And I'm so incredibly thankful.
You see, this year was so hard because I have so very much to lose. To say that I lead a charmed life is a gross understatement. I am fortunate far, far beyond what I deserve.
So, as is the way at this time of year, here's an incomplete list of things I'm thankful for :
* My real extended family, the Amorphous Squiggle. It's a large and far-flung tribe, and I haven't met them all, but I'm still proud to call them my tribe. And the ones I have met? You guys are amazing, wonderful people, and it's a privilege to count myself among you, and a delight to know that we have a connection over and above just friendship.
* The Horde, my immediate family and the absolute best thing in my life. The five of you are utterly indispensable to me, and my greatest source of joy. I love you guys.
* The Horde, part 2: We're all still here. We're all still together. We're spending the day with each other, and just shared a meal at the same table. It didn't have to work out this way. There've been too many moments this year when I didn't think it would. And yet, here we are.
* My extended social circle - friends, tweeps, and especially the whole Freaks/Mellow Mushroom crew! My god you people rock! Everything is better and more fun when you guys are involved.
* My bio-family, who regularly disappoint me with their politics and woo, but without whom I wouldn't be me.
* Gir. 'Nuff said. I'm incomplete without this little machine, and he's treated me so well this year. As is the case with every single one of my relationships, I haven't spent enough time with him.
* The pets - Trogdor, Reina, Ruby, Misty, Onyx, Winston, and Rosie. Sometimes irritating, often inconvenient, all-too-frequently messy and gross. But they still make our lives better, and I'm glad we have them.
* The Cheat - Your time with us was far, far too short, but I'm so glad you got to be part of our world. Someday I'll be able to think about you at length (or write about you) without crying, though apparently today isn't that day.
* Despite what redheadlass's mom's psychic predicted, joreth and I still don't have a child. :-D
* For that matter, I don't have a child with anyone, despite many lovely, thoroughly enjoyable attempts! ;-)
* My job. To put it mildly, this is a mixed blessing, as my job is also the single biggest root cause of stress and upset in other aspects of my life. However, at a time of economic uncertainty I remain gainfully employed, at a job that I generally enjoy and at which I excel, working with good people who appreciate what I do. For better or worse, it's also served as a place of security of sorts. It's not always fun, but it's a place where I feel… safe. It's also easier to understand - a simplified microcosm with straightforward goals where I can build, fix, and help. And it is getting better.
* The election. Seriously, we not only dodged a big, horrible bullet, but the down ballot election results went far better than I dared hope. I see it as a resounding statement in favor of reality, sanity, and basic human decency. I also can't help but see it as a message to the rest of the world: "Yes, the US has cruel, delusional crazies, but they're not the majority!"
* We no longer have combat troops in Iraq. (This is balanced, of course, by the fact that the troops in Afghanistan are now fighting the longest war in US history.)
* The basics, and let's not overlook them. We are alive, in a time where our technological progress is unmistakable and our social progress, while inconsistent, muddled, and full of setbacks, is nevertheless trending toward a world of less violence, greater respect for human rights, and an increasing value placed upon both reason and compassion for the most disadvantaged of us. We have so much more to do, so much wrong to set right, and it seems as though our world is imposing some increasingly solid deadlines on us. But our species is practically defined by our ability to create new tools and come up with novel new solutions. We adapt. Our technology increases. We persevere and thrive. That's a hell of a record to build upon, and gives me tremendous hope for the future.
And for that, I will always be thankful.