in League over Christmas, I will limit my game time to FFXV instead – a game that’s single player, non-tilt-inducing, and I can pause anytime I want.  I will start some runs and exercise routines so that I can mitigate the risk of future health issues.  And I’m going to organize some gatherings!  Folks who like dim sum, hiking/badminton, or hanging out with a toddler – hit me up, I’d love to connect and do stuff together in the new year!

Happy New Year everyone!



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