1. For all the challenges living in small spaces close to others create, especially in pandemic times, the ability to walk to so many of the things I need be they essentials, or just sunny spots with flowers, has been one I am particularly grateful for this year.
2. My cat has always been great at figuring out when to nap, when to demand attention, and when to eat, and when to tell the human that she has misunderstood the schedule. This example of clear boundaries has been a useful reminder.
3. Friends who pivoted quickly to online gatherings so that my social life, while obviously changed, is full in ways that matter. And friends who said, nope, we'll move to other forms of communication in the interim.
4. Yarn dyers and pattern designers who rose to the challenge of people who had greater couch time this year.
5. Those who have continued to show up to jobs in apartment buildings, in transit, in delivery, on farms, in small businesses, and in restaurants. My ability to socially distance is entirely reliant on this, and I am eternally grateful.
6. Health care workers, up to and including the often unsung medical coders, medical researchers, janitorial staff, and others who have continued showing up in a situation that grew both dangerous and tiring.
7. Authors. I am grateful to count myself among your number, but the kidlit and the romance community continue to show that folks who believe in hopeful futures can provide worlds to escape in, can pivot to virtual book events, and can organize together raising funds for typhoons, voting, and other such things.
8. Everyone who took time to engage more fully with anti-racism and other social justice movements this year.
9. Parents and child care workers. I am not a parent, but am well aware that this has been a tough year for everyone raising up tiny humans. Not a year that makes a lot of sense for many tiny humans either.
10. Gardeners and landscapers. I have been relying on pictures of the gardens I normally would have visited many more times this year. And this reduced access to the fancier botanicals meant I have hunted a little harder through my own neighborhood this year. I have a brown thumb, but greatly appreciate those who take the time to put color onto their lawn or in other shared spaces where I can enjoy it too.