Our Thankfulness Report

It’s Thanksgiving week, and as we commence the end of year celebrations (We refuse to acknowledge that stores were hawking Christmas wares from Nov. 1), the good Doctors wanted to take a moment and talk through what we’re most thankful/grateful for during the arduous 2017 that was. Putting on our attitude of gratitude, here’s what we came up with!

EH: Rather than starting off with something sentimental, I’ll go for light and cheerful and say one of the things I’m most thankful for in 2017 is GIFs. Hear me out - though I do sometimes worry about our over-reliance on new technologies, and tbh part of me fears that the world of GIFs, stickers, emoticons, and acronyms will slowly kill written language, they have become a hilarious and stress relieving way to express myself this year.

Overtaking the popularity of stickers amongst my friends, GIFs from favorite movies, tv shows, and other pop culture mediums pepper our conversations, particularly with my friends around the world, that I now only get to see in person once a year, if I’m lucky.


I share with you one of my favorite GIFs, Simon Cowell’s infamous position as talent judge extraordinaire, and when I really want to express a negative response to something, who could do it better? Kristen - I know we’re both fans of Mr. Cowell (and GIFs), I’m sure we’ll delve into more thoughtful thanks later in the convo, but what are some of the sillier things you’re thankful for?

KD: Yes, GIFs are the best and I have used them to communicate so much this year. Besides that one, here are my top three:  


I’m thankful for Rita’s Water Ice, Parks and Recreation, the salad bar at my local Shop Rite always having those tiny corn things I like on my salads, Barry’s Tea being imported to the U.S., Skype, Chopped, iMessage, the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast for routinely reminding me to find things that make me happy, all of the Twitter and Instagram accounts which see it as their life’s mission to bring us animal cuteness every day, Cecilia London’s Bellator saga, Amy Andrews’ series about rugby players, Amazon Prime’s ability to have office supplies to me the next day, Brooklyn Nine Nine, the Hamilton original cast recording, and a thousand other small things that help me live life day to day.

I’m grateful for the ability to do this work  - to serve our clients and our readers and help them be the best versions of themselves. I’m grateful for my family, framily, favorites, and friends - all of whom shape me. For my education and the universities that forged my professional self, for the congregations that held me as I grew, for the authors who spill their souls onto the page so I can learn, for the ancestors before me who ensured that I could vote. I have spent this year dreaming of the future in ways I haven't before and it has been so scary. I don't have words for how grateful I am for all the ways others held me together while I sorted myself. 


EH: Agreed. I’m sure GIFs are not hard to make, but I appreciate the magic that is other people’s wit and ability to make them. That is quite a lot to be both thankful and grateful for.

Aside from GIFs, I am thankful for peppermint tea, the gin selection at the Dublin Airport Duty Free Shop, the devotion to all things black and gold in Pittsburgh, and the fact that no matter when or where I see those two colors I feel like I’m home, the musicals Anastasia and Newsies, Carpool Karaoke, kettle corn and Ghirardelli dark chocolate, Catherine Gayle’s Portland Storm and Tulsa Thunderbirds books, all the applications and devices that keep me close to my nearest and dearest across the country and the pond, Stranger ThingsFirst Dates, The Graham Norton Show, IKEA for literally decorating my life, and for all the things, big and small and in between, that make me smile, think, cry, and generally get by.

Since this has been a year of firsts for me, and marks my return from 5 years living abroad, what I am grateful for tends to make me more emotional than years previous. I am grateful for this work, to learn and share and grow with our clients and readers. I’m grateful for my family who loved Belfast with their whole hearts, and always support my dreams above most other concerns. I am grateful for all my wonderful friends, from different walks of life and parts of the world, who have taught me about the world and the kind of person I want to be. I am grateful for my cats, one of whom is sitting on me as I write this, and their constant reminders to stay curious and take naps. I am grateful for all my work and educational opportunities, whose lessons (and trials) have shaped my career and helped me choose the path that led me here.

Whatever you’re both thankful and grateful for this season, we send our hopes that they will keep you both joyful and grounded as we all move into 2018.

Also, as an aside, this fall marked six years since we met, and we celebrated our FriendAversary by sipping our favorite gin and watching Newsies: The Broadway Musical on Netflix. A perfect blending of gratefulness and thankfulness, as it also happened to be the week Erin joined AR full time. One of the reasons we are grateful for this mission is that we get to do it together. Onward and upward.