Inspired by my friend, Hannah Beth, I’m taking today and tomorrow (I’d say this week but after Wednesday I’m losing Internet service till sometime on Friday) to give some thanks and appreciation for the following:

1) Being employed. I know that after a year it’s a cliched thing to be thankful for, but it’s #1 with a bullet for me. I like what I do, and some days I knock a few out of the park, as it were, and I’m blessed to work with some lovely people whose good humor, talent and smarts keep me on my toes and smiling every day. I work behind a desk, in a comfortable chair, and often times listen to my favorite music, and I catch The View once in a while, though admittedly the cackling and screaming get the best of me, and I get paid fairly for what I do. Sure, I work long hours and get stressed out pretty frequently, but I have come to believe that stress is really all about us and how we choose to react to our surroundings. Most people have not been as fortunate this past year, I have, and I know it.

2) My husband’s good grace and patience. His sister would tell you otherwise, but in our relationship, I am the one who needs the most consoling and hand-holding. He’s very kind towards me, and not a Friday goes by where he doesn’t come home with flowers or a present – last week was John Mayer’s latest album, and Scott hates John Mayer, and I love him, which means Scott really loves me, especially since I didn’t even know John Mayer had a new album out, don’t judge me and my sometimes pedestrian music tastes – and he rubs my shoulders on a near-daily basis, not to mention all of the hugs and laughter and talks down off of any number of ledges I find myself on.

3) The house. This is a gimmie, I know, but wow. I get to be a homeowner in Chicago in a neighborhood that yesterday, while driving around in it, caused me to get teary-eyed with happiness at just the sight of it. Of course I was a day away from my period, so that certainly explains a lot.

4) My health. Look, this has not been a great year for my health. I have gained a total of 15 pounds, and I’ll be honest: the first 10 were unexpected and I can directly attribute to the thyroid. The rest have been a direct result of the stress of the past three months. So my body and my mind are both to blame. But I can still run far without pain and my cholesterol lowered and really once we’re settled back in and I have, you know, a kitchen again, I can address the Not-All-Hashimoto’s-Disease-Fault weight gain.

5) My sister. I don’t talk about Kate Shea too much here, but she’s my other best friend. I’m really not kidding when I say I usually talk to her every day, twice a day sometimes. I just got off the phone with her a few minutes ago, after talking about 30 minutes, and we’d already talked earlier in the day, and we’d just spent the entire weekend together. We ramble on and don’t talk about anything particularly important, and it’s nice to just have someone else who cares enough to listen. Now that we’ll be living 10 minutes away from each other, I don’t suspect much will change, other than we’ll see each other more.

The next five tomorrow. What are you thankful for?