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Another holiday season is just around the corner.
Sometimes I just can’t fathom how fast the summer flew by.
Our baby girl was sick pretty much most of the summer, so Mr. FAF and I didn’t go on any long trips outside of DC.
We did hang out with some friends and invited them over to our house for Korean BBQ and hotpot.
And before we know it, Halloween just passed by, and Thanksgiving is next week.
It’s getting cold in DC.
I am not a big fan of the cold, but the thought of festivity does make me feel excited about Christmas and the New Year.
2019 is coming to an end. And this is my third Thankgiving post, meaning this blog has been around for three years!
Besides what I’m always grateful for as mentioned in the post below, I will share with you 5 things I’m especially grateful for in 2019.
What I’m grateful for in 2019
1. A green card
As mentioned in the previous post, Mr. FAF and I got our green cards a while ago after years of working towards the American Dream.
Having a green card means that we have more work and travel flexibility. We are no longer tied to our employers. We can explore more job opportunities and travel overseas more freely.
Not having a green card was actually one thing that held me back from investing in a retirement account for a long time. “What’s the point in investing in retirement if I can’t stay in the US?” I asked myself. But I’m glad I took the risk and made the investment.
Related: How to Start A Blog
If there’s one thing that defines 2019 for me, it was the discovery of my passion for computer programming.
I had never in a million years thought that I would ever consider programming as a hobby, let alone a career. Mr. FAF actually suggested I give Computer Science (CS) a try, but I just thought he was nuts for even bringing that up.
I’m not a genius. I had never programmed anything in my life. When I was in college, I often heard horror stories about other students dropping out of CS 101 and switched majors because it was too hard.
I told myself CS was definitely not for me and never gave it a try. Now I really regret it. Sometimes you just need to try something for yourself to see if you like it rather than relying on other people’s opinions to make your decision.
If I could go back in time, I would at least take one CS course. But as Olivia at Birds of a Fire said, regretting does me no good. I’m trying to make up for the lost time by soaking up as much CS materials as possible.
I find data structures and algorithms fascinating and see the world around me through a new lens thanks to those concepts. I have also tried to convince some of my female friends and family members to give coding a try. I once resisted learning how to code, so I’m hoping they will give coding a try since they might end up loving it like I do.
One of my biggest fears in life is not knowing what I’m truly passionate about and/or good at when I die. Having discovered a passion for programming boosts my confidence and motivates me to try new things I thought I wasn’t good at.
3. Good friends
I am extremely thankful for having good friends in my life who are supportive of what I do. My blog sis, Lily at The Frugal Gene, and I still talk often although both of us have slowed down on the blogging front. Lily monetized her blog first and has given me great suggestions on how to monetize mine.
Through the personal finance community, I also got to know Olivia at Birds of A Fire, who has been my amazing mentor when it comes to coding.
Although I haven’t blogged in months, Joe at Retire By 40 still remembers me and tags me in his amazingly delicious home-made dishes on Twitter.
And the list goes on!
In case you might start thinking that all of my friends are online and whom I have never met in person, I do have friends I hang out with in real life. They are my neighbors who invite me to their birthday parties and shopping trip. They are my colleagues who I talk to every day. I’m grateful for them all.
This Thanksgiving, we are joining our friends for a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. It means a lot to us, especially since our parents are not here to celebrate the holidays with us.
4. My little family
I am extremely grateful for our two kids and Mr. FAF. People often tell me that we are lucky to have one boy and one girl – one of each! Mr. FAF sometimes drop hints that he wants a third kid. But I told him I think two is a good number.
I might change my mind in the future when the fatigue of taking care of a newborn wears off. But for now, I want to focus on my career and make more money for my family and our parents.
Mr. FAF’s parents and mine are getting older. Soon they will need more support from us both financially and emotionally. We just need to be in the best financial shape to take care of our parents and our young kids.
5. Being able to explore new adventures
I like stability. I like the thought of knowing what will happen tomorrow, in a month, in a year, and in 10 years. That’s why I plan a lot and think carefully about what I need to do to make that plan happen.
But sometimes I just have to take the next step, accept some risks, and break out of the mold to see something new and promising blossoming.
Prior to March 21, 2017, I hesitated for years before starting my blog on Bluehost. I reasoned that if this blogging thing wasn’t for me, I’d only lose $3.95/mo. But if I didn’t start a blog, I never knew what would have come out of it. And I did.
Not only have I been able to share my life stories and built a site with quality content, but I have also started a new stream of income for my family although now it’s minimal.
Likewise, I don’t know if transitioning to tech is the right career move for me. It might be a total flop. But if I don’t give it a try, I will always be left with the “what-if” question, and I choose to take risks for a better outcome.
I know not everything has the luxury of trying out different things in life to know what works for them. But I’m thankful I can do that with the limited time and on a limited budget that I have.
As I’m typing this post, I’m looking out the window thinking soon there will be Christmas decorations everywhere in our neighborhood right after the Thanksgiving dinner. And I look forward to that.
On behalf of the FAF family, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? It’d be great to share your thoughts!