Tag Archives: 2017 Goals

After (almost) 10 years, one week left

one week left

October would have been ten years of me living in South Africa. Almost a decade of my life spent in this amazing, complicated, beautiful, bizarre country. I have lived here longer than I lived in The Netherlands, which was a huge part of my formative years, and despite the fact that South African Home Affairs never resolved the issues with my residency, I truly feel like South Africa has been my home for a decade. It’s hard to believe that in just a week, Dean, Harley and I will be getting on a plane and moving away.

On the 15th of August, we fly to the US to start our new life. It’s something we’ve been working towards for months now, something that seemed to take forever and then all of a sudden is happening so fast. We only have one week left to sort everything out. One week left to finish packing, one week left to finalize all our arrangements, one week left to say all our farewells. It’s emotional and stressful and chaotic, I’m feeling so many mixed emotions that I thought I’d try to blog them all out, but apologies if a todo list sneaks its way in – that seems to be how I think these days. Also, huge apologies for the infrequent blogging at this point; there just aren’t enough hours in the day for all the things. Continue Reading

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It always seems impossible until it’s done – an update on my 2017 goals

update on my 2017 goals

Today is Mandela Day here in South Africa, a celebration of one of the most iconic leaders of the modern world. One of my favorite quotes from Nelson Mandela is “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Any task can appear insurmountable, and then you chip away, take baby steps and all of a sudden it’s done. It’s sort of the basis of goals or resolutions – you aspire to something, but then need to figure out what exactly you will do in order to get there. I made three main goals for 2017, with a series of sub-goals along the way. So here is an update on my 2017 goals – how successful am I after half a year of striving?

To be honest, I think I’m actually doing better than I give myself credit for. So much of life is filled with mom guilt, with feeling inadequate or like I’m spinning my wheels, but actually I’ve made some pretty huge strides. I knew that I had these goals at the start of the year, but I didn’t make a vision board or anything, so they weren’t always at the front of my mind. Instead, I was focusing on all the little steps I had vowed to take to get there. Looking back now, I can see just how far I’ve come… at least on some of these goals. So here’s a reminder, and then an assessment. Continue Reading

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Emigration: From concept to hearing “congratulations”

emigration

I’ve written about our emigration process before. I talked about when we first started thinking about emigrating, how it was officially a goal for this year and even my ambivalence about really making the decision and feeling sad about leaving our wonderful life behind. I’ve bemoaned how long the admin was taking us and made a bit of a list of logistics I needed to put down so that they wouldn’t keep rattling around in my head. But we’ve hit a major milestone – we heard “Congratulations” at the consulate, and so I wanted to take you with me from start to finish.

Getting Dean’s Green Card has not been easy, and we still aren’t totally done. But I’m taking this milestone as an opportunity to reflect back on the process and talk about some of the big things we’ve gone through. If you’re planning to emigrate in general, or get a Green Card in particular, let me tell you that it is not easy, not for the faint of heart, but hopefully totally worth it. I did a Facebook Live about this as well, if you’re keen to watch me talk about this through Facebook or YouTube. Continue Reading

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How to grow real friendships, naturally

How to grow real friendships

I know this blog topic might seem strange to a lot of you. What is this “How to make friends and influence people”? But it feels increasingly relevant and I thought it might be worth sharing. I keep seeing articles and videos about how despite us living in a more interconnected world, people increasingly feel isolated and alone. Many struggle with how to grow real friendships, and social media can create the illusion that everyone else is happier and doing better than you. So, what is the secret to forging deep and meaningful bonds with other people?

This might seem silly, but The Sims wasn’t totally wrong. Okay, it was wrong in many ways – friendship isn’t best cultivated by locking two people in a room together, forcing them to make jokes and exchange gifts until they finally get to a green level of friendship. What, don’t tell me you haven’t done that! But the game was right about all of us needing friends. We need them to feel happy and social, connected and understood, as well as to possibly meet our partners or find the dream job. But how do you grow real friendships, the kind that goes beyond superficial smiles?  Continue Reading

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Hurry up and wait

wait

My number one goal for this year is to get my family moved. We made the decision that we wanted to emigrate, to move to the US of A. And while the change of politics has been distressing, it isn’t a reason not to move. We are going because we need to give Harley a better life, and pursue our dreams to a greater extent. It can be daunting, but I still think it’s the right decision. That doesn’t mean that the process has been easy. I mean, the forms themselves can be a bit intimidating but they aren’t particularly difficult to complete. No, it’s more the actual process than the individual steps.

We received approval for the first step of Dean’s green card application. There are still many steps to go, so I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. That said, the first step was approved, and faster than expected. They told us it would take 3-6 weeks to be approved, and we got the email just before 3 weeks had elapsed. If the whole process is estimated to take 3-6 months, it seems that we might actually get through it on the shorter rather than longer end of that process. But currently we are in a holding pattern and it is making me a bit crazy. Continue Reading

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