2008 is finally around the corner now. What a busy year! Now 2008 will soon be a memory, I took the chance to write a final annual summary so the year will be remembered when I looked back decades from now.
What's Good: My wife, my son and I, as a family, has much stronger bonding compared to last year. We enjoyed a lot of precious family moments. My wife continues to have success in her great freelance job, and my son, now at grade 2, is starting to having fun in his school. Everyone, including my extended families, is still healthy.
What's Not So Good: Really nothing. I feel blessed our family is growing in the right direction.
What's Good: I'm taking much more responsibilities at work than a year ago and received an important promotion as a result. I continue to feel valued and am excited to come to work on most of the days. I derive a lot of fun working with my team, including my new boss who was parachuted to us 6 months ago.
What's Not So Good: For the entire year, I was essentially taking the workload of two, and the financial crisis has been challenging the effectiveness of our team to optimize resources. Many times, I felt I am consumed by the work by having to get up 6am in the morning and attend late-night calls. Also, I took more business trips than last year -- I spent altogether over 100 days on the road for business. To some extent, the economic crisis and accompanying reduced level of business travel is a blessing :-) In all means, 2008 is simply the busiest year ever I had in my career.
What's Good: My job keeps taking me to new places of the world (that it, before the financial crisis hits us and we mandated a travel freeze), and we as a family continue to enjoy from traveling. New places visited: Vietnam, Taiwan, Spain, Belgium, Netherland and Denmark. Family trips: Seattle, Los Angeles and Sanya -- we love beaches, isn't it?
What's Not So Good: There are still many fascinating places on our plan for a long time but we never made it to our itinerary. On the watch for 2009: Egypt and Greece.
What's Good: If I have to pick up some silver linings, that'll be that I still have a highly paid job that is safe, and I can still provide for the family and keep a highly positive cash flow without dropping quality of life.
What's Not So Good: Our portfolio of $800k at the start of the year is not spared of the financial crisis and the worst stock market performance in decades. Albeit the positive monthly cash flow we used to infuse our portfolio, we ended the year with less money than we started the year with. 2008 might be remembered as the year that is lost.
What's Good: Hmmm … thank you for still reading this post after the seven-month drought.
What's Not So Good: I can make excuse about heavy workload, writer's block or blogging fatigue, but the fact is I do feel bad I didn't keep the blog alive for the most part of the year. Let me make a wish to do better in 2009 -- after all, the bar I set in 2008 is low enough to cross.
So Bye Bye! Sayonara! Adieu! I look forward to a different 2009 that will bring new surprises and happiness.