Given that I don’t live in a US-centric country, but I’ve watched enough US television over the years, I know about the concept of thanksgiving. In South Africa, Christmas day is usually a time to share gifts, spend time with family, and be thankful for all the good things in the year that has passed.

This year, I am thankful that my family has made it through another year of living with the pandemic.

I am thankful that the career I stumbled into 16 years ago continues to grow and thrive and present new opportunities.

I am thankful that I have a job that allows me the ability to work from wherever, whenever, and schedule my work so that it suits my life, and not the other way around.

I am thankful that 26 years ago a Danish gentleman created a scripting language for the web, and then spent the next few years putting work into the server stack around that scripting language, a key piece in making it the dominant platform of the web still to this day.

And I am thankful for all of you, my extended PHPamily, some of who I’ve met in person, some who I only interact with on social media or in chat channels. Every day I learn from you and I’m challenged by you to become a better programmer, writer, and person.

If the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that we need those connections, especially when working in remote environments, with little social interaction.

Without the love and support of my IRL family and the interactions with my PHPamily, I probably wouldn’t be here today to be thankful.