Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10 Things I'm Grateful For in 2018

1. Having a job that I secretly look forward to going back to after the Christmas break. When I was making dinner yesterday, John came up to me, all sad looking, and said he had a "case of the Mondays". First, I corrected him and said that he actually had a case of the Tuesdays, since that's when we were actually heading back to work, but then I felt bad for him because it made me realize that - sure, I was sad that our lovely holiday was over - but I genuinely wanted to go back to work again (and to see my friends there!). "Never leave that place!" he said, like a puppy that had been kicked. Poor thing.

2. Having a husband who puts Frozen on BBC iPlayer on his phone for us to watch when our flight's delayed (and who laughs at all of Olaf's jokes). Our recent flight from Innsbruck to London Stansted was delayed, then eventually cancelled (we had to take a bus to Salzburg in the end) due to "poor weather conditions" (i.e. fog). As I wasn't feeling great already, John wasted no time in distracting me with Elsa's magical ice kingdom. And I might have caught him crooning, "For the first time in foreverrrrrr ..." when we got home like, six hours later.

3. Peppermint tea. An all-around winner. Digestif and anxiety-reducer all-in-one.

4. Underfloor heating. We returned from our week in Austria with cold bathroom floors after turning off the underfloor heating before we left and I bellowed, "THIS IS INHUMANE!" (Yes, I absolutely realize that underfloor heating is a luxurious privilege and has nothing to do with human rights, but just roll with me for a moment on this one ...)

5. New technology. My UK driving test is scheduled for later this month and can I just say how much I'm looking forward to having driver-less cars in our lives? Every time I approach a roundabout, I feel like closing my eyes and hoping for the best (please don't tell my driving instructor that. Please.). For now, apps, Google Home (who provides witty answers to questions like, "Hey Google, do you want to build a snowman?" with, "Sure, the cold never bothered me anyway!"), etc. are making my life so much easier (which is all great until we begin to encroach on Black Mirror territory, at which point it all becomes a bit terrifying).

6. Our neighbors. They take in our oversized post when we're at work, put our trash bins back in their place when we're away, and popped around on Christmas Day for a chat and a drink. They cook for me when John's travelling for work and bring champagne over to share when it's their birthday. They shared their shower when our boiler was broken. WHAT KIND OF STREET IS THIS?!?!

7. London bus drivers. They deal with drunken abuse, the narrowest of streets, and cyclists that come out of nowhere (and I mean, nowhere - it's like they've Apparated ala Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) with the patience of saints. 

8. Pubs. It took me over a decade of living in the UK to finally appreciate them, but yeah, I was the one who brightly suggested we stop in for a drink at the local pub on our muddy country walk to the next village last weekend when we stayed with John's dad. Back in London, we have our favorite (with our favorite table), and heading there on a frosty (or sunny) evening for delicious food, friendly company, and (sometimes) live music, is such a lovely treat.

9. Our new sofa, arriving February 2018. It's gonna be large, it's gonna be comfy, and I'm gonna disappear into it all day long.

10. Netflix, for introducing me to Korean soap operas. Thank you for providing endless hours of entertainment, which I listen to at a high volume despite not understanding a word and relying completely on subtitles.

What are you grateful for in 2018, whether or big or small? I'd love to know!

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