Last year around Thanksgiving, the Facebook meme was a challenge to list what you’re thankful for each day leading up to the holiday. I’m not one to turn down a challenge, so I went with it, and it turned out not to be much of a challenge. It also turned out to be a valuable exercise as I actually did find myself in the midst of a challenge at work thinking about what aspect I could be thankful for. My general outlook improved, and I kind of liked this new Pollyanna aspect of my personality, so I continued listing the thankful list on my Facebook statuses. Sometimes, I forget or get behind, and in my more cynical moments, I make fun of myself for buying into pop psychology so much, but I do it. And my wonderful friend JJ recently instituted “5 on 5,” a list of five things she’s grateful for on the fifth day of the week. Since this is one of those times I’ve fallen behind on my Facebook ist and because I’m also catching up on JJ’s blog, why not go for 7 on 7?

# 1. Animal rescuers. On Monday, I was driving back to Atlanta after visiting my parents for Memorial Day, and I saw a couple of cars on the side of the road (the 4-lane, 55 MPH road), and as I approached, also saw people, and then some dogs who were folded into a tight hug from a 10-ish-year-old girl. I am making up this entire scenario and I might be entirely incorrect, but my best guess is that the crew of dogs was running loose along the street, and that crew of cars pulled over to round them up and keep them safe from the traffic. It was more than just one concerned person, and it was more than just matter-of-fact–there was a hug involved.

# 2. Rainbows. On Friday, I went to yoga after work, and I spent the class watching an amazing rain storm outside the picture windows in the studio. I wasn’t concerned about getting drenched if I had to go out in it since my other plans for the evening were to go to bed as early as possible, but it turned out not to be an issue anyway, because the rain tapered off as class ended. I got to my car and drove east on DeKalb Avenue, and over the train tracks, in front of the still-purple clouds, a rainbow stretched across the whole sky, and there it stayed until I reached my turn off miles later. Also, yes, rainbows=gay and gay=good, but mostly, I liked that Friday rainbow.

# 3. Friends who do the dirty work. Without going into unnecessary detail and the airing of dirty laundry (what an extended metaphor!), this week, I was charged with an unpleasant errand or two. When I told Kathryn and Chau about it, neither of them hesitated to say, “I’ll do it for you.” And Kathryn did, and then she rewarded my still-stressed self with a bagel, and asked for nothing in return but a ride to Trader Joe’s. My mom will also always step up, ad if she can’t be there physically, she is always, always a phone call or text message or email away.

# 4. Ramona. I sometimes call my cat my roommate, and I want to get a big letter “L” for LCA and letter “R” for Ramona to hang on the wall, a la Mary Tyler Moore. Some people say their pets are their children, but Ramona is my friend. She is a good listener and she is a cat who snuggles, which I didn’t even know was possible. She will start purring and then wiggle her way under my arm so that she can go to sleep in a hug.

# 5. Atlanta and Decatur. The south is not a hotbed of progressiveness, but certain cities do pretty well. They aren’t perfect, as many of my friends can tell you based on personal experience, but after living in two smaller tows in the south, I do appreciate being able to walk around wearing buttons with pro-choice slogans, a Dr. Tiller memorial ribbon, and a Med Students for Choice T-shirt (I’m not a med student, but I am friends with doctors who give away old T-shirts) without too much worry about backlash. I can even tell people where I work (if I get an OK vibe from them) and they’ll respond positively.

# 6. Making people laugh. Sometimes, it isn’t exactly on purpose (I walk into walls a lot and drop things often), and sometimes, it is (I surprise myself with my ability to think on my feet once in a while), but I can get a genuine laugh out of people even if they’re stressed or unhappy. And they say girls aren’t funny!

# 7. Yoga teacher training. I didn’t want to mention it until it was absolutely certain, but it is now absolutely certain that starting in July, I will attend yoga teacher training and I will get to learn as much as possible about the thing I love to much, and soon, I’ll be able to share it with others. My supervisor has been wonderful about allowing me flexibility in my work schedule, my family and friends are congratulatory and encouraging, yoga teacher and practitioners I know are welcoming, and I’m so, so excited.