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It’s the second Monday in October, which means it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. Despite the state of the world today – and the struggles and challenges in my little corner of it – I do have many things to be grateful for.

I am thankful for my rough and tumble house. It’s old, it needs a lot of work, and sometimes I seriously wonder what I was thinking wanting to keep a whole entire house in the first place… but this house has been my home for more than a decade. I know it well. I’ve made it my own – with a lot of help – and plan on continuing to do so. My winter project is to get it painted. I’m absolutely useless at this task, but I can tape baseboards and outlets and other things like a whiz, and delegate the painting itself to those who are considerably better than I. This house has trusted me with its care. Its ghost(s) have shown up. I’ve trusted these four walls with my secrets, as it has entrusted its care to me… and yes, I realize how strange that sounds…

I’m thankful for my new job, which is going well. I like the people I work with. There are many opportunities to learn, and I can even take a few opportunities to pass along information that I know. Jenny has settled in well – maybe too well, since she sneaks into my boss’ office to steal the bones that other office dogs have left behind – and looks forward to her weekly meets and greets with everyone.

Speaking of Jenny, I’m thankful for our eight (EIGHT?!?!?) years of partnership. Her intelligence, love, and sassy attitude make working with her a pure joy.

I’m thankful for my two quirky and funny kitties . Wolfie is coming into herself again, and has made great friends with Simone (AKA the Monkey). Simone, for her part, has grown up into a big kitten with impulse control (something I never saw coming!) They each make me laugh every single day.

I’m thankful for my parents, who have each in their own way raised me to be strong, kind, and self-sufficient

I’m thankful for my partner, who’s been with me through some of the darkest and loneliest periods of my life. This past year and a half has in no way gone as planned, but we’re standing together and actively doing whatever we can to make some of the hard things less terrible.

I’m thankful that my divorce is now final. It’s been over for a long time, and now a judge says it is! I’m thankful that, while things went slowly, for the most part they went smoothly, with enough time and space for us to truly part friendly and cleanly. I wish him nothing but love, success, and happiness; I would never begrudge him anything I’ve found for myself.

I’m thankful for my friends – the new, the constant companions, and the friends with whom I’ve recently reconnected. Throughout the past few days I’ve reconnected with old friends and long-time neighbors, enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with longtime friends, and there are new people in my world that I am grateful to be building new friendships with.

I am thankful for my running friends. This weekend was the Boston Marathon – both the physical and the virtual race. For a wide variety of reasons – inadequate training, mental brick walls, and really crappy running weather, among others – I had to sit this one out. I hated it. I don’t ever want to sit out a race again! My running family has been nothing short of supportive – encouraging me to keep going, while offering support, comfort and commiseration that things didn’t go as planned. Over the past few days, I’ve received several calls and texts – “So, what’s next for you?” in short, I gotta get off my duff and get moving again! And my running family will be there, whatever that process looks like.

I’m thankful that my beading room will soon be a place of creativity. When I started reclaiming this home as my own, I moved my beading table down into a small room that was used for other things. I wanted to create, to make pretty beaded things that could be seen and felt and enjoyed. But then the pandemic hit and that room turned into my home office – hardly a great creative space. I recently got gifted a new desk from our local Buy Nothing group, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. My plan this week is to spread things out, find places for them, and get back to work. And that room is also getting its own coat of paint!

Today, October 11, is also National Coming Out day. I’m thankful that I live in a country where I can be myself, be proud, and find community. I’m thankful for all the support I’ve received over the past few years as I’ve come to terms with my identity as someone on the asexual spectrum. I’m so grateful for the conversations and writings and community of Ace folks all over the world, and all the ways I’ve been able to learn, share and grow. And I cannot say enough about my allies – those inside and outside of the Ace community – who’ve accepted this as part of who I am with no judgment, no condescension, and no erasure. This is (sadly) quite rare, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my little corner of the universe is full of kind and understanding people.

I generally have a hard time with the perky, don’t worry be happy, positive thinking stuff I see a lot online these days. But if I am being honest, this is truly where I am right now. So for this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so very many things.