Tomorrow is a pretty momentous day for us, and there’s been a lot going on at HowToGYST HQ. So, seeing as it’s been a hot minute since I shared a personal update, I thought I’d fill you in.
After over a year of waiting, tomorrow’s the day we can finally, FINALLY file for permanent residency here in the US.
Because the USCIS has been working on a huge backlog, we had to pull up a pew and wait impatiently. While the green cards themselves won’t come through for quite a while yet (current estimates suggest it’ll be at least a year and possibly as many as three), we’re also filing for travel and work authorisation.
Let me explain.
Once our application goes in, we will be banned from traveling internationally. That’s a pretty huge deal for me. Initial whisperings suggested we’d be able to file in November so I booked flights home for the end of October to see my family and friends before the ban.
As it turns out, we can file a month earlier so I’ve had to cancel those flights. (We did have the option of keeping the flights but, long story short, it would have meant having to delay filing by several more months and would have incurred several thousand dollars in extra fees. Boo to that.)
As well as filing for permanent residency, we’re also applying for the travel and work authorisation I mentioned. Assuming it’s approved, the travel ban will be lifted in 4-6 months (hurray) and – most momentous of all – I’ll FINALLY be permitted to work here!
That means that HowToGYST is about to be LEGIT in the States. As soon as my authorisation comes through I’ll be able to apply for a social security number and, thereafter, officially register the business.
So 2020 is gearing up to be a pretty groundbreaking year.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to get this show on the road. It’s been a long journey, and I’ve been held back from doing so many things because of my status here. So, assuming all goes well, you can expect big things in the second half of next year.
It’s officially football season which means Sam is now working 6 days a week. It used to be much harder on me when Scout was younger but now that she’s more independent she can amuse herself for the most part and I don’t feel quite so stifled and ‘stuck’ by the whole thing.
Speaking of Scout, she’s in first grade now. She seems to be enjoying it overall but I do know she’s struggling with the fact that there’s slightly less freedom and fun involved.
And oh, the homework.
It’s not bad but it’s just a pain to be forced to sit down and do something every day. When she gets home all she wants to do is play outside with her friends. I try insist on getting homework done first but I also feel there are more important things in life than spelling tests, so right now it’s a balancing act.
She’s also taking swimming lessons, and just passed up another level. My 6 year old can officially swim better than I can. (It helps that she actually enjoys it, whereas I despise being in water.)
Health-wise, things have been a bit up and down but, overall, I’m OK. I’m forever plagued by mystery illnesses, which is very unfortunate, but mercifully it’s never anything serious.
It’s been just over a year since I burnt out and it’s only now I’m starting to feel like I’m getting back on track. I thought it was an insanely long time to be still feeling the effects of it but, from some general reading, the year timeframe doesn’t seem to be all that unusual.
I did have some other issues – one that required a biopsy – but, again, nothing major there. I have some other niggling concerns that I may need to see a doctor about if they don’t clear up soon but, other than a recent cold, I’m generally feeling fine.
I recently read two of Cal Newport’s books – Deep Work and Digital Minimalism. The first is completely changing the way I work, and the latter has made me more determined than ever to cut back on my use of social media.
I’m still posting to my business profiles but I’m no longer scrolling through my Facebook or Twitter feeds (I just check notifications once a day), and I only allow myself to check Instagram twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.
Between the ‘deep work’ and the digital detox, my days have been transformed.
I’ll be sharing more soon.
A few weeks ago I received word I’d been nominated for ’20 On The Rise’, an award that recognises people making waves in their industry. It was a complete shock, but a very welcome one, and I still have no idea who’s responsible.
If you’re the person who put my name forward, I can’t thank you enough. I’m still stunned that someone would think of me for something like that.
I honestly have no idea what’s involved in the process or how winners are picked but they’re being announced in the middle of October.
Something else that’s happening in October is the acceptances for Alt Summit speakers. Speaking there earlier this year was such a highlight for me and, regardless of whether I have the honour again next year, I’m definitely heading back to Palm Springs to attend. Tickets, flights, and hotel are already booked.
But oh, to speak again!
My public speaking is definitely something I want to improve. Being a lawyer (in a former life) means I don’t have much trouble standing up in front of an audience, but it’s a completely different dynamic when you’re presenting a case to a judge than when you’re vibing off an engaged audience.
I need (and want) practice at that.
Wanting to give myself a decent chance of success I opted for not one but three pitches. I admit I’ll be disappointed if none are chosen (though, in fairness, I’m up against some ridiculously stiff competition so I’ll understand), but I’ll also be completely overwhelmed if all three are chosen.
Sometime in the next four weeks I should find out my fate. But as I said, I’ll be attending (and am very much looking forward to it) either way.
Exciting times ahead, as you can see.
What’s on the horizon for you?
If you want to catch up on other personal updates from me, check out these recent posts: