And so ends another busy week. Three days in London on not quite enough sleep has left my stress levels slightly higher than normal. I seriously need to get my night routine under control. Does anyone else feel exhausted during the day, but unable to relax when it's finally time to sleep? Suggestions on how to resolve this are welcome.
My weekend hasn't been much quieter either. The holiday season brings extra volunteering hours with CHIPS. Yesterday it was the usual playscheme hours and today a Christmas party complete with food, dancing and Santa. It was fun and so nice to see all of the kids and parents having a good time, but a small part of me found it difficult to give up what could have been a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I also spent most of yesterday afternoon filling out my Post Study Work visa application (40+ pages of detailed fun!). Now that my dissertation results have come through, it's time to try and convince the government to let me stay in the United Kingdom for at least another two years. I'm not really sure how likely my success is, to be completely honest. I'd like to think that my chances are good as I am employed, paying taxes and because of the kind of work I do. Yet it seems that immigration regulations are getting stricter every year and the number of those being allowed to stay is getting smaller.
I would really like to start branching out more soon - getting involved with local dance and theatre, supporting more individuals through the NAS and just generally settling the various aspects of life that require time commitment. But, there's not much I can do until I know whether or not I can stay. I couldn't sign up for a show that I might not be around for, but I miss theatre so badly. Zumba has been satisfying my dance drive for a while now (and I REALLY throw myself into it), but it won't work forever. Mostly, though, I wouldn't feel right increasing my outreach work now as the individuals that I support need stability and consistency, and leaving them after a month would undermine that.
Anyway, lots of stuff depending on the outcome of this application. Just a couple of minor details to work out before I can send it off to the UK Home Office. At least it will be out of my hands at that point. Then hopefully I can throw myself into enjoying the holiday season. My cousin and her boyfriend will be visiting at the end of the month. Can't wait to show her around London and Hertford! Lots of Christmas gatherings coming up as well. And I do love all of the lights, music and inexplicable cheerfulness that takes over this time of year. Hmmm....it might be about time for some seasonal baking :)
Glad tidings to you all and hopes that the weather is not too bad where you are.